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Home report / survey - anything to be concerned about?

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Hi all, I am a first time buyer looking to buy a property (top floor flat in period building) in Edinburgh and would appreciate some advice on a couple ratings/remarks in the home report. All items in the home report had a rating of 1 (no action needed) with the exception of two (copied below) which had a rating of 2 (future repairs likely). No items had a rating of 3 (urgent repairs).

Dampness, rot and infestation: Random checks for damp were made wherever possible using an electronic damp meter. Evidence of high moisture  was noted at lounge and this needs to be rectified and any surrounding timbers examined for dampness or rot. 

Internal walls - Evidence of water ingress noted at the lounge wall and repairs will be required. There is a risk of dry linings may conceal dampness or defects which would otherwise be identified.  

Is this anything to be concerned about and any advice on how to proceed? Should I ask the seller to obtain an estimate of the cost of repairs or are these types of remarks standard for a period property? Many thanks in advance. 

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'Evidence of water ingress noted at the lounge wall and repairs will be required'   this is not normal for any property/period property - it is clearly saying that water is getting in, which will cause damage. As it is on the top floor, the water leak could be related to the roof or where the roofline meets the top of the window.

Also being on the top floor, finding the cause and repairing it is all the more difficult and expensive.

I would ring the surveyor and get some more detail, e.g did they notice any defects (or unusual feature)  externally that cause the water ingress?

Also revisit the property, look carefully at the area where water is getting in, how bad is it? does it look/feel/smell damp?

Depending on how helpful/genuine the seller is, a good starting point would be for them to get a tradesman to investigate the problem from the outside, and quote to repair. If they are unwilling, then i'd be looking at a hefty reduction in the offer price as insurance, as it might not be a simple repair.

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High moisture in the lounge on a top floor flat says leaking roof probably the flashing around a chimney. 60% of "rising damp" is actually water travelling downwards within the wall until it hits something that deflects it. The internal wall water ingress tends to back this up.

What to do about it? If a room smells musty when you first open a door then something is already rotting, if this is the case it will be costly to repair since you will have to involve the flats below.

Flying a drone to look at the roof, while illegal, would probably give you a better insight to the state of the roof. Look for poor pointing on the brickwork and cracked wall cappings etc.

If this is a flat that you intend to live in, I suggest you look elsewhere. In the past I've bought a house with a demolition order on it and restored it but living with floors torn up and building mess in a house is quite different from a top floor flat. Generally, items marked as a 1 are things you need to attend to since they will only get worse and make it harder to sell. If the price reflects the work needed and you are prepared to do it, that is a different judgement.

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Thanks both for the advice. I haven't viewed the property yet and can't comment on visuals/smell. Viewing would involve significant travel as I'm not based near Edinburgh. 

I'm inclined to inform the seller's solicitor that I'm unwilling to make an offer based on the current state. There is too much uncertainty/risk and as a new owner I don't want the hassle of managing the process of getting the repair work done and persuading co-owners to pay their share. From what I understand the potential repair work could involve ripping up floors and knocking down walls. My preference would be for the seller to take care of this. This may lead to a price increase which I'd be prepared for but removes a large element of risk.

 

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On ‎04‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 09:15, Andy T said:

'Evidence of water ingress noted at the lounge wall and repairs will be required'   this is not normal for any property/period property - it is clearly saying that water is getting in, which will cause damage. As it is on the top floor, the water leak could be related to the roof or where the roofline meets the top of the window.

Also being on the top floor, finding the cause and repairing it is all the more difficult and expensive.

I would ring the surveyor and get some more detail, e.g did they notice any defects (or unusual feature)  externally that cause the water ingress?

Also revisit the property, look carefully at the area where water is getting in, how bad is it? does it look/feel/smell damp?

Depending on how helpful/genuine the seller is, a good starting point would be for them to get a tradesman to investigate the problem from the outside, and quote to repair. If they are unwilling, then i'd be looking at a hefty reduction in the offer price as insurance, as it might not be a simple repair.

See above response - forgot to quote

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