Structural engineers reports

Discussion in 'General Chatter' started by jenny82, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry this is such a boring thread :haha:

    Has anyone had one of these done? Are they expensive? I have to go one done for our house, specifically the horrible wall beside our house, but I have about £100 to use. I can't get it done though if it costs more :dohh:

    I am on a 'get-my-house-sold-and-get-outta-here' mode this week so I need to get on this asap!
     
  2. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    I've not had one done but a normal complete structural report is more like £300+ depending on how thorough it is. I'm not sure if you can get the structure of a single wall examined without the stability of the whole building being taken into account. What's wrong with your wall? Normally the buyer would choose whether or not to get a structural survey done rather than the vendor.
     
  3. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    Ohhh its complicated. Guy next door (doesn't live there but owns the land) tore down the unsafe building 2 years ago and basically left the place to ruin. He put up beams on the side of our house instead of a proper gable wall (huge ugly monstrosities).

    We've approached a few estate agents about selling our house but because of the state of next door, we were basically told it would be impossible to sell. The beams that were put up might have made our wall too dependant on them, and if the beams were ever to come down, the side of our house might cave in :dohh:

    So basically, I've sent the landowner a letter (which he definitely has received as the weeds were cleared away within 2 days of letter sent) and I want the beams removed OR for him to sell us the land cheap. I just need this structural report to see if and how serious an issue it is. (hopefully the more serious, the better as we need outta here!).

    I hope it isn't as expensive as £300 as I don't have that! I managed to get one guy today and he is coming out wednesday but will give us a quote before any report is done. Better not be too expensive :(
     
  4. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    Here's what I would suggest. If you haven't got it, get legal cover added to your house building insurance. It's like £20 and they will be able to give you oodles of advice plus if it came down to it you would be insured for pressing charges if what your nrighbour has done becomes a legal issue. There are conditions about pre-existing issues prior to insurance date but that's a matter of interpretation. We had right of way issues and literally saved thousands because of our insurance legal advice. One could argue the right of way issue had existed for 150 years or certainly since the '90s when the most recent deed was drawn up but because the dispute arose within the time of the cover we were covered.

    It takes an age to sell a house at the moment and getting this sort of issue resolved is really worth it. Worth waiting a few weeks for legal cover to start.
     
  5. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    Oh and we got a structural report for our loft floor which was £75 at mates rates as my dad knows the engineer. Ring around but I think you'll be lucky to come under budget. Sorry!
     
  6. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    Ooh thats a good idea. I'll say to OH when he comes in and dig out our insurance documents now. I know its going to take a while to sell anyway but at least I feel like I'm doing somehting instead of hanging around waiting for something to happen! :)
     
  7. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    I don't know how variable the legal cover is between companies, we were with Direct Line at the time, but really we would've spent at least £3k on solicitor's letters were it not for them. They want you to settle quietly so give excellent advice! It was clear our neighbour's solicitor was spinning her a number of yarns to be able to charge for more and more letters to us in which he was totally lying!

    Anyway, check what you have first. You don't want to raise it with them if you don't have legal cover now, better to wait so they are clear it's a new issue. It sounds really dodgy from what you've said, like your neighbour is probably liable for damage to your property and could well then be liable to pay for a report too.
     
  8. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    We're with directline too! That makes me feel a bit more confident :D
     
  9. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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  10. indy and lara

    indy and lara Well-Known Member

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    Hubby not in but will ask him tonight what ballpark bill figures to look for (he's a structural engineer!). Lots of people not willing to do 'homers' now because if something goes wrong you don't have insurance cover(the engineer that is).
     
  11. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you indy & lara, that would be amazing. I've got the name of one girl who will do a homer - I just hope she will do it now after what you said about insruance. The thing is though we don't need it for purposes of building/buying a house - just advice really and confirmation that we are in the right, and the landowner in the wrong.

    Also, we can't extend our directline insurance. To get legal help, the incident needs to occur 90 days after the cover begins. But this began nearly 3 years ago now :(

    My friend that recommended *his* friend - he told me that his friend (the engineers) reckons we need a solicitor over an engineer's report, but I have no idea where to start with this. There is no way we will be able to afford solicitor's fees.

    Its so frustrating. Our lives are being held back so much by this house. I swear I will never buy another house until we're millionaires.
     
  12. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    If you get the legal now and then wait three months before taking action it should count. Like I said, our right of way issues began at the latest in the mid '90s but the action itself was during the duration of the cover.

    It would certainly cover taking out new legal action against your neighbour. Just don't kick off until you've had the cover long enough! That way it is a new dispute. They analyse your case and will try mediation options. They might cover for a engineer report maybe. If you need it to take legal action they have a bank of solicitors they will put you in touch with for advice and further action.
     
  13. indy and lara

    indy and lara Well-Known Member

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    Hubby home. He said that it would probably be about £300 to £500 to get someone out, less if you can get a homer. He was asking if it was a party wall that you both share? If so then if he has taken it down then he may have some responsibility. He also said that taking away the beams would not necesarily cause your house to collapse. It is worth remembering that the person at bank/ building society would be unlikely to have technical knowledge.
    He has offered to have a quick squizz at some photos of the wall unofficially if you take photos. It wouldn't be any use for your report but he may be able to tell you if it looks like there may be problems with your own house being structurally sound.
    Lesley
    x
     
  14. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    When I look up the directline site for info, it says this:

    "Civil claims relating to the ownership or occupation of your home including boundary and neighbour disputes (the cause of action must occur at least 90 days after cover starts)."

    But this "cause of action" means the case, not necessarily the incident then?

    To give you a quick idea, here is a link to the property as it was. Ours is the one it is attached to: https://www.flickr.com/photos/beckett_irl/sets/72157606049710312/

    I will take some photos tomorrow and post them up. Thank you so much to your hubby indy & lara!
     
  15. indy and lara

    indy and lara Well-Known Member

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    Can't access pic- says it is private!
     
  16. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    I'm not sure Jenny! Our dispute technically started a week after we moved in nearly 4 years ago and was over the terms of a deed drawn up in the mid '90s so it certainly felt like it predated our cover one way or another but the official dispute (ie when she started bawling at me in my garden, parking in it etc) was much later. We'd had the cover plenty of time by then.

    Based on my experience I'd say it was worth a shot as you've nothing to lose. Since what happened to us I'd say it's worth the 20 odd quid anyway in case of other stuff in the future. I had no idea that the legal cover included this sort of thing and it's really very cheap! But it's entirely your call!
     
  17. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    Oh no - OH must've made his flickr account private recently :/

    I will take some pics when I get home at 12 today and put them up. I was also sent a link to the party wall act which is quite useful in seeing where we stand.

    I would need to know for sure if the insurance company would cough up if we were to take out the benefits plus package. Would regular solicitors know about this kindof thing? I have a couple of cousins who are solicitors so I could ask them, in case they've dealt in cases where people used their home insurnace company to pay...
     
  18. jenny82

    jenny82 Well-Known Member

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    Ok ladies - here are the pics I took today. Isn't that awful?

    It sucks as our wee house is actually quite nice but outside is a different matter altogether.

    ETA: The weeds in that space were 7foot high. Last week I sent them an initial letter outlining what we wanted to happen. Within a day, the weeds were gone. I imagine that they thought that this was enough to keep us quiet, only its not :haha:
     
  19. PeanutBean

    PeanutBean Mumma to Byron & Indigo

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    WTH?! Did you neighbour knock down a terrace and prop up your wall?! I would take those photos to citizen's advice first to see what they say. Often solicitors do a stint there. If that is out of their league I would look for a solicitor doing a free initial consultation to give you an idea of your standing.
     
  20. indy and lara

    indy and lara Well-Known Member

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    I've pmed you x
     

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