My survey says the property has problems with the plumbing


This is not unusual. In fact most properties (technically) do have plumbing issues and the older the property - especially period properties - the more problems.

The reason behind this is that laws and regulations that govern plumbing installations are constantly evolving and being updated to make properties safer and longer lasting.

As soon as there is a change in the law or a regulation most properties already built are instantly out of date and so have "problems".

But updates are not normally retrospective - the new law or regulation is for all properties built from that day forward.

Surveyors normally take this into account and will only flag up serious issues such as water piping or drainage at risk of leaking.

But, but, but ... a surveyor is not a plumber. He is only providing a point of view that will need to be checked by a qualified specialist.

To find out if there are real issues you'll need to pay a qualified plumber to go and have a look. Estate agents normally have a few they can recommend.

The plumber will obviously be looking for some work so expect a cost estimate but remember to sort the "nice to have updates" from the "needs to be done as there is a high risk of damage/flooding" work.

Depending on the plumbers report/quote and the state of the market you might consider attempting to renegotiate the sale price with the vendor.

To find out more about how to handle plumbing issues the smart way when purchasing a property pick up a copy of my ebook How to Really Buy a Property.

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How to Really Buy a Property

"... homebuyers survey is the usual choice for those buying a flat. It looks at any defects on the property such as the windows, flooring, plumbing, damp and, if there is access, the roof. A structural survey is usually chosen by those purchasing a house as it includes everything in the homebuyers report as well as an inspection of the..."
"... - an electrician to see if there is anything unusual or "unsafe" in the way the property is wired. plumbing - a plumber to check the piping and central heating system (if gas) are sound Roofing - a roofer to inspect the tiling, flashings, parapets, rafters and chimney stacks. Structure -..."

"... below is almost a check list of where the surveyor will choose one or two items for further investigation: Damp The Roof The Electrics The plumbing The Structure Remember a good surveyor will simply say "there is damp which requires further investigation". A bad surveyor will say..."
"... all the ins and outs of a survey report the crucial question is value. If the survey report talks about roof or plumbing but concludes that the property is worth what you have offered then trying to renegotiate price is at your own risk. Too many people ignore this fact. Most properties are old, very old, and problems or future works are to be expected. The surveyor knows this and that is why they conclude their report: "In its current condition and in the current market the property is worth £x". And if £x is the price you have agreed with the vendor then so be..."

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Property Terminology