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Want A New-Build Buy To Let? Expert reveals red flags to beware…

The chartered surveyor team at Stokemont is giving advice on potential pitfalls in new build homes. 

This is from RICS-accredited valuer Bradley Mackenzie. 

Decorating  - “One of the easiest giveaways that a home is not up to standard is poor decorating. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment with visions of Ikea trips and interior Pinterest boards, but stay alert, as bumpy plastering, scratched doors, uneven cabinets are often the first sign that the build was poorly made, and you should investigate further.” 


Brick Work - “The most serious issue to look out for when buying a new home is brick pointing, and this could end up costing more than a few pennies if the root of the problem isn’t found early. If the mortar between the bricks has any gaps, it can lead to damp and even mould, and in the colder months could even lead to structural damage.” 

Windows - “Another thing that you might not spot until the colder months is the window fittings. Poor sealant, gaps in the frames, or cracks often result in damp, but in more serious cases can also be a health and safety concern. Make sure to go round every window and check them over as it is super easy to miss.” 

Insulation - “The insulation of your home is responsible for keeping the house at a comfortable temperature, and it will also have a huge impact on your energy bills. By making sure the home is properly insulated, you’ll save more money in the long run. Correct roof insulation should be a minimum of 25 cm and cover all of the roof. If there are gaps, or it seems too thin, get a professional to look at it.” 

Vents - “Vents help extract damp and are a key yet overlooked part of health and safety by many newly built homes. Ensure that the vent cover on the inside is actually connected to a vent on the outside. If possible, also check that the vent in the extractor hood and bathrooms are connected to an outside point.”

Guttering - “If the guttering in your potential new home is blocked, has gaps or cracks, or doesn’t even exist, it could be a huge problem for you in the future. Poorly fitted guttering can result in damp, and during heavy rainfall can damage your property more than you might think, and have you forking out tons of cash to fix the problem.” 

What to do if you encounter a problem with your new build? - “Most new builds come with a ‘snagging’ clause where you can report any issues you find to the builders and they will fix it. Do be warned though, this often has a time limit so if you see a problem, write it down and call the property management or builder, it will save you a big headache later down the line.”

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    What about the injustice of the case where the Landlord got an Order to pay back £10’000 virtually half the rent after they have left as I understand it.
    Apparently 3 persons came 2 saying they were a couple therefore only 2 households no
    license required. The Tenants helped the landlord print the Tenancy Agreement everything was fine & dandy. Later decided they were 3 individuals so a licensed would then be required the basis of the claim.
    Keep well clear of Alfred Place when did any landlord get the run of the green there, its totally biased but can’t say such a thing I digress. 3 looking down their noses at you the main person sometimes an ex-councillor but not a landlord.
    After all they had lived in his property license or not.
    So where is the injustice they had suffered no loss, disgraceful it wouldn’t be so bad if the landlord was fined but to give it to the Tenants is derisory and probably complicit in the fraud.


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