Liam now has the keys for his first property - but there were a few surprises in store. By utilising advice and guidance from PPP’s network of specialists, Liam has managed to resolve the issues and conversion is now under way.

"Hooray! We finally recieved the keys for one of the properties on Tuesday 26th August, almost four months after our offer was accepted. This property is the family home (three bed semi with garage) that we originally intended to convert to a seven bed HMO, but decided on six when we realised that our plans would almost certainly fall foul of planning restrictions. Nonetheless, the builder (who had worked with a few other Partners) commenced the conversion to a six bed HMO the very next day after we exchanged - we were thrilled!

However, within 48 hours we’d gone from ‘hooray’ to ‘oh no’ as the builder had found some significant issues with the property.

We were already aware that there was a missing lintel above one of the bedroom windows, but soon came to understand that this was the tip of the iceberg when it came to fundamental ‘missing’ items. Upon ripping out the bathroom upstairs, which was above the existing kitchen extension, one of the builders noticed a bit of give on the wall. In fact, a gentle push on the wall actually caused it to sway! The floorboards were lifted to investigate further only to find (or not as the case may be) that there were no steel supports in the extended kitchen.

Quite incredibly, they (still not sure who) had gone to the expense of extending the kitchen and not put any steel supports in – the back of the house was basically just held up by bricks and good will.

So it was tools down to get a structural engineer on site. We asked him to do a full survey whilst he was there to see what other ‘things’ were missing, and it was a surprisingly and disappointingly long list. So much so, and for reasons that no one can understand let alone guess to, a significant number of roof supports in the attic had also been removed!

Fortunately it wasn’t a worst-case scenario and rather than needing underpinning, the remedial action was to put in appropriate steel supports … where they should have been in the first place! This of course will cost us one to two weeks in time and at least a few thousand quid (still waiting final number), but it could have been much, much worse. As the surveyor advised us, the building would have to have been condemned without the remedial work being undertaken.

We are currently waiting for our lawyer to come back to us to see if we’ve got any recourse with the vendor as to whether or not we can prove whether there has been a lack of disclosure."

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