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Home Report - Major Omission


pyracantha
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We recently viewed an end of terrace red sandstone 3 bed (East Renfrewshire). The home report made reference to a minor crack to the back wall render but said nothing about the crack that ran from the soffit down to about the DPC level on the end wall. The crack zig-zagged between the sandstone blocks (ie along the mortar lines) and was about finger wide.

I was increasingly suspicious when I saw half of the end-facing garden wall had been rebuilt with neither the old nor new walls being vertical (Handy spirit level app' confirming eye impression) - bizarrely one wall leaned in and the other out. The road slopes down towards the end of the terrace.

I went to see the EA about this who tried to find a reference in the HR to the crack but couldn't - and to be honest I think he played the "oh, is there a crack?" line. He left a message with the surveyor but of course no-one got back to me before the closing-date.

We didn't offer, largely on the basis of the crack (and I'm closing-date averse) but I wondered what the legal position is regarding such a large omission from the HR. Can the surveyor say it was accidental?

(Edited for minor detail changes)

Edited by pyracantha
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Our last house had lots of cracks, thats why we got it a bit cheaper :unsure:

When we came to sell it I had filled all of the cracks inside and out with polyfiller and redecorated so that you could not see the cracks. Anyhow it flew through the valuation survey and the next mug bought it.

It turns out that the house next door was destroyed by a bomb during WW2 and thats why our house was full of cracks + I am sure that when next door was built during the 80's it moved the foundations. The cracks / slippage was so bad that where they run through the window ledges I had to use a grinder + filler to level out the ledges where it had cracked and slipped.

IMO, if you are selling then it is best to superficially coverup these issues as best as you can before trying to offload the house to the next mug.

:rolleyes::unsure:

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We recently viewed an end of terrace red sandstone 3 bed. The home report made reference to a minor crack to the back wall render but said nothing about the crack that ran from the soffit down to about the DPC level on the end wall. The crack zig-zagged between the sandstone blocks (ie along the mortar lines) and was about finger wide.

I was increasingly suspicious when I saw half of the end-facing garden wall had been rebuilt with neither the old or new walls being vertical (Handy spirit level app confirming eye impression) - bizarrely one wall leaned in and the other out.

I went to see the EA about this who tried to find a reference in the HR to the crack but couldn't. He left a message with the surveyor but of course no-one got back to me before the closing-date.

We didn't offer, largely on the basis of the crack (and I'm closing-date averse) but I wondered what the legal position is regarding such a large omission from the HR. Can the surveyor say it was accidental?

Very little legal comeback on Home Reports. Not worth the paper their printed on IMO.

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We recently viewed an end of terrace red sandstone 3 bed. The home report made reference to a minor crack to the back wall render but said nothing about the crack that ran from the soffit down to about the DPC level on the end wall. The crack zig-zagged between the sandstone blocks (ie along the mortar lines) and was about finger wide.

A (nice) Edinburgh-based surveyor once told me that victorian/edwardian terraces are frequently prone to subsidence at their ends. Apparently, when excavating foundations, the trench would typically be deeper at the terrace's centre than at the ends. Presumably this isn't limited to Edinburgh.

I remember visiting a huge Morninside end-of-terrace in 2011 (way over budget, but nosiness trumps that) that had a very similar crack to the one you describe. In that case, the Home Report did make mention of it (though it refrained from using such pejorative terms as 'subsidence'), and most viewers were contemplating it with their chin in their hands, humming knowingly. Rumour has it that the new owners spent of over 50k underpinning the house.

If it's so obvious that even a superficial visual inspection can't miss it, is there really no legal/financial recourse for an unwitting (i.e. dumb) purchaser? I'd have (naively?) thought/hoped that there was some surveyor's guild/body/association/club that demanded its members take out insurance against such claims?

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