Home Buyers Survey in Hertfordshire exposes numerous safety hazards

Potentially serious defects requiring immediate action discovered during a Home Buyers Survey in Hertfordshire

This Hertfordshire detached house valued at £327, 500 found to have potential electrical, gas and heating hazards.

The mains electricity supply and meter had no current inspection and test certificate, residual current device (RCD) or miniature circuit breakers (MCBs) - features that offer protection against electrocution and fire that should be installed as standard. It was suggested in the HomeBuyer Report that a qualified electrician should inspect and repair the system immediately.

Missing paperwork is no small matter

The Home Buyers Survey in Hertfordshire also found no sign that the mains gas supply had been tested within the last 12 months, and recommended that this be done by an appropriate gas safety professional as soon as practicable.

The boiler, located in the utility room, did not have any supporting documents to show that it had been fully inspected.  Also, during the Home Buyers Survey no documentary evidence was found of the testing of the heating elements throughout the property, even though it was claimed they had been tested fairly recently.

Aware of the potentially fatal danger if these tests are not completed, the Surveyor noted these as a Condition 3 problem, advising the necessary reports be requested from the seller before exchanging contracts.

Other repair works discovered during the Home Buyers Survey in Hertfordshire:

  • Areas of rot and decay were found at the top of a single-storey section of the house. The Hertfordshire HomeBuyer Report also mentioned that specialised access equipment such as scaffolding and hydraulic platforms would be needed due to the height of the work, and this would likely mean extra cost.
  • The conservatory windows were no longer fully sealed and needed replacement.
  • One of the doors on the ground floor had glass installed into it that may not have been safety glass, meaning it could be hazardous if someone were to fall against it.  The Report suggested this should be inspected and made safe.  
  • The “open riser” style of staircase in the property could be unsafe for small children, due to gaps between each stair presenting a potential trip hazard.

Why paperwork matters

Although no major structural issues were identified during this Home Buyers Survey in Hertfordshire the Surveyor was by no means exaggerating the risks associated with the lack of certification.

50 people die each year in their homes as a result of Carbon Monoxide poisoning alone, but this statistic pales in comparison with fire related deaths and injuries - In 2010-11, the number of casualties rose by 2 per cent to 7, 400, with 213 deaths caused by fire-related deaths in the home.

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