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Surveyors Report on my house scared my buyer

I have had a surveyors report on my house, the purchaser of my cottage was kind enough to send me a copy.  On the whole, I didn’t know what to expect from the report so decided not to worry about it. My first mistake.  What I hadn’t realised was that the surveyor was a complete and utter arse.  As you can see, this post is going to be very complimentary about the arse.

Surveyors report on my house

Report on my house for sale

I live in a tiny house, a two up two down style of Victorian Cottage built around 1860.  The date is significant on this occasion.  My cottage is very sweet; some would say quaint.  My cottage is one of 12 that all have front gardens and a back alley with communal entry at the front and back.  We are directly in front of another row of cottages.  The story I was told when I purchased the house was that there two farmers.  They disliked each other immensely and would always try and outdo each other.  Farmer one built his tenants a warm brick cottage.  The other farmer, not wanting to be outdone, built cottages for his tenants.  However, the cottages (the second farmer) built his tenanted cottages 10 yards in front of the first farmer’s cottages, blocking their views.

My Cottage

Communal Garden Path commented on by Surveyors Report on my house

Communal Garden Path

My cottage has a garden, that is over 180 foot long, in fact, I rent out the top part of the garden as an allotment.  However, my cottage garden is in front of my neighbour’s cottage with a communal path separating the house from the garden.  The story of the offset garden is that the cottages had been compulsorily purchased in the past.  When they became privately owned, someone measured out the gardens so that every cottage had the same size garden.  However, they forgot to add the length of a path for each cottage.  So all cottages gardens are out by one path length which is why my garden is opposite my neighbour.  Like I said, quaint.

The cottages have a beautiful community feel, and my neighbours are fantastic.  There is always someone ready to help and give advice when asked.  I like living there.  However, I have decided that I want a bigger house with a craft room.  I put the house on the market ready to make this fantastic craft room I was after.

After eight months, I had an offer on the cottage.  It wasn’t what I wanted, but it was an offer and craft room here I come or so I thought. The cottages are so unusual that they won’t appeal to everyone so I knew it might take some time.  This was when my purchaser decided that he would contact a surveyor to check out the cottage.

Surveyors Report on my house

Never having been in contact with a surveyor, I didn’t think anything of it.  This is my first mistake.  I  had no idea that a surveyors report on my house could be so upsetting.  The report, totalling 73 pages on a two up two down house was devastating.  If he were creating a dissertation or essay on an older property, I would have given him an A*.  A surveyors report on my house he gets an F.  Wading through the report these are my observations:

  • Surveyed the wrong garden, even though my neighbour told him he was in the wrong garden
  • Noted missing slates on my neighbour’s roof that was in my report to repair
  • Wanted me to dig up a communal path so that there was no concrete near my house for up to 1 meter
  • Get planning permission for my second bedroom that was built when the house was built – how I will get the builder to sign the project off from 1860 still baffles me
  • Excavate my front garden by 8 inches to prevent rising damp
  • Excavate my front garden by 8 inches just in case there is some flooding as  you take a step down into my house
  • Advised the purchaser to get insurance for subsidence on a cottage that has been there for 200 years and no evidence of subsidence
  • Get insurance for rising damp even though there is no evidence of rising damp
  • Took pictures of another neighbours roof with comments

Like I said he was, is and will be an arse.  There were other things in the report as well, that were inaccurate, but the above were the major ones.  Naturally, the buyer pulled out.  To be honest, so would I if I had this report.  With my buyer pulling out, I am now stuck with costs of the house I was going to buy (surveyor, solicitor etc) and selling expenses that seem to mount up.  I have spent over £5000 and have nothing to show for it except a 73-page report.

What did the surveyors report on my house get right?

He did get a few things right:

  • The skirting boards in my living room had excessive moisture in them.  20% is acceptable, and my reading was about 27%
  • There was some mortar lose on my chimney that needed repair
  • There was no damp course, (the cottage was built in 1860, they didn’t install a damp course then)

The Results

As a result, my buyer withdrew his offer.  I then lost my dream house and am right back at the beginning of the sales process.  Back to living like a ghost.

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