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Thinking about my lovely traditional Victorian/Edwardian terraces I realise I have learned a lot about these types of property over the last few years, especially common issues so I've started this thread to share some of that so new landlords tempted by these properties are forewarned and so we can all learn from others' experiences. Here's my starter list. Comments, additions and anecdotes welcome.
- No party wall in loft. A security, fire safety and sound issue and can also be a mortgage issue. Very common and contravenes modern building standards but fixing it not obligatory. Less expensive to remedy than it sounds, especially if the next door neighbour is helpful and agrees to share the cost.
- Flat roof extension. Can have mortgage implications. Also next door neighbour issues if they have an adjacent identical flat roof and don't want to change theirs to pitched. No idea how much it costs or if it's practical to pitch half a roof. Ideas welcome!
- Dripping overflow pipe. Especially over the flat roof extension. Tenant may not notice and the water can damage the brickwork, build up on the flat roof and cause damp issues . The cheap solution is to put a drainage channel below the pipe or extend the pipe. Alternatively change the toilet overflow mechanism to an internal one
- Earth floor. These properties often don't have proper foundations. Typically a gap under the floorboards and earth below that. In one of my properties the kitchen has lino directly laid on earth. In hindsight I wish I had concreted it over when I had the chance. Now it's a job for the future. Not sure if it's a serious issue though.
- Mice and slugs. These get in through the air bricks. Solved with mouse mesh.
- blocked up fireplace. Can cause damp issues in the chimney breast so worth putting a vent in.
- Derelict chimney in loft or on roof. Best removed I think. No idea of cost. Another job for the future.
- deteriorating mortar in back yard wall. Could be a safety issue and repointing is less expensive than it sounds.
- deteriorating mortar in house walls. Could cause damp issues but less expensive to fix than it sounds.
- lead piping. Opinions differ on how much of a health risk this is. Worth replacing given a good opportunity or if it is beginning to fail anyway. There is probably a lead replacement scheme with the local water company but be warned; they might repeatedly fail to turn up at the appointed time and force you to have to extend the void period by weeks.
- ancient wiring. I have not had this issue but I believe it is one of the more expensive ones to fix and probably can't be done easily with a tenant in situ.
Looks like a lot of potential issues but all are readily fixable, especially when the property is empty. Some will come up in the survey and I wouldn't call any of them deal breakers although some building societies may disagree.
Have I missed any?
Fantastic post Alison, thank you for sharing. We have a thread about why terraced houses are so popular with landlords:Terraced homes are the Landlords favourite ... and with good reason ...
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
Of course one could internally insulate and noise proof at the same timive had to spend various amounts on my terrace, but still far less than the service charges I've had to pay on my flats,, Grrr!!
If you have the chance do a loft extension the same time you do a party wall!?
I don't resent spending on my little terrace unlike the service charges I pay on my flats!!
Damp is a big problem and a terrace will need a new DPC
I've had to have it sorted on all mine
Such valuable information Alison, thanks so much for posting this.
New research by Savills shows end of terrace properties enjoy a price premium.Full/source research