Surveying Property - DIY Risk Checks

Flood risk, radon, subsidence and local crime rates

When buying a property it’s essential to do your homework.

 

Before arranging your survey there’s a lot you can find out yourself online. For example you can check any obvious risks from flooding, radon and ground contamination, along with local crime rates. 

It’s also worth visiting the local authority’s website to search planning applications for the property you’re buying. Surprisingly, standard conveyancing searches don’t check whether your new neighbours have made any planning applications – so be sure to check this too!

Armed with this information you could ask your conveyancer and surveyor for their professional advice.

 

Tree roots and buildings

Advice from RICS  including safe distances to plant trees from buildings to prevent subsidence

 

Check flood risk

Just type in your post code to find out if your property is at risk – from sea/river flooding or from surface water & reservoirs

 

Check local crime rates

Compare crime rates and outcomes in your postcode area

 

Check for radon

Click the map to find out more about Radon risk, including Electromagnetic fields (EMFs)

Map of England and Wales showing estimated percentage of homes above the radon Action level

 

Ground contamination

If the site a property was built on was ‘brownfield land’ – i.e. former industrial / non residential use –  your conveyancing solicitor should be able to confirm this from local authority land searches.  In areas where there was any significant risk the developers would normally have been required to make the site safe as a condition of their planning consent, and the methods used approved by Building Control.

The problem with paying for a special ‘Enviro Report’ is they tend to be very long-winded yet rather vague, hence they can worry you unnecessarily.  Testing for contamination involves digging boreholes which can be very expensive. So the Local Authority is normally your best bet in the first instance.

 


FREE RICS downloads in PDF format

 

Home-Surveys

Subsidence

Party Wall Guide

Flooding

 

Boundary Disputes

Buying a home

 

Buying a home SCOTLAND

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

    Save money by cutting out the banks

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    By arranging your home survey directly online - rather than via a mortgage lender - you can save the large chunk of the survey fee that the banks normally keep. They may still want to instruct a valuer to carry out their mortgage valuation, but don’t let them try to sell you an expensive Homebuyer or Building Survey from one of the large, target-driven, corporate firms on their 'panel'.

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