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What to do if issues are flagged in the Home Report

Metta Stockman


When you find a property you love, it’s crucial to thoroughly review the Home Report and associated documents before even booking a viewing. This ensures you’re aware of any potential problems with the property. In this article, we discuss what to do if issues are flagged in the Home Report.

A Home Report provides an in-depth look at the property’s condition, while the seller’s questionnaire offers personal insights into the property’s context, such as any modifications or neighbour disputes. These documents aim to give buyers peace of mind but can also highlight issues that may make you reconsider proceeding with the purchase.


Does the property have neighbour problems?

Neighbour disputes can hinder a sale, and sellers are legally required to disclose any official disputes they’ve had. If a seller is dishonest about these issues, you may be able to take legal action against them. Disputes can range from noisy neighbours and late-night parties to arguments over fence heights, boundaries, and party walls. It’s essential to gather as much information as possible about these disputes before continuing with the property purchase. Decide whether you can live with or resolve these issues before proceeding.


Are there Category Three problems in the Home Report?

The Home Report assesses the condition of all aspects of the property. While many buyers might overlook a few Category Two issues, fewer are willing to proceed with Category Three repairs. These are the most serious and typically require immediate attention to prevent long-term damage or safety issues. If the property you love has Category Three repairs, consult your solicitor estate agent. Seek professional advice from relevant tradespeople to estimate the repair costs before committing to the purchase to ensure they are affordable for you.


The property has a history of flooding, subsidence, or other external factors

Serious issues like subsidence, fire history, and past flooding must be declared when listing a property for sale. The presence of Japanese knotweed, an invasive and costly problem to resolve, must also be disclosed. Use this information to decide whether you’re willing to take on the risks associated with these factors.


Have building works been approved?

If the property has undergone building work without planning department approval or appropriate certification, it may cause issues with the sale and obtaining a mortgage. Retrospective planning permission might be granted, but if the works don’t meet safety regulations, there could be serious implications. If you proceed with the purchase, you’ll become liable for these issues. You could ask the seller to apply for retrospective planning permission as a condition of sale, but this could delay the process. Alternatively, you might negotiate on the price to cover the costs of applying for planning permission yourself. Indemnity insurance is another option to protect against local authority action for unlawful extensions, but consult your solicitor estate agent for guidance.


There are building works nearby

Current owners must declare any substantial renovations or developments in the vicinity, which will typically be flagged during the pre-sale process. While these works are usually short-term, consider whether you are willing to live with the associated noise, disruption, and traffic.


Ready to proceed?

Falling in love with a property only to discover significant issues can be challenging. Ultimately, you must decide if the property’s positives outweigh the negatives. Your solicitor estate agent will guide you through the decision-making process. Find a trusted member solicitor estate agency firm to help you on your way to a happy home.