Be Aware! – Top 10 Property Defects


iStock-122831121_high Watch Out for These Top 10 Property Defects
It’s easy to assume that a property is in perfect condition on first glance, but many homes in London are hiding defects worth thousands in repairs. Some issues are minor nuisances that could help you reduce the property’s asking price, but others may dissuade you from risking your investment and family’s future.
A full building survey report includes urgent defects, areas for improvement and an overall estimate for the repairs, and hiring a chartered surveyor is often much more affordable than having to fix defects later down the line. Here are ten of the most common problems affecting London properties that you might want to know about before making an offer.
You don’t have to risk purchasing a potentially hazardous home that could cost thousands to remedy because our affordable building surveyors can perform a comprehensive inspection and have a report in your inbox the following day.

  1. Dampness
    Dampness may arise due to a number of issues such as defective weatherproofing, failed damp-proof courses, defective rainwater goods, and while it can wreak havoc on a property, it can also lead to mould growth, a fungus that adversely affects our skin, nervous system and lungs. Fortunately, a thorough damp test is included in a building survey.
  1. Timber defects- Dry/wet Rot, woodworm
    Excessive moisture can spur the growth of destructive fungi, which in addition to infestations like woodworm, can lead to timber rot if left untreated. Just some of the many issues that can lead to excessive moisture include damaged guttering, poor roof ventilation and plumbing leaks.
  1. Faulty Roofs
    Common problems include leaking and defective roof coverings that can cost thousands to repair, which is a small fraction of what a building survey costs.
  1. Asbestos
    Even though the use of asbestos in properties was completely banned in 1999, there are still thousands of properties at risk in London. Chartered surveyors will check your new property’s roof, cupboard lining, vinyl floors and ceiling to make sure you’re not unknowingly exposed to this dangerous carcinogen when you move in.
  1. Windows
    Windows can cost hundreds or even thousands to repair/replace, but some issues are harder to spot than others. A building survey uncovers potentially costly problems such as timber rot and condensation in double glazing.
  1. Structural Movement
    Many London homes are at risk of structural movement due to being constructed on shrinkable clay, which is why building surveyors look for signs of past movement and offer expert advice.
  1. Gas and Electrical Services
    Leaking gas services and faulty wiring are just two examples of common problems that pose safety issues and can be costly to fix. While RICS surveyors can only perform a visual inspection of your gas and electrical utilities, we can arrange for licensed contractors to carry out a thorough test.
  1. Fire Safety Systems
    As the recent Grenfell Tower disaster tragically proved, neglected fire safety is a real threat facing many London properties. A building surveyor will inspect your building’s fire doors, smoke alarms, escape routes and more to ensure it meets current safety regulations.
  1. Flooding
    Many homes in London, particularly near the River Thames, are at risk of flooding. Extending a basement also carries the risk of flooding from drains and surface water. A building survey report includes a flood risk map so that you can gauge the potential danger.
  1. Drains
    This is an element of a property that’s hard to inspect without a trained eye. The best way to tell if potentially costly drain problems exist is to hire a professional to perform a CCTV survey.

How You Can Avoid Paying Too Much for a Defect-Riddled Home

Call us on 020 7736 2383 to speak directly with a RICS Chartered Surveyor or get your free quote within seconds using our straightforward tool.


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114307615494839964028 Watch Out for These Top 10 Property Defects
Daniel Vernazza
10:41 29 Apr 18
I highly recommend David. Very good technical knowledge. He was always available for our questions, which included a detailed call on the same day as the survey. The written survey report was clear, detailed and included pictures and estimates of the cost of repairs.
114307615494839964028 Watch Out for These Top 10 Property Defects
James Allen
14:12 18 May 18
We had two homebuyers surveys conducted by James. He was extremely knowledgeable, transparent and went the extra mile to inform my girlfriend and I of the results of each survey. Would highly recommend.
114307615494839964028 Watch Out for These Top 10 Property Defects
James Palairet
11:16 09 Jan 18
David gave us a fantastic service and has been a huge help during our property purchase process. We have had 2 surveys carried out, both of which were arranged very promptly. Thorough and extremely useful telephone calls and full written reports were received shortly afterwards. David's reports and advice have been invaluable to us.
114307615494839964028 Watch Out for These Top 10 Property Defects
Sarah Dixon
14:13 08 Jan 18
I have worked with David and his team as a buying agent for many years now. The service they offer is an excellent one, timely with a commonsensical approach. I would recommend them to anyone.
114307615494839964028 Watch Out for These Top 10 Property Defects
Elif Erdine
14:30 04 Oct 17
Very experienced firm and friendly staff. Highly recommended.
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