Five common issues identified by a home survey

September 23, 2020 4:58 pm


Thinking of putting your house on the market but nervous about what the surveyor for any prospective purchaser might find? If a survey report indicates areas of concern this could mean at best your house valuation is lowered or at worst, the purchasers being unwilling to continue or unable to borrow the amount they need.

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Buying a property is almost certainly the single biggest investment people ever make, so seeking an objective evaluation which highlights defects, issues or repairs, provides peace of mind and allows informed decisions to be made. A survey is almost certain to take place when a mortgage lender is involved.

How can I ensure a smooth and trouble-free survey?

Start by making a list of all the potential problems that might be spotted by the surveyor and address these issues or at least be prepared to negotiate when it comes to the sale price.

What are the top five?

Structural problems

A homebuyers survey will determine whether cracks in a property are major and if so, the underlying cause of the problem.

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Damp comes in many forms – penetrating damp from roofs or rising damp. Simple condensation caused by poor ventilation. Wet rot, dry rot or damp from leaking water pipes. If damp is detected, your homebuyers survey should identify the cause and indicate how this can be repaired.


Not just the external visual appearance of the chimney, tiles or roof covering and potential blocked gutters and downpipes but also problems internally such as inadequate insulation and poor roof ventilation which could lead to condensation.


Windows are windows as long as you can see through them – right? Not exactly – many replacement windows are not as strong as the original, causing the areas immediately surrounding the window to crack.

Building Regulations

Has the property been extended or altered in any way – if so, it must be compliant with Building Regulations; retrospective building control approval is possible, this is known as ‘regularisation’ – by utilising the knowledge of a surveyor, and commissioning a homebuyers survey will highlight this as an area of interest.

Any others?

The list is not exhaustive and could also include items such as electrical test certification, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, insect infestations, invasive plants, faulty drainage, asbestos, flat roof condition, etc.