Many buyers ignore potentially serious structural issues, poll suggests

A third of house buyers in Britain turn a blind eye to serious structural issues and risk losing thousands, according to new research.

Overall, more than half don’t even check for major issues such as rising damp, central heating, electrics, and structural problems, the survey from Atom bank has found.

Some 54% admitted to not investigating common issues such as damp, the same number not looking at potential central heating issues, 58% ignoring electrical issues, and 59% roof problems, while 67% overlooked asbestos concerns and 61% structural concerns.

The app points out that common issues like these can often clock up major bills if not flagged during the buying process. The cost of damp proofing a single wall costs around £500, a new boiler is on average £1,995, a house requiring a rewire would be around £3,000, while the cost of a new roof can be in excess of £8,250.

The research also found that 82% of buyers admit to not looking out for Japanese Knotweed in the garden, known as the UK’s most invasive plant which can cost as much as £20,000 to rectify.

‘It is clear more education is needed for house buyers to highlight the items they should be looking for when viewing a house,’ said David Castling, director of intermediary lending at Atom.

‘It’s easy to be drawn in by lovely decor, but questions about the history and integrity of the building should be asked from the very first appointment, and investing in a reputable surveyor and solicitor may well be the best investment you can make when it comes to your new home,’ he pointed out.

‘We hope this research helps to highlight the issues. House hunting should an exciting and enjoyable experience, but it pays to make sensible enquiries from the off,’ he added.