When you are in the process of buying a new house, whether for the first time or not, you should arrange for an independent property survey. A property survey can uncover hidden flaws and prevent you from making a bad investment.
If you have ever wondered if a surveyor inspects the boiler, we can tell you that the surveyor will not be responsible for checking if the boiler is working properly or not.
However, they will check its location, how to access it and what sort of fuel it uses to make it work e.g. gas, oil or electric.
Other areas that the surveyor can’t check, are the underground drainage and electrics.
The surveyor is not qualified to give a report on whether the boiler and electrics at the property are working 100% but will give their location and what condition they are in, if anything untoward is seen, this will be included within the report.
The underground drainage is also difficult to report on, as it cannot be seen. However simple checks can be done.
What Checks Can You Do Before Putting in An Offer?
When you visit a potential property there are a few checks you can make while you are viewing. This can give you some idea about the health of the boiler, electrics, plumbing systems, and underground drainage.
At the viewing, ask if you can turn on the heating, taps, and shower. You will be able to test the water pressure and how quickly the water and radiators heat up if they have a Combi boiler. If they have a traditional boiler and hot water cylinder, ask them to turn it on when you arrive and test the water to the bathroom and radiators 20minutes later.
View the consumer unit, is it a traditional fused unit or a more modern type with Circuit breakers in? ask if the property has been rewired. Just because the face plates to the light switches and sockets look modern, does not mean the wiring to them is new?
If you feel you’re up to it, find the sewage drain and lift the cover of, look down into the drain, it should look cleanish? with the pipe and cement work smooth, go inside and pull the chain in one of the toilets, stand by the drain and watch the water run away, this should happen reasonably quickly and easily. While walking around the outside of the property can you smell sewerage? If so, this could be a potential problem.
Lastly, make sure to ask the owners about the heating system, electrical system and when they had it installed, have they had any blockages to the drains?
Can they give you the warranty information? When was the last time the system was serviced and do, they have the certificates, invoices?
Depending on their answers it may be worth paying for an inspection before the contracts are signed. An inspection at this time could save you thousands in the future.
Should The Seller Service the Boiler?
No law says the seller must service the boiler before selling it. However, some sellers may have done this already as part of their efforts to get the property ready for sale. It is worth asking them before you book an engineer visit.
Who pays for the inspection is something that you would have to work out with the seller. They may be willing to pay for the service as a gesture of goodwill and to speed up the sale. Other sellers might be less willing to pay for this themselves, in which case you will have to decide if it is something you want to pay for upfront.
Having an inspection done will uncover any issues that may prove too costly to fix, at which point you can back out of the sale. There may also be more minor issues that can affect the sales price for the house, so it’s worth considering.
Who Can Service My Boiler?
Your boiler will need to be checked by a qualified professional who carries the correct certificates. It also depends on what kind of boiler is installed at the property. You will be able to find this information out from the seller or the estate agents.
A gas boiler can only be checked by a Gas Safe Registered Engineer. Engineers and plumbers can both be registered, you can check the register online. All you need is their licence number.
An oil boiler will need to be checked by an OFTEC register engineer. OFTEC engineers need to re-qualify every 5 years. You can find qualified technicians on the OFTEC website.
You should always ask to see an engineer’s ID before you let them get to work. It is advised that the boiler be serviced once a year, so make sure to ask the seller when the last time this was done.
What Does a Building Surveyor Cover?
The main aim of the survey is to provide a report that covers the structural integrity of the property, give the client a good insight into the general condition internally and externally and raise any potential problems if necessary. This is not the same thing as having a mortgage valuation and is highly recommended to ensure it is a sound purchase.
Getting a full independent survey is the best way to get an impartial third-party opinion on the overall condition of your property. Contact us today to arrange a survey,
A property survey or a building survey can help you uncover vital issues with the property. The hope is that the survey will come back all clear but if there are any hidden faults you will be able to avoid making a bad investment.
The property survey will cover the building conditions and include the location of the boiler, but the surveyor will not check its condition. This is because they are not likely to be a registered engineer capable of conducting the tests required.
It may be worth booking an engineer inspection, but you should discuss this with the sellers first. Once you have a property survey and a boiler inspection you can move ahead with the house purchase with extra reassurance about your investment.