Subsidence

7
Found 5th Sep 2017
Hi guys.
We are buying a propert that has suffered from subsidence 12 years ago in 2005. The vendor has made a claim for an x amount and had it fixed ( submitted caused by vegetation near property and clay shrinkage, 5mm crack ,that has been removed , metal bars installed ) monitored for 2years, till 2007 and no further issues.
Now we are in 2017 and vendor is saying that they had no seen any new cracks etc
We had to bid for the property and Eventually offered 10k more then asking price.
We were not aware of the substance until 3 weeks after when the vendor very honestly said that he have forgotten about as he had no issues for the past 10 years.
We have shopped around to get the best deal for insurance and we found one as long as the report from structural survey will say that the substance is historical and non progressive.
At at first we've been told that homebuyers survey will be enough but now to get this specific wording we had to get another survey ( structural) which costed us extra £540 on top of £380 of homebuyers survey.
we are hoping that the subsidence is historical and non progressive so we can go ahead with process but a bit unsure if we should ask the vendor to pay us back for the survey.
We're unsure if this is unreasonable? Don't want them to withdraw from sale as we do like the house and been looking for a while and this is excacly what we were looking for ( apart substantial)
what do do you recommend ?
please help us make our minds
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"We were not aware of the substance until 3 weeks after when the vendor very honestly said that he have forgotten about as he had no issues for the past 10 years. "

There is no way they forgot! They have a legal obligation to tell you under the Property Misdescriptions Act which is now part of the 2008 Consumer protection regulations.

They waited until you were sucked in. So rather than ask them for the money I would be inclined to reduce my offer (remember it will be worth less when you comes to sell it). It's also the upfront cost but increased insurance costs going forward and the devaluation of the house.

Another option is pay, say nothing and after completion take legal action. This will depend on how much risk you are willing to take. On a 100k house it might not be worth the outlay and risk. On a £1m house it might be.

Option 3 if you want the house so much is just pay and enjoy the house. In the long run (of a house) it's pretty insignificant.

Good luck.
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Why on earth should the vendor pay? I'm stumped. If you want the house that badly surely £540 is worth it? You could try reducing your offer by £540 and see if they go for that
"We were not aware of the substance until 3 weeks after when the vendor very honestly said that he have forgotten about as he had no issues for the past 10 years. "

There is no way they forgot! They have a legal obligation to tell you under the Property Misdescriptions Act which is now part of the 2008 Consumer protection regulations.

They waited until you were sucked in. So rather than ask them for the money I would be inclined to reduce my offer (remember it will be worth less when you comes to sell it). It's also the upfront cost but increased insurance costs going forward and the devaluation of the house.

Another option is pay, say nothing and after completion take legal action. This will depend on how much risk you are willing to take. On a 100k house it might not be worth the outlay and risk. On a £1m house it might be.

Option 3 if you want the house so much is just pay and enjoy the house. In the long run (of a house) it's pretty insignificant.

Good luck.
I'd not pay £10k over asking for a house with previous issues. As mentioned they didn't forget at all, they just new it would massively decrease the value so reeled you in first.
If this was an auction it's 100% on you, accept it and move on. If it wasn't then the is no harm in asking the vendor to pay for the survey, what you got to lose. I think if I were the vendor I would happily contribute.
I bought a house which had previously been underpinned for similar reasons as you mentioned. It has been a great home for my family for the last seventeen years but be warned, you will not be able to get competitive buildings insurance.
In theory the insurer who the claim was made though should continue to offer insurance, but how do you know it's competitive when most other companies will refuse to quote. Added to this some insurance specialists will require you to have reports costing you money. Also to top it all off in our case the insurer went bust so we were left without insurance, for about 18 months.
Thankfully we are now insured through Halifax costing just under £500 for a 1930s 4 bed house worth approx £350k in Essex.
So in my experience I would be looking at 5% off the current market value to compensate for higher premiums and the fact it will put buyers off when you come to sell.
Finally as for them forgetting to mention it genuine or not I would be lowering your offer and if this is not accepted then compensation for your out of pocket expenses.
HTH
As hubcms above says your biggest problem is likely to be insurance going forward. Even if you manage to get a reasonable rate for the first year you are likely to be very restricted going forward, and the additional premiums would be an issue.

if you haven't already I would suggest seeing how much of a difference this makes in practise, put the details of the house without subsidence into a comparison website eg confused.com. Note the best price and how many insurers will quote for you. Then re do the quote with subsidence and look at how much the premiums increase and how many insurance companies will no longer quote for you. This will give you an idea going forward of how much extra you will be paying year on year.

I also fail to believe your vendor "forgot" they had subsidence, for a start they would have needed to mention it on their insurance each year, and secondly it can be quite invasive getting the work done, it's a bit like saying they forgot the roof had once blown off the house.

The only person I know well who had to put in a subsidence claim has had to stay with the insurance company she claimed under as she has been unable to get a reasonable quote for building cover since.

Personally I don't think the cost of the structural survey is a huge issue, I would have got one done anyway if I was purchasing another house.

Also it hasn't been mentioned yet, but the house value could decrease because of the subsidence and if it does it could have a knock on effect with any loan to value element of your mortgage.
Edited by: "tinkerbellian" 6th Sep 2017
Original Poster
Hi guys
Thanks for the comments
Just to update you , the report from the structural survey came back positive. Subsidence historical and non progressive which means that we can be insured and even better we found it very cheap.
There is also no signs from the subsidence left so excellent news all around.
Once again , thanks
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