Study reveals most common property faults uncovered by surveyors

Damp is the most common issue to go unnoticed prior to a home survey, according to a poll of Legal & General’s team of accredited surveyors.

The study asked the surveyors about the issues they frequently find, and 34% of respondents reported that damp is the most likely problem to go undetected without a home survey.

Prolonged exposure to mould and dampness can present major health risks. Earlier this month, the government announced that a rapid review of guidance to landlords about health risks from damp and mould would take place following the death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak last year.

Aside from damp, almost one in five (19%) of respondents to the survey said that asbestos is the most common problem that buyers fail to spot. Asbestos can present a particular threat in properties where certain textured coatings were used to decorate walls and ceilings, Legal & General warned. The company explained that, depending on their age and type, the coatings could contain asbestos fibres, and so if a sander is used to flatten the surfaces, it could release harmful asbestos materials into the home.

The third most common issue revealed in the survey was the absence of building regulation approval for extensions and alterations, which was highlighted by 16% of respondents. Other issues included problems with flat roofing and Japanese knotweed.

Steve Rayers, surveying director for Legal & General Surveying Services, commented: “The main issues that go undetected, such as damp and asbestos, pose a clear health hazard and only get worse – and more expensive to fix – over time.

“Buying a house without building regulation approval is equally risky. If buyers proceed with their purchase without approval the problem becomes theirs, meaning that they must pay to fix the work or return the house to its original state.”

Trade body calls for mould and damp rental property awareness campaign

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One Comment

  1. Anonymous Coward

    I would love to see the actual way the questions were asked.

    How does a surveyor actually know the answer to this question.  They might have an opinion, but since they write the survey and never have anything else to do with the transaction, how can they know?

    I guarantee that the number 1 “most common issue to go unnoticed prior to a home survey” is that the gas central heating boiler hasn’t provably been tested recently (at the point of survey).

    But of course the solicitor will check that.

    Ditto electrics really.

    Of course if there are any damp issues, how could a solicitor know?

    Bit of a silly survey if you ask me.

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