Whether due to a landlord, tenant, neighbour, or structural damage, almost everyone has experienced property issues. It’s critical to learn about these roadblocks so you know what to do if you run into one.
That’s why we’ve gathered the most prevalent challenges associated with properties in this blog to help you prepare!
How Do You Handle Property Issues?
We’ll start by outlining the three basic steps that’ll help you in navigating any property-related obstacles:
It’s vital to identify the type of problem you’re dealing with so you can research effective solutions. For example, if you disagree with your neighbour about property lines, you should be aware that this is a boundary issue and learn about the laws that govern it.
Evaluate the situation’s complexity before attempting extreme fixes that may cause problems in the future.
Assume you have noisy neighbours. You should communicate your concerns first and see how they respond before taking legal action against them and ending up with neighbours who want to cause you trouble.
Once you’ve recognised the nature of your problem and its severity, make a plan on how you’ll approach it. It could include actions you intend to take on your own or enlisting the help of another party.
There are three fundamental steps to successfully resolving a property issue that you should be aware of.
Your issue might be a sudden rent increase, a flaw in the home you just purchased, or a drainage problem.
Whatever type of problem you have, it’s important to collect all relevant details and documentation to better understand its scope. This includes contracts, agreements, scanning for signs of damage, and so on.
If there’s a lot of uncertainty about the situation, it’s best to seek advice from experts in the relevant fields. They may be real estate agents, property lawyers, or local water companies who’ll help you gain professional insight into the problem and explore potential solutions.
You must put preventive measures in place to avoid similar problems in the future. This could include updating contracts, obtaining insurance, conducting regular inspections, or performing necessary repairs and maintenance to protect the property.
Depending on the context, you’ll come across various parties who can assist you in dealing with these obstacles. It could be a mediator sorting out minor disagreements, an attorney undertaking a serious case, or a property care specialist helping with water damage.
Property problems are diverse, as they can be related to purchase, sale, condition, or other factors. We’ll discuss some of the most typical issues in specific contexts below.
When you’re about to buy a house, you may encounter a few roadblocks:
- Difficulty finding a property that meets your needs and budget.
- Setbacks that decrease the likelihood of your mortgage being approved.
- Delays caused by the seller or other parties involved.
- Obtaining a deceptive or inaccurate property survey.
Selling a property entails a few challenges every homeowner should be aware of, the most common of which are:
- Extremely high commissions demanded by estate agents.
- Poor responsiveness from agents, who are notorious for taking days to respond.
- Obtaining an inaccurate valuation for your home, which can delay its sale.
- Stalling by the buyer or others in the supply chain.
The following are frequent issues commercial property owners and tenants encounter:
- Landlords incur ongoing, usually costly maintenance and repair expenses.
- Constant change in regulations, such as the adjustments in the ban on eviction.
- Difficulties paying the lease when your business suffers a downturn.
- Disputes over lease violations, payments, and so on.
Here are some of the hurdles residential property owners face:
- Housing market fluctuations, which directly impact the property’s value and potential rental income.
- Difficulties keeping up with associated expenses such as taxes and upkeep.
- Troubles adapting to new energy efficiency laws that necessitate a few home improvements.
Whether you’re a renter or a tenant, the following are some challenges you might face when renting a property:
- Structural issues in the property that the landlord fails to address.
- Breach of contract by property owners, such as unexpected rent increases.
- Tenants who don’t pay their rent or pay it late.
- Increase in the number of licences required by landlords to rent.
Aside from property-related issues, there are also those brought on by the neighbourhood, such as.
- Having noisy neighbours, whether it’s loud music or barking dogs.
- Boundary disputes and differing perspectives on property lines.
- Insufficient space for parking vehicles.
- Experiencing vandalism on your property.
There are numerous laws and regulations governing properties and the issues that arise from them, so in many cases, you’ll require the assistance of a qualified attorney.
For example, when you’re about to buy a house, you should have an attorney review the contract and complete the closing documents.
When dealing with rental disputes or disagreements over property lines, you should also seek legal counsel to ensure an effective solution.
Sometimes such issues can be settled without legal assistance, but not always.
Getting professional advice will help you ensure compliance with property regulations in tricky cases such as property transfer or lease agreements. That way, you can avoid potentially costly mistakes.
No. Minor disagreements can be settled through alternative methods such as negotiation and mediation.
However, complex or contentious issues may call for court intervention. Here are some examples of common cases that progress until they make it to court:
- Landlord-tenant disputes (evictions, lease violations, etc.).
- Breach of contract related to property transactions.
- Disputes over property lines or damage.
You can either handle property issues yourself or hire a professional, depending on the severity of the case. Here’s a quick comparison highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of both approaches:
|Way of Handling Issues||Pros||Cons|
|Yourself||Cost-effective as you don’t have to pay professional fees. Full control over the process and decision-making. Flexibility to address issues based on your schedule without waiting for a professional’s availability.||Lack of expertise may lead to mistakes and legal pitfalls. Time-consuming and requires extensive effort and research. Risk of reaching an inadequate resolution that leads to future problems.|
|Professional||Expert knowledge translates into precise and efficient problem-solving. Ensure regulatory compliance, reducing the likelihood of future legal issues. Professionals handle paperwork, negotiations, and other legal matters, saving time and effort.||Professional fees, which can be expensive. Less direct influence over the process and decisions. Possible delays if the professional has a busy schedule.|
The costs associated with property issues vary from one scenario to another.
Say, you have a structural problem like dampness and want to apply a damp-proofing solution, then you could pay anywhere from £300 to £400 per wall.
Whereas, if you’re in a property dispute and need legal representation, expect to pay anywhere between £2,000 and £10,000 or more, based on the case’s complexity.
A legal counsel’s fees will vary depending on the stage of a case and other factors such as their level of experience.
You can pay anywhere between £500 and £800 for a simple settlement. Then, as the case progresses, you’ll incur more fees until you reach the final stage, which is court, where you can expect to pay between £1,500 and £10,000 or more.
In civil cases like property disputes, the general rule is that the losing party pays the winning party’s legal fees as long as they’re fair and proportionate to the case.
That said, in some cases, such as when the winning party behaves inappropriately in court, the judge will order them to pay their own legal fees.
Property issues are numerous. So, while payment liability isn’t a constant, we’ll go over a couple of common scenarios and explain who should bear the costs.
If you’re a tenant and your home or parts of the building, such as the stairwells, require repairs or maintenance, the landlord is responsible for these costs.
If you have a shared wall and want to do some work on it, you must notify your neighbours and pay for the entire project. However, if this additional work benefits the other party, such as repairing defects, they may share the cost with you.
You become entitled to various benefits when you successfully demonstrate that property problems weren’t your fault. These include compensation for damages, court costs, and reimbursement for legal fees or other financial losses.
Yes, you can request a retrial if you believe the court’s order is unjust, especially if you have new evidence. This will allow the case to be reopened and the same parties to appear in court again for the same charges.
There are several laws managing property in the UK, and we’ll share with you two of the most important ones.
The first is the Housing Act of 2004, which established a framework for residential tenancies.
This act allows local authorities to evaluate housing conditions to eliminate or reduce any health and safety hazards that tenants may face. It also outlines the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants, as well as matters like rent increases and eviction procedures.
The second is the Land Registration Act 2002, which controls land and property registration.
Registration provides you with an official record of ownership, boundaries, and any property rights. This simplifies the conveyancing process and reduces the likelihood of property ownership disputes occurring in the future.
When dealing with ongoing issues while selling, buying, or renting a property, the first line of defence is prompt communication and negotiation.
Make sure you communicate with all parties involved, including estate agents, solicitors, and landlords, to understand their concerns and express your own.
Then, if things continue as they are or worsen, seek legal counsel and escalate the situation to the appropriate authorities when necessary.
You’re legally bound by The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPRs) to disclose any relevant information to prospective buyers that could influence their decision. Otherwise, you risk being sued.
It’s best to resolve any lingering issues before putting your property on the market to ensure they don’t affect its sale value.
You can file a lawsuit against the seller if you find out that the house you just bought has a serious flaw that could lower its value or endanger your safety. However, you’ll need sufficient proof to demonstrate that the seller knew about this problem and purposefully misled you.
To help you identify issues that can occur on your property, we’ve gathered 10 of the most common of them.
When moisture accumulates in your home’s structure, damp problems start arising. This can happen for many reasons, including condensation, which is caused by trapped moisture, and rising damp, which occurs when groundwater starts moving upwards.
Signs of damp include a musty odour, peeling wallpaper, water stains on the walls and ceiling, and mould patches. These signs begin small but, if ignored, can lead to serious water damage. Fortunately, there are many damp-proofing techniques available to eliminate this issue.
Wall ties are the parts that connect the internal and external walls of a cavity wall. They’re typically made of metal coated in zinc or bitumen.
When this coating deteriorates, the metal becomes exposed and eventually rusts. This leads to severe problems that can cause structural distortion.
Since they’re not visible, we detect the failure of wall ties through telltale signs in the walls, such as cracks in the brick mortar or window reveals.
There are several issues you may encounter with your roof.
Leaks are the most typical, and if not fixed properly, they can cause water damage. Leaks can occur for various reasons, including clogged gutters and damaged parts in the roofing.
You should also look for signs of failure in the roof flashing, as these parts can allow water to enter your home if they’re damaged.
Slippage and structural movement occur when the foundations of a building shift from their original location.
In some cases, these movements are minor and undetectable, while in others, they can be catastrophic, causing cracks or the building to sway. As it progresses, there won’t be a simple solution as it’ll inevitably require a lot of money and labour hours to get fixed.
Japanese knotweed is a weed that belongs to one of the most invasive plant species. It’s commonly found in the UK in waste grounds, railway embankments, as well as rivers and streams.
If not controlled, this plant is infamous for exploiting weak building foundations, causing cracks, and blocking drains. Once spotted, make sure to stop it from spreading by spraying it with chemicals, burning it, or contacting a specialised company.
You must deal with electrical problems in your home promptly, as they can be dangerous to you and your property.
Keep an eye out for discoloured electrical fittings, which can point to heat buildup. You should also be aware of flickering light bulbs as they could indicate fluctuations in the power supplying your property.
Make sure you don’t use any electrical fixtures that make humming noises until an electrician checks them.
When something is wrong with your drainage system, you’ll most likely notice obvious signs of it. Blockage is one of the prevalent issues, and its usual culprits are hair, fat, and coffee grind.
If you notice water surrounding the area, look for displaced joints or fractures in the drainage pipes. If there is, contact a professional immediately before the water seeps into the structure and causes irreversible damage.
Beetle infestations, particularly the Deathwatch variety, can cause costly damage to your property. If you see one or notice tiny holes in a wooden structure (furniture, beams, etc.), call for assistance.
These beetles feed on decaying organic matter such as hardwood and can even feed on rotted softwood. If they make their way into your home’s timber frame, they can result in building deterioration.
Conflicts may arise between neighbouring property owners over shared walls. These disagreements are usually caused by construction or renovation work.
The Party Wall Act 1996 provides a framework for resolving such issues. This act protects the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved, so make sure to read it if you find yourself in a similar dispute.
You may experience boundary issues, primarily due to ambiguous property lines and features such as trees or hedges.
Property boundaries are generally defined by structures like a fence or a driveway, but as time passes and occupants change, these boundaries may be moved or adjusted.
Learn about your property boundaries and how to effectively set them by following the steps outlined by the British government.
Although some property-related obstacles are simple to overcome, many others become a stressful burden. Delegating serious problems to a professional may be costly, but knowing they’re in capable hands will give you peace of mind.
If you need assistance with property care issues, contact one of our experts at Watertight Homes; we’ll be happy to help!