Hazardous wiring - Surveyor has 'grave concerns' about London home

Mr S was considering spending the considerable sum of £625, 000 on a property in Clapham, South London when he ordered a Home Buyers Survey. The Chartered Surveyor, Mr O, informed him that the four-bedroom home was a reasonable purchase, however he harboured major concerns regarding the safety of the electrical wiring.

Building Survey in London provides extra reassurance in a slightly unusual home

Mr S chose to have the property subjected to a full and comprehensive Building Survey (rather than a HomeBuyer Report).  

He also asked for a valuation to be included in the report. Unlike the HomeBuyer Report, which provides a valuation as part of the service, Building Surveys only include a market estimate on request. Instead they focus on the structural minutiae of the home.

The property fell outside the normal age range for a Building Survey in London. Normally for properties younger than 75 years, a HomeBuyer Report is more than sufficient to discover any lurking defects.  

In this case, the London property had been extended significantly in 1994. We usually recommend that buyers order a Building Survey (formerly known as the Full Structural Survey) when a buyer:

  • Notices this kind of extension or improvement work.
  • Harbours concerns about the condition of the property.
  • Or if the property is simply of an unusual construction type.

Chartered Surveyor uncovers significant electrical flaws

When he crawled into the roof void, Mr O, the Chartered Surveyor, was dismayed to find poorly-fitted and potentially hazardous electrical wiring. In fact, much of the property’s power infrastructure was unsafe.

In his final report, Mr O said: 

“We have grave concerns in regards to the condition of the wiring notable in the roof void, airing cupboard and boiler cupboard; we also noted loose light fittings on the top landing and faulty light switch in the rear bedroom. We therefore strongly urge a test by an NICEIC registered electrician is carried out now for your own safety. ”

This could lead to expensive repairs for Mr S. However, he now had the opportunity to turn a bad situation into a good one. He could now request that the seller take measures to secure the property and its electrical goods before he spent more than half a million pounds on it.