Pre-purchase drain surveys are also known as home buyers drain surveys. They are becoming more and more popular with first time buyers and experienced homeowners but what are they and why might you need one?
Basically a pre-purchase drain survey is just that; it is a detailed survey of the drains in and around a property done before someone buys it. Buying a home is a serious thing and making sure everything is in good condition is nothing new but it seems drains have often been forgotten about only to become a very expensive problem later on.
What’s the Difference between a normal survey and a drain survey?
A normal RICS survey like a home buyers report or full building survey is focused very much on the property itself. By this we mean it looks at walls, ceilings, damp, structural issues, brick work and rendering and much more. It also covers some boundary issues and even things like loft spaces and windows. A pre-purchase drain survey will look at a check a totally different a rarely thought of part of the property. Where the normal survey stops, the drain survey begins. The only time a RICS surveyor will look at drains is if they feel there is an issue that they noticed at the surface or in the home like an odd smell. They would simply not be able to see if roots were growing into a pipe in the garden or if there was a connection issue out towards the road for example.
Normal surveys are critical when buying a house but so is a drain survey. The results of not getting one can be the same; expense, stress and repair work.
Is It Important with a New Build?
As with most things, the newer it is the less likely there is to be an issue. That being said however, there have been a number of cases of new build homes with drain issues where things were not installed properly in the first place. The advantage of getting a drain survey done is that the results can be used to get the construction company to pay for the repair work.
How Do I Know the Drains are All Part of the Property?
Most pre-purchase drain surveys will actually help map out the drains as well as work out the ownership and responsibility. This can be very useful for a number of reasons. The first reason is that it’s useful to know before purchase especially if anything is wrong. The second is that an issue could arise 5 years down the line and having clear evidence and information to show which parts of the system are yours, the water companies or the neighbours could save a lot of time and money. The final reason is then when or if you come to sell the property this kind of report can really have a positive effect on a potential buyer.