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  • FIRST POST
    • redstarz
    • By redstarz 12th Aug 18, 4:59 PM
    • 8Posts
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    redstarz
    Subsidence found second day moved in, please help !!!
    • #1
    • 12th Aug 18, 4:59 PM
    Subsidence found second day moved in, please help !!! 12th Aug 18 at 4:59 PM
    Found subsidence after moving into the house second day, please help!!!

    There is a big tree in the back garden close to the house therefore we were suspicious about the potential subsidence, but we only could see internal cracks and didn't notice any outside abnormal issues. Hence we had paid a full building survey, and we also specifically mentioned subsidence check to the survey company. when the survey report arrived, it didn't mention any subsidence. I then emailed again to the survey company to double confirm the subsidence , and the answer was "there was no indication of subsidence to the property". I then exchanged the contract and moved in last week.

    Unfortunately the clear subsidence was noticed on the outside wall. I then contacted the survey company but was told the surveyor is on leave now and they would check with him once he's back to work few weeks later...

    I've been so upset this whole weekend and could not breathe well. Just can't believe how couldn't surveyor spot the clear subsidence issue, even after we tried to double confirm with it.

    please suggest what's the best steps to do now, check with independent structural company for a deep investigation, or seek legal advice from solicitor? Much appreciated for any suggestion, thanks very much for reading this.
Page 1
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 12th Aug 18, 5:26 PM
    • 37,538 Posts
    • 157,972 Thanks
    silvercar
    • #2
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:26 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:26 PM
    Do you have building insurance? With legal cover?

    I don't know how you know there is subsidence just from seeing cracks. The usual way is to measure the cracks over time to look for movement.
    • financegeek
    • By financegeek 12th Aug 18, 5:32 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    financegeek
    • #3
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:32 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:32 PM
    Try not to panic. what makes you think there's been subsidence? if it is very obvious, i imagine the surveyor would have picked up on it? could it be cracks from longstanding movement?

    If it were me i'd get a secondary company in to do a buildings survey. if they confirm there is subsidence, then you need to complain to the first surveyor. it may be worth speaking to a solicitor as to what they can be held accountable for cost wise.
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 12th Aug 18, 5:34 PM
    • 1,296 Posts
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    Living proof
    • #4
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:34 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:34 PM
    I had subsidence on my last property and to me it was obvious. Everyone fobbed me off, saying all old properties have cracks, blah blah but I did contact me buildings insurer who sent a loss adjuster. Long story short they put in equipment over 18 months to check movement and when it had stopped they agreed to repairs. We were under insured by £22,000 even though we'd paid adjusted amount each year in line with inflation. I moved out and moved away and into a new build and repairs were done. The house was then sold but I estimate the loss was 25% of what it would have been before the subsidence issue. The fact that there is a big tree and the ground has been so dry makes me suspect the tree has been taking every ounce of moisture from the surrounding area including the foundations, which have now moved hence the cracking. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy so good luck with this and I just hope you are fully insured. They checked all the dimensions of the house and outbuildings to the inch and went into the RIBA free website to check the rebuilding costs so be prepared for a fight if it is subsidence, Good luck. x
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
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    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 12th Aug 18, 5:47 PM
    • 25,555 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:47 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Aug 18, 5:47 PM
    I think you need to stay calm about this.

    Having a full buildings survey, mentioning your concerns and then getting a bill of health from the surveyor and not being qualified yourself doesn't sound like the most feasible way for subsidence to be discovered. Nothing is impossible, but you need to trust the professionals you have hired, in the first instance.

    Nothing drastic is going to happen in the meantime, so wait for this person to return from holiday to assess.

    There's little point in contacting a solicitor when you aren't qualified to diagnose an issue, so if you don't want to wait then you can call a structural engineer. Perhaps with level of anxiety and lack of trust you're displaying, then that might be a good idea for some peace of mind.

    If there is a problem that they have missed then you have the cover of their professional indemnity insurance, so even the worst case scenario is not the end of the world.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Aug 18, 7:04 PM
    • 32,686 Posts
    • 19,670 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 18, 7:04 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Aug 18, 7:04 PM
    What has changed with these outside walls you say looked OK when you viewed but now seem to have obvious signs of subsidence.

    What time period are we dealing with ?
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 12th Aug 18, 7:15 PM
    • 1,296 Posts
    • 8,412 Thanks
    Living proof
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 18, 7:15 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Aug 18, 7:15 PM
    I forgot to mention that when we were buying the property there were whispered hints from some locals (which we weren't) that the big lorries using the road outside were damaging the property. I then got the original surveyor to come back to review, but they said all was well (two of them came), It was a few years later when the problem manifested itself.
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
    Mortgage and Debt Free. Unfortunately Pension Free too!
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Aug 18, 12:40 AM
    • 25,822 Posts
    • 94,111 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #8
    • 13th Aug 18, 12:40 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Aug 18, 12:40 AM
    As Doozergirl says, nothing terrible is going to happen while you wait for the surveyor to return, so try to stay calm until they have issued you with a report on what you have seen. Like any other business, they must respond correctly to customer concerns and you must give them a proper chance to do so.

    Then, if you are not satisfied or reassured, that will be the time to employ a structural engineer for another opinion.

    Surveyors have professional insurance cover, so you will not end up out of pocket, whatever the outcome.

    Please return to the thread and let us know how this goes.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it. More changes on the way?
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • redstarz
    • By redstarz 13th Aug 18, 9:24 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    redstarz
    • #9
    • 13th Aug 18, 9:24 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Aug 18, 9:24 AM
    Thanks so much for everyone's kind response, very much appreciated. Sorry I am not going to reply each of you.

    Few points to be added:

    1. yes I did purchase a whole legal building insurance since the day when the contract exchanges. Now I am not sure whether I should call the insurance company or not, because I worry that they will cancel my insurance and claim the issue happened before the insurance happened...

    2. I emailed few independent surveyors with the external cracking, and all of them thought it's not good and suggested me to contact with the structural engineer or call the insurance company asap. Of course they don't know the whole story and they might think I have been living in the house long time and suddenly found out the subsidence.

    3. The survey was done 2 months ago, the internal crackings were pointed out in the survey report but no indication of any subsidence. I viewed the house twice but only notice the internal crackings as well. I strongly suspect that the former owner covered the outside crackings with the plants or pots then.

    I think I'll have to wait for the feedback from my survey company, but I'm not sure if I should hire an independent survey company to investigate and form a defects report of this subsidence while waiting for the report from my survey company? Just being so upset so far...

    Thanks again for everyone's good suggestion. I shall keep updating the whole case here.
    • Ozzuk
    • By Ozzuk 13th Aug 18, 9:41 AM
    • 1,394 Posts
    • 2,016 Thanks
    Ozzuk
    Did you tell your insurer about the tree? Whenever I've arranged building insurance I've been asked if there are any trees of x height within a certain distance.

    I don't wish to add to your stress, but it could cause a problem if you haven't declared it. Maybe check your insurance documents.
    • redstarz
    • By redstarz 13th Aug 18, 9:55 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    redstarz
    Hi, thanks for the response. I checked my insurance document but didn't find such question, or remembered I was asked about the tree issue. If I was asked, then I definitely would say yes.
    Thanks.
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 13th Aug 18, 9:57 AM
    • 4,263 Posts
    • 5,530 Thanks
    westernpromise
    Old houses do move without there being subsidence. They expand in the heat and contract when it cools. It's been hot lately. Subsidence cracks are usually diagonal and quite wide. Where are yours?
    • redstarz
    • By redstarz 13th Aug 18, 1:17 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    redstarz
    It!!!8217;s not quite old , 1979s house. The obvious crack in my house is 2 bricks height on top the ground on the external wall close to the tree.

    Thanks for the feedback.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 13th Aug 18, 2:01 PM
    • 25,555 Posts
    • 69,374 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    Two bricks high? In the driest summer we've had since before your house was built, when there's a tree nearby - that doesn't sound too bad?!
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • redstarz
    • By redstarz 13th Aug 18, 2:54 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    redstarz
    Well. There are lots inside cracks as well and the survey report did mention them, but insisted that there was no identification of subsidence....

    I did sent pics to few independent surveyors and all of them said itís not so good.

    Unfortunately I canít upload pics here.

    We have been quite depressed now: canít eat and sleep well, canít breathe well either and feel constant chest pain! Still canít believe it!!!
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 13th Aug 18, 3:00 PM
    • 8,196 Posts
    • 8,552 Thanks
    davidmcn
    I'm not sure why you've convinced yourself that there's subsidence when the only professional who has looked at it has told you there isn't. Obviously the other surveyors you've sent the photos are hardly likely to give you a clean bill of health without taking your money and paying a visit.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 13th Aug 18, 3:13 PM
    • 25,822 Posts
    • 94,111 Thanks
    Davesnave
    canít eat and sleep well, canít breathe well either and feel constant chest pain! Still canít believe it!!!
    Originally posted by redstarz
    These are all symptoms of a panic attack. You are doing this to yourself, but over what? Something which you may be misinterpreting.


    Even in a worst case scenario, you are covered for whatever remedial action needs to be applied....and there always is one.


    From personal experience, I know being told to 'get a grip' doesn't work without some appropriate medical intervention. In your position I'd get a GP appt this afternoon.
    If you are finding huge gaps between your paragraphs, MSE know about the problem. However, they aren't necessarily doing anything about it. More changes on the way?
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5844460
    • redstarz
    • By redstarz 13th Aug 18, 3:34 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    redstarz
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I don!!!8217;t mind paying other independent surveyors for the independent survey. However, it seemed they are not interested and all the feedbacks from them were to find structural engineers , which makes more like a serious issue.

    And yes I!!!8217;m trying to reach my GP , not sure when though.

    Thanks again.
    • westernpromise
    • By westernpromise 13th Aug 18, 3:37 PM
    • 4,263 Posts
    • 5,530 Thanks
    westernpromise
    OK, so think through what happens in the worst case.

    1/ The surveyor comes back, reinspects and says Yes, it's subsidence.
    2/ His PI policy pays for it to be fixed (it can be). Sorted. Or
    3/ A different surveyor inspects and says Yes, it's subsidence.
    4/ You claim on your household insurance.
    5/ The insurer sends its own assessor. Based on its assessor's report it then does one of two things. Either:
    6/ Your insurer pays for it to be fixed (it can be) and recovers its payout from your surveyor's PI policy. Sorted. Or
    7/ Your insurer declines to pay because its assessor says it's been like that since before they insured.
    8/ If it's 7, you have a claim against the surveyor you engaged when you bought the property, based on what the insurance company's expert says he should have spotted. Go to 2.

    Subsidence is a bl00dy nuisance but it's fixable.
    • Filo25
    • By Filo25 13th Aug 18, 3:43 PM
    • 1,592 Posts
    • 2,345 Thanks
    Filo25
    Can I just say IF there is now apparent subsidence it is perfectly possible that it wasn't noticeable if the survey was done a couple of month's ago, the long hot summer will have been hard on a few properties this year.

    That said as a FTB who also has suffered with anxiety, I was convinced that our house had subsidence after I bought it and indeed worked myself up into a bit of a state about it, suffice to say it didn't have subsidence, and I really was getting myself into a bundle of stress for nothing.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    I don!!!8217;t mind paying other independent surveyors for the independent survey. However, it seemed they are not interested and all the feedbacks from them were to find structural engineers , which makes more like a serious issue.
    It doesn't make it more like a serious issue, it just means that if you are specifically worried about and looking for a problem like subsidence rather than a general report on the property then a structural engineer would be the appropriate person to look at it
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