What to do if my survey says the property has problems with the roof


A roof is generally expected to last about 20 years. If the roof is ten years old and the surveyor has said you should expect to replace it in 10 years time, this is normal and not a place where you can expect to renegotiate the sale price with the vendor.

This is really important because understanding the difference between a "problem" and an observation about the general (and normal) state of something is critical to avoiding unnecessary conflicts, especially in a market where vendors know there are plenty of other buyers out there.

If the surveyor believes there is an actual problem with the roof they will put a retention on the valuation - basically saying they agree the property is worth what you have offered but not until the roof is checked out by a specialist.

That said its always nice to know what work might be just around the corner so getting a qualified roofer to come and take a look is no harm - the estate agent can usually recommend a few.

In fact when I am involved in the purchase of a period house I always get a roofer in anyway. I expect there will be works now and going forward, that is the nature of older properties, but getting the heads up as to what they are helps me budget.

To get all the details on how to handle roofing issues the smart way when you're purchasing a property pick up a copy of my ebook How to Really Buy a Property.

Search Results for 'roof' in
How to Really Buy a Property

"... surveyors should never estimate the cost of works; When rising damp, penetrating damp, subsidence, cracking, sagging roofs, bulging walls and all the other frightening things in a surveyor's report might be serious, and when they are not; Why asking the vendor to carry out work is not..."

"... and that is two years too long. The need to own - Britain is one of many countries where people yearn for their own roof and four walls. It's an emotion that doesn't apply in Germany where a vast sector of the population rent for their entire lives. Speculating - while a market is falling..."

"... houses maintenance is far more substantial and it is here that the novice investor can make mistakes because houses often appear to have a better yield. On first inspection there is no service charge or ground rent to pay and so the rental profit appears much better. But it is essential to remember that the costs of roof and window repairs or replacements, as two examples, can be..."
"... a house where the mortgage payments will be £1,000 but the rental will be £1,700 and assume it will be tenanted for 11 months out of 12 every year. The profit is £8,400 per year. Now in year three the roof needs to be replaced at a cost of £25,000. This has instantly wiped out all the profit since the purchase. Period properties also need periodic work on the bricks, windows and possibly the damp proofing so it is extremely easy to start loosing money instead of making..."

"... that you are not looking for your ideal property, you haven't got the deposit so by definition you cannot afford it. You are looking for a stepping stone to your ideal property. If you are also financially stretched, even if someone else would be happy to pay your deposit on that lovely Victorian flat, what happens when the roof needs to be replaced and each leaseholder has to find..."
"... beauty of new developments is that they have little character. They are also extremely cheap to maintain unless you are paying for the upkeep of a communal gym, porterage, swimming pool, etc. Everything inside is also guaranteed for at least twelve months and the fabric of the building (roof, walls, foundations, etc.) are usually guaranteed for ten years...."

"... Moving Home - It is very common for people to move around while they are renting and on their way up the career ladder but if there was no proof that you were ever at a particular address the lender is going to get suspicious. Remember to always register yourself to vote, tell your mobile phone company your new address, and so on. Create a verifiable paper..."

"... Many buyers take offense here but for no good reason. You 'phone an agent who says he needs to see proof of finances before going on a viewing. Your first instinct may well be to feel insulted, here is someone who does not believe you. You almost feel as if you are being accused of lying! ..."
"... a Service Charge: This is usual where the building has been split into flats or has been built as a block of flats. The Freeholder is responsible for maintaining the external structure from repainting the external walls to replacing the roof. It's the dull and boring side of being a freeholder and so he often hires managing agents to do the job for him. Whether or not he does, you will need to contribute towards these costs. He is responsible for doing them but you are responsible for providing the funds. The exact ins and outs of how this works, what he is responsible for, what percentage you must contribute and a whole lot more are laid out in the..."
"... a Service Charge: It is up to the partners in a share of freehold how they pay for the maintenance of the building. There is no right or wrong way but if the freehold company has no savings it would be wise for you to set up your own separate private account just in case the roof decides it has seen better days! The most popular methods for financing a Share of Freehold property..."

"... will want to deal with you only. Show your serious intentions by attaching proof of your ability to proceed (an agreement in principle or pre-arranged mortgage), the solicitor you have chosen and a bank statement or otherwise proving the cash element. Things that will always act in your..."
"... works in your favour. Being open and clear - the more the agent can tell the vendor, the more your offer will shine. If the agent can say, "This is a cash buyer and he has shown me his bank statement as proof" this is much better than "He says he is a cash buyer". Laying down timescales -..."

"... if you have not been in debt in the past you will also have a poor credit history and a low credit score. This is because there is no proof that you are any good at handling debt. It is the financial angels of life who have never had a credit card or taken a loan that can have the biggest problems securing a..."
"... important your credit score is also depends on how much of the property's value you want to borrow. This ratio is known to lenders as Loan To Value (LTV). As an example if the property is worth £100,000 and you want to borrow £95,000 your LTV is 95%. In the lenders eyes that's risky business. You are only putting in five percent and you want them to stump up the rest. In this situation you may have to provide much more proof of your financial stability than a buyer who is prepared to go halves with the..."
"... surveyor may decide that the property is worth the money you are prepared to pay as long as he can be sure that a certain issue is not going to be a major problem. He may, for example, believe the roof is at the end of its natural life and will need to be replaced. This could cost over £10,000 and may affect the property value. He will therefore place a retention on the value. This may say, "I agree the property is worth £250,000 once the roof has been checked. Until this has been done I am not convinced the property is worth more than..."
"... 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..."
"... chaff you may decide you want to have further inspections. The most common are: Damp - a damp proofing company to see if the damp found by the surveyor is significant enough to warrant tampering with the walls. Electrics - an electrician to see if there is anything unusual or "unsafe" in the..."
"... 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 - a structural engineer to make sure that there is no movement in the building beyond the..."
"... anything the solicitor feels is unusual. This is the time to check that all the things you thought were there (such as a parking space or the right to use a communal roof terrace) really are! With this report will be a contract for you to sign. Putting your signature on this paper is not..."
"... will still want to have the same piece of mind. Guarantees - these are the actual guarantees that have been specified in the Seller's Questionnaire. Common items that may be covered by guarantees are the roof, damp proofing, structural work, etc. Planning Consents - these are only required if..."
"... to Assign (Leasehold Only) - for most purchases this is a formality. It is a document from the managing agents or freeholder saying they accept you as the new leaseholder. There are some blocks, however, where you will have to provide character references, proof of your financial status and sometimes even attend for an interview. They are rare and, more often than not, in the upmarket apartments of Mayfair and..."

"... difference between rising damp and penetrating damp; How to check more than a structural survey covers and pay less; Why a sagging roof may not be a real issue; How to handle subsidence, movement and bulging walls; When to use a survey to renegotiate and when to keep quiet; How to..."
"... other words, as any historian will tell you, don't just look at what was said but ask why it was said. You should also be careful to differentiate work that should be expected (e.g. you should expect to repaint the windows every two years) and work that no person offering on the property would expect (e.g. the entire roof needs replaced). This chapter..."
"... from this the actual value of a structural survey is questionable. The surveyor is not a specialist in any particular field so the report is filled with vague statements such as "The windows appear in need of replacement and should be inspected by a specialist" or "The roof may be bowing and should be inspected by a specialist." More on this is covered in the section What is in a Survey..."
"... up on something. The choice 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..."
"... is a ridiculous statement. Does this surveyor own a damp company? In other words remember this The surveyor is not a damp proof specialist and will not carry out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a roofer and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The..."
"... surveyor is not a damp proof specialist and will not carry out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a roofer and will not be carrying out the work so should not quote. The surveyor is not a qualified electrician and will not be carrying out the work so should not..."
"... back as a retention because of damp in the property. A damp proof company was instructed to give a quote on how much work they believed was in the flat. They found £346 plus VAT! The surveyor had evidently picked a figure out of the air. Sarah and Nicki doubted the difference in the two..."
"... and Nicki doubted the difference in the two figures and instructed a second damp proof company who quoted £379 plus VAT. The vendor felt that the buyers were obviously desperate to reduce the price and if it wasn't this they would find something else in the legal paperwork so, having lost confidence in them, withdrew the..."
"... the surveyor is simply someone who is trained to see tell tale signs that then require you to get a further specialist in. If you want to be thorough and save time then get a valuation survey and at the same time pay for a roofer, plumber, electrician and damp specialist to inspect the property (for freehold properties pay a structural engineer as well). You will short-cut the long survey report and you will know the absolute worst case scenario as each specialist going in will be hunting for work. Then you can take a proper quantified..."
"... - Trees, Maintenance and Other Issues - Whatever else comes up in the survey bear in mind that on older properties: the roof is only expected to last 20 years all timber windows should be repainted and repaired every five years damp proof courses rarely really last the twenty or..."
"... only expected to last 20 years all timber windows should be repainted and repaired every five years damp proof courses rarely really last the twenty or thirty years they are guaranteed for. This means that even when the survey says for example, that the windows will need attention in the..."
"... property. Diane ended up buying a two bedroom flat with a roof terrace as by this time the price of houses had gone beyond her budget. Ultimately the £800 required to get a Structural Engineer in and show the surveyor was overreacting would have been money extremely well spent. " - Types..."
"... 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..."

"... property actually have the right to sell it - do they own it? Fixtures and Fittings Apart from the bricks, mortar, roof and windows, what is the vendor proposing to include with the sale? The Sellers Pack Does the vendor know of any reason why a buyer would not want the..."

"... fixtures and fittings list Any planning consents (if applicable) Any building regulation certificates (if applicable) Any guarantees (damp, roof, etc.) The building insurance details The local search If the property is leasehold The last three years service charge..."
"... helpful. By making the approach direct you will be able to find out if the company in question is still in business. If not you can immediately organise quotes to ensure something you relied on in your offer, say the damp proofing, is not going to become an unaffordable expense. - Service..."

"... is unbelievably common for a vendor to swap agents after a low offer and the new agent is already rubbing their hands with glee. In their mind the previous agent has done the hard work. In other words they have found the market value of your property and all they need to do is get an offer in the same region, even slightly lower. They can then argue that a second or third offer at the same level is proof of what your property is worth. Very often they know that mentally you will be coming round to this way of thinking and will..."