Property horrors: what we could find when surveying your property

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When you’re buying a property, it’s all too easy to fall for the look, feel, or even price of the place, and ignore the things such as damp corners or gurgling sounds that perhaps only your subconscious had picked up on.  Unfortunately, these are the things that could result in the building needing a large amount of work, possibly before you’ve even settled in.  Research by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed that many buyers unknowingly set themselves up for an average of £5,750 in repair bills when they move into their commercial properties, due to a wealth of hidden problems many of which only a trained chartered building surveyor would be able to identify.


Buying a commercial property is a huge commitment, and therefore requires the best support available.  While you may believe money spent on a commercial property survey could be better spent elsewhere, you have to think objectively.  The money spent on a survey could save you thousands, not only in repairs, but in the actual price of the property should a survey reveal grounds for renegotiation.  A building survey is a comprehensive report that provides a full breakdown of the fabric and condition of the property, with diagnosis of defects, repairs and maintenance advice.  Below are just a few examples of the problems that can be identified during one such survey…


Structural defects

You may think that any structural problems with your property would be obvious; whilst this is sometimes true, often they can be overlooked or disregarded as something else entirely.  External and internal cracks may be noticeable, but a building surveyor will be able to determine how problematic they might be, and while doors and windows that stick could be thought of as nothing by occupants, experts could discover that they are part of a much wider problem, such as subsidence.  Leaning building and uneven floors are also two defects you might assume you would notice, but in fact could be so slight that they are only determined by those using special tools.  Structural defects can cause insurance quotes to soar and devalue the property, so it is imperative that you have your prospective commercial property surveyed so that these problems can be identified.


Damp and rot

When someone is attempting to sell you a property, they will do all they can to endear you to the look of the place.  A lick of paint and some open windows can make a building appear clean, fresh and new, but can also mask the pervasive problems of damp and rot.  Building surveyors will do more than simply look around your property; they will closely expect the condition and examine the seriousness of any defects.  If not fixed and prevented, damp and rot can continue to cause damage to your building, as well as risking its contents and the health of occupants. Again, insurance quotes are likely to skyrocket in the presence of these issues.


Unsafe installations

Whether they are dated or rushed, unsafe installations, including plumbing and electricity, can be extremely dangerous to your property and the people that might frequent it.  Without a full building survey, such problems can be discovered too late, such as when an exposed live wire leads to a fire, when boilers break down or when a nail is hammered into the wall and bursts a plastic central heating pipe that has been placed too high.  To ensure the safety of yourself and others, see that your property is fully inspected before you inhabit it.


At Bradley-Mason LLP, we cover all aspects of building surveying and can perform a survey in a single visit to save you time and money. We can provide advice on the full life cycle management of your property, to reduce unnecessary costs and support your business. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help ensure you don’t receive any nasty surprises when buying your next commercial property.


DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.

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