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Wrong insulation in a buy to let? It may be unmortgageable…

A warning has been issued that as many as 250,000 homes - some likely to be in the private rental sector - are effectively unmortgageable because of their insulation.

The properties concerned are those with sprayed polyurethane expanding foams used in the lofts; a trade body says a tightening of lending criteria has left thousands of owners unable to sell as buyers get refused loans.

Alan Milstein, chair of the Residential Property Surveyors Association, says: “This has become a significant problem recently. Many of the installations we see are poorly executed and without proper consideration of moisture management within the property, leaving structural roof timbers at risk of damage or failure. And there are regular reports of mis-selling, and cold-calling of vulnerable homeowners, especially the elderly.” 


Currently there is no regulation of installers and Milstein says almost any cowboy salesman can get hold of the chemicals and the equipment to spray foam into the homes of unsuspecting owners. 

He insists that government intervention in the form of regulation is the only way through the current lending impasse.

And he adds: “We have already started to engage with those in the spray foam industry to help facilitate a regulatory framework. And so our challenge to them is to come forwards and work with us to regulate as soon as possible. That means mandatory training and qualification of installers, effective audit and review procedures, and a strict non-supply policy by manufacturers to any installer who is not properly accredited.”

Milstein says that many owners who spend thousands installing the insulation now find, upon trying to sell, that they most spend thousands to remove it.

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  • George Dawes

    Here we go

    You’ll own nothing

    Time for a revolution methinx

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    The headline should just say "wrong insulation in your property might make it hard to sell". Someone I know just sold their house and had to have this foam insulation removed before the buyer could get a mortgage. Another scandal.

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    I'm doing NOTHING about insulation in ANY property until I'm forced to do so.

    If the loony greens want to do something useful,they should tackle the scandal of faulty or dangerous insulation suppliers and installers and get the Governments to put some watertight accreditation scheme in place so we can have confidence in insulation.

    The zealots are braying for increased landlord regulation and accreditation but faulty insulation not only destroys the value of properties, it has killed more people than rogue landlords!

  • icon

    So the law of unintended consequences strikes again, early adopters as usual pay a heavy price, as said above …. I am doing nothing until I have too.

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    I had mine removed on a property when I reroofed it. What a flipping nightmare. My roofers hated me by the end.

  • Bill Wood

    I thought about this spray stuff for my own 1905 house, but in the end fixed Kingspan sheets against the lower side of the trusses. Very quick, very cheap, very effective, and absolutely no moisture issues. And if ever I need to do maintenance on the roof, I would just take the panel down. Simples!

    Zoe S

    Wasn’t aware of that - very useful to know. Thank you!

  • icon

    I don’t particularly like the spray on insulated or know if it damages the rafters or not.
    I suppose if you get it done privately the Surveyor’s miss out on their fees and Government miss out on the VAT k no small Installer not need to register so they want the money, a paper Certificate probably won’t make job any better but one less excuse for Mortgage’s Company to refuse.
    On the other hand I see Block of Flats going up with top 3 storeys constructed externally with interlocking tin, what horrible building, but its ok to give Mortgages on this

  • George Dawes

    To Bill Wood ;

    What a brilliant and above all affordable idea. !!

    Something that would totally elude the wasteful councils and government


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