A Wet Trade Driven Public House

Mr A Client

Prepared by:

GEM Associates Limited



0800 298 5424


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Firstly, may we thank you for your instructions of ?????????; we have now undertaken a Commercial Building Survey (formerly known as a Structural Survey) of the aforementioned property. This Survey was carried out on ??????.

The Building Survey takes the following format; there is an introductory section (which you are currently reading), which includes a synopsis of the building, and a summary of our findings.

We then go through a detailed examination of the property starting with the external areas working from the top of the property down, followed by the internal areas and the buildings services. We conclude with the section for your Legal Advisor and also attach some information on the property market.

We are aware that a report of this size is somewhat daunting and almost off-putting to the reader because of this. We would stress that the purchase of a business has many risks, the property being one of the biggest. Often when a business is purchased our clients can only see the opportunities that it offers, the aim of this report is to give a balanced view on the future risks.

We recommend that you set aside time to read the report in full, consider the comments, make notes of any areas which you wish to discuss further and phone our us.

We obviously expect you to read the entire report but we would suggest that you initially look at the summary, which refers to various sections in the report which we recommend you read first so that you get a general feel for the way the report is written.

As part of our service we are more than happy to talk through the survey as many times as you wish until you are completely happy to make a decision. Ultimately, the decision to purchase the business is yours but we will do our best to offer advice to make the decision as easy as possible.


To help you understand our Report we utilise various techniques and different styles and types of text, these are as follows:-


This has been given in the survey where it is considered it will aid understanding of the issues, or be of interest. This is shown in “italics” for clarity.


Throughout the Report, we have endeavoured to define any technical terms used. This is shown in “Courier New” type face for clarity.



Any reference to left or right is taken from the front of the property, including observations to the rear, which you may not be able to physically see from the front of the property.


We have used the term ACTION REQUIRED where we believe that there are items that you should carry out action upon or negotiate upon prior to purchasing the property.

Where a problem is identified, we will do our best to offer a solution. However, with most building issues, there are usually many ways to resolve them dependent upon cost, time available and the length of time you wish the repair/replacement to last.



A reasonable size public house set in an end terrace position within walking distance of ???????? town centre. The property is generally two-storey with various extensions and alterations that have been carried out over the years, this includes a large single storey extension to the rear. There is a car park at the back of the property for approximately 16 cars, which is tarmac finished.

We are advised that the public house is predominantly wet trade driven, although there is some food trade and some business generated from games.

??????? is a good sized town having a vast range of facilities including a shopping centre and a first division football club and has good road links to major road systems, although they do suffer from congestion at times.

If the age of the property interests you your Legal Advisor may be able to find
out more information from the Deeds.


Front Elevation

Right Hand Side Elevation

Left Hand Side Elevation

Rear Elevation


Ground Floor - Trading Area

Front of House

The ground floor area consists of:

  •   An open plan ‘L’ shaped bar this presently includes a pool table to the right hand   side and also darts, some AWP machines and a large screen TV
  •   An ‘L’ shaped Servery
  •   Female toilets to the left hand side
  •   Male toilets to the left hand side

Back of House

  •   An Office – giving access to the cellar
  •   Cellar – on ground floor level
  •   Catering kitchen
  •   A separate W.C.
  •   Access to the private living accommodation is either via the kitchen, bar corridor or   from an external door

First Floor - Private Living Accommodation

  •   Three bedrooms
  •   A small bedroom currently being used as an ironing room
  •   A private kitchen
  •   Bathroom
  •   Separate W.C.


The following photos are of the internal of the property to help you recall what it looked like and the general ambience (or lack of). We have not necessarily taken photographs of each and every room.

General view of the Front Bar
Left Hand Side

General view of the Front Bar
Right Hand Side

Pool Room - Right hand side rear area



Chimneys: Three brick chimneys
Main Roof: Various slate roofs
Single Storey Roofs:
Both slate and flat felt covered roofs
Gutters and Downpipes:
A mixture of plastic and cast iron
Walls: The original property has Flemish bond brickwork and the new section has cavity (assumed)
External Joinery: Painted timber fascia and soffit boards and sash windows and casement windows


Originally lath and plaster now with some plasterboard in the newer sections
Walls: A mixture of predominantly solid walls, but there are also some partition walls (assumed)
Ground Floor: Solid floor (assumed)

First Floor: Joist and floorboards (assumed)


The front of the property sits almost directly onto the pavement area. To the rear there is a car park with access to the right hand side. There is very limited parking in the surrounding area.

The above terms are explained in full in the main body of the Report. We have used the term ‘assumed’ as we have not opened up the structure.


Summaries are dangerous as they try to précis often quite complex subjects into a few paragraphs. This is particularly so in a summary about someone’s future business when we are trying to second-guess what the priorities are, so it is important the Report is read in full.

It is inevitable with a report on a building of this nature that some of the issues we have focussed in on you may dismiss as irrelevant and some of the areas that we have decided are part of the ‘character’ of this property you may think are very important. We have taken in the region of 100 photographs during the course of this survey and many pages of notes, so if a comment has not been discussed that you are interested in/concerned about, please phone and talk to us before you purchase the property (or indeed commit to purchasing the property), as we will more than likely have noted it and be able to comment upon it. If we have not we will happily go back.

Having said all of that, here are our comments:-

Overall Opinion

Generally we found the property to be average for its age, type and style, particularly bearing in mind that it was an ex-brewery property. Nevertheless there are some fairly major and hefty costs associated with the condition of the property and we would draw your attention specifically to the following areas.

1) Chimneys

Some of the chimneys have cement flashings. These need replacing with lead and the chimneys checking in general. We believe that some of the chimneys are leaking as temporary repairs have been carried out to them.

ACTION REQUIRED: Check the chimneys, there is likely to be some re-pointing needed and replace the flashings with lead.
ANTICIPATED COST: £3,000 (three thousand pounds). We recommend that you obtain quotes on this as a large part of the costs will relate to access to the chimneys it is difficult for us to estimate.
Rear chimney
Close up. You can see the crack in the cement flashing and also to the right hand side there is a temporary repair in a product known as Flashband.

Please see the Chimneys’ Section of this Report.

2) Roofs
Pitched Roof

In various areas the slates have slipped and need re-positioning and also the perimeters need some mortar replenishing

ACTION REQUIRED: We have been advised that slate repairs will be carried out. As they are out of easy sight you really will need to have a ladder to check they have been carried out correctly. We do not believe that the present landlady appreciates the scale of the repairs required.
The pile of slipped and damaged slates.
A bad temporary repair, note that my red pen indicates where a product called Flashband has been used.

Flat Roofs

The flat roofs generally need all the felt flashings replacing as in some areas they are coming away – it is therefore probably more economical to replace them all. The right hand side roof and the rear roof over the cellar particularly need attention as we believe water is probably leaking in these areas. Although, when we had our question and answer session with the landlady, she advised that the only area where water was coming in was in the living accommodation.

ACTION REQUIRED: You probably need a roofer for the best part of a week to do the various jobs properly, who may when carrying out the work discover that the decking underneath the work is starting to rot and this may in turn need replacing.

ANTICIPATED COSTS: We would estimate a few thousand pounds to carry out the repair work, although it is very difficult to be certain with costs on this sort of ad hoc repair work.

The anticipated costs of repairing the flat roof over the first floor toilet is about £1,000 added on to the other work mentioned above.

Here you can see where the flashing is starting to come away from the parapet wall
In other areas it has come away completely. Note the pencil to the centre of this photo, which is behind the flashing.
This photo is taken from within the roof, you can see the staining on the timber at the base of this photo indicating that dampness is getting in.

Please see the Roof Coverings Section of this Report.

3) Gutters and Downpipes

The Gutters and Downpipes are leaking in some areas, or simply directing the water against the walls etc which are causing moss and mould.

ACTION REQUIRED: Repair Gutters and Downpipes.

ANTICIPATED COSTS: This depends very much on whether you replace in cast iron, which has a higher initial cost, but is meant to last longer, or if you replace in plastic it is cheaper initially but does not last as long. We would anticipate costs to be anything from a few hundred pounds up to a thousand pounds if you replace with cast iron.

Downpipe discharging onto the wall,
you can see the green mould to the
left hand side of the photo.
Swan neck displaced. Note the green
mould on the walls, this has been like
this for a long time.
Rusting downpipe, you can also see where the roof has been repaired that there is a dip in this roof and the flashings have also been repaired many times.

Please see the Gutters and Downpipes Section of this Report.

4) Brickwork

In the short term ad hoc re-pointing needs to be carried out to the brickwork. Please see our comments with regard to long term maintenance in the main body of the report.

ACTION REQUIRED: Re-point in a like for like mortar.

ANTICIPATED COSTS: This is very difficult to tell until you literally get onto a ladder and start raking out the existing mortar, but anticipate between £500 and £1,000.

An example of the mortar starting
to weather.
To the right hand side of the sign
you can see where the mortar has
weathered completely away.

Please see the Walls Section of this Report.

5) Trees

There are some fairly large trees to the rear of the property, which need maintenance.

ACTION REQUIRED: An arboriculturist to inspect the trees in the summer and advise on the lopping work required.

Please see the Trees Section of this Report.

6) Dilapidation

From our inspection we would say that some of the dilapidation work has been carried out but to a very poor quality. We are advised that much of the work was done some time ago when they initially wished to leave the pub but due to various circumstances are only leaving now.

ACTION REQUIRED: We believe you have got an instant dilapidation’s claim that could be made against you if you take the property on in its existing condition.

You need to strongly negotiate on the condition of the property based upon this survey. We would expect costs in the tens of thousands to bring this up to the standard set out within the lease.

Although we have not seen one of these leases we are aware of the general terms used in standard leases.

DIY/Handyman Type Work

There are numerous other items (far more than we would normally expect) that we would class as DIY or handyman type work such as to repair the damage to the entrance door leading to the first floor, clear the gutters, fix the guttering back into place, externally re-decorate and carry out associated repairs to the joinery. etc. We have detailed these and other issues within the main body of the report.

This is a close up of one of your windows, with our pen sticking into it.

Purchase Price

We have not been asked to comment upon the purchase price in this instance, we have not seen trading accounts, internal records or a copy of the lease.

Every Business Transaction has a Risk

Every business transaction has a risk, only you can assess whether that risk is acceptable to you and your circumstances. You should now read the main body of the Report paying particular attention to any “ACTION REQUIRED” points.

Estimates of Cost

Where we have offered an estimate of building costs please remember we are not experts in this area. We always recommend you obtain quotations for the large jobs before purchasing the property (preferably three quotes). The cost of building work has many variables such as the cost of labour, we are currently using between £75 per day for unskilled labour up to £150 per day for an accredited, qualified, skilled tradesman. Other variations include the quality of materials used and how the work is carried out, for example off ladders or from scaffold.

If you obtain builders estimates that vary widely, we would advise the work is probably difficult or open to various interpretations and we would recommend a specification is prepared. It would probably be best to supervise the work if it is complex, both of which we can do if so required.


The Summary Upon Reflection is a second summary so to speak, which is carried out with our thoughts a few days after the initial survey. We would add the following:-

We do not believe that the work required for the dilapidations has been carried out to an acceptable standard. This means that if you take the property on you will have an instant dilapidations liability, which we feel is unacceptable.

We are aware that the brewery company/property company do not usually wish to negotiate on these items and often take a ‘take it or leave it’ attitude. We feel that you should ensure that they have seen a copy of this report and we do recommend that your solicitor serves a copy formally to them, obtaining an appropriate receipt that it has been sent and received.

Notwithstanding the above the general repair state of the property is what we would class as saveable, although there is always hidden expense where this amount of maintenance items are required.

You should remember that the state and condition that you take on the property has to be put and kept in good order, which can have considerable impact upon your profit margin.

As a general comment for any work required we would always recommend that you obtain at least three quotations for any work from a qualified, time served tradesperson or a competent registered building contractor prior to legal completion.

If you wish we can prepare specifications, obtain quotations for the work and manage it and ensure it is carried out to the correct standard.

We would ask that you read the Report and contact us on any issues that you require further clarification on.


Just a few more comments about the Report format before you read the actual main body of the Report.


We have assumed that the property is to be sold on a leasehold basis. We have not seen the lease and have assumed that there are no unusual or onerous clauses and that vacant possession will be available on completion. Your Legal Advisor should confirm that this is the case.


It is important to remember that the commercial agents are acting for the seller (usually known as the vendor) and not the purchaser and therefore are eager to sell the property (no sale – no fee!). We as your employed Independent Chartered Surveyor represent your interests only.


This report is being carried out under our terms of engagement for Commercial Building Surveys, as agreed to and signed by yourselves. If you have not seen and signed a copy of our terms of engagement please phone immediately.


Our aim is for you to be completely happy with the service we provide, and we will try and help you in whatever way possible with your business purchase. If you require any further information please telephone us.


We believe this property to be Grade II Listed and set within a Conservation Area and as such you may require permission to be obtained before work is carried out that may in turn have to be carried out to a standard over and above that normally accepted, using appropriate materials for the age, type and style of property. Although to date this does not appear to have been an issue!



Chimney Stacks

Chimneys developed originally from open fires placed within buildings. From this, the chimney has developed to its present day format where it is used as an aesthetic feature and focal point rather than purely just to heat the room.

There are three chimneys to this property.

Chimney One – Left Hand Side of the Property

This chimney is brick built with a cement flashing, it has been dropped almost to roof ridge level, although it still has one pot on it. Unfortunately we could not confirm whether this chimney is still used.

ACTION REQUIRED: We would recommend that the cement fillet flashing is removed and replaced with lead and that the chimney is re-pointed.

Here you can see the cement flashing.

Chimney Two – Right Hand Side Front

This is brick built with a cement flashing. There does not look to be any flaunching to the top of it and there are no chimney pots. It has two aerials attached to it via a wire fixing system.

ACTION REQUIRED: Re-point chimney and check to see it has been capped if it is no longer in use and replace cement flashing with a lead flashing. We also recommend that the aerials are checked to ensure they are still being used, if they are not they should be taken down. The property would appear to have three different aerials on it and a satellite dish.
This chimney is in need of a lead flashing. Also note the aerials that are attached with wire. This tends to act almost like a cheese wire cutting through cheese and cuts into the chimney bricks, even though they have got corner pads in this instance. You should have this checked when you have any high level work carried out.

Chimney Three – Far Right Hand Side

Full size brick chimney with a lead flashing and two pots, this is much better and more how we would expect a chimney to be built. We could not see the flaunchings and therefore cannot comment upon them. However, the chimney pots looked relatively straight, which is usually a good indication.

ACTION REQUIRED: We would suggest this is checked when you are carrying out the high level roof work.

Chimney Four

This is just about visible on the rear of the property and we literally had to get on ladders and climb up onto the roof to see it properly.

ACTION REQUIRED: A lead flashing is essential in this instance as we could clearly see in the roof that the flashing is leaking.

ANTICIPATED COST: The difficulty here is getting access to the chimney. We would expect in the region of between £500 to £1,000.

This is probably in the worse condition of the chimneys and needs a lead flashing.

General Comment

We were unable to see the flaunchings to the chimneys. Where the chimneys are not in use any longer they are usually sealed; this could be required on each of the chimneys to the front of the property and to the rear one on the left hand side, which will be a costly exercise.

Flaunchings Defined - Also known as Haunchings

A low, wide cement mortar fillet surrounding the flue terminal on top of the chimneystack to throw off rainwater.

Flashings Defined

Flashings prevent dampness from entering the property, usually at junctions where materials change. Such a junction is the one between the chimney and the roof.

Cement Fillets/Cement Flashings

This is where cement has been used to cover up or fill the junctions between two areas, for example between a roof and a wall to help prevent dampness. Cement is a brittle material and prone to cracking which in turn allows dampness into the structure. We would always recommend they are replaced with lead.

Parapet Walls

Parapet walls are usually walls that are above roof level and often sit on the boundary of the property.

Parapet Wall to the Rear Single Storey Flat Roof

There is a brick parapet wall surrounding the rear single storey flat roof. This is in reasonable condition and what is more it does have the right size coping stone, which we often find is not the case. The flashings to the flat roof that go into the parapet wall are coming away and need work. This is dealt with within the Roof Section of this Report.

Parapet Wall to the Front of the Property

There is a small parapet wall to the front of the property to the right hand side. There has been some movement in this due to its exposed position. We believe that if the felt flashing is removed and a proper lead flashing put in its place this should be resolved.


Parapet Walls Defined

These walls are usually above the roofline and often sit on the boundary of the property. Due to their position they are relatively exposed and suffer from deterioration due to the elements.

Finally, we were only able to see approximately 80 percent of the parapet wall, therefore we have made our best assumptions based upon what we could see. A closer inspection may reveal more.


There are two rooflights over the gentlemen’s toilets. We have not been able to inspect these close up as we have not been able to get onto this roof. However, from what we could see they looked to be in reasonable condition. The have a metal surround, which is ventable (when new, it may no longer be and you may no longer be able to open the vents or shut them) and it has a Georgian wire polish plate glass roof.

This was the best we were able to view them. They look in reasonable condition.

Finally, we have made our best assumptions on the overall condition of the chimney stacks, parapet walls and roof lights from the parts we could see. The inspection was made from ground level within the boundaries of the property (unless otherwise stated) using a x16 zoom lens on a digital camera. A closer inspection may reveal latent defects.

Please also see Chimney Breasts, Flues and Fireplaces Section of this Report.


The Roof Coverings and Underlayers section considers the condition of the outer covering of the roof. Such coverings usually endure the extremes of climate and temperatures. They are susceptible to deterioration, which ultimately leads to water penetration.

The underlayer’s function is to minimise wind and water damage. Dependent upon the age of your property this may or may not be present, please read on:

We will consider the roofs in four different areas, the Main Roof, the High Level Flat Roof, the Low Level Roofs and the Rear Roof.

Main Roof - Roofs at Two-Storey Height

There are two pitched roofs, both running about 60 degrees, clad in what we believe to be natural slate, probably the original slate that has been re-used. One roof is what is known as a gable end roof and the other is what is known as a hipped end roof.

Due to the way the roofs interlock together they form a valley gutter and also there are various valleys to the rear. We noted that the slates have been displaced in this area.

The owner advised that she was going to have this work carried out, although she had twice previously tried to have it carried out to no avail, the leak has continued to come in. You need to therefore get her assurance that the roof work has been carried out satisfactorily.

Ridge Tiles

We noted light through some of the ridge tiles, although not that many given the age, so they have probably been re-bedded at some point.

Predominantly there are good areas of slate work, the ridge looks to have been repaired over the years using what is known as a hog back tile. There are a mixture of different types of these.

Valley Gutter

Our main concern here is the valley gutter, which are prone to leak, and the displaced slates to the rear.

You can see in this photo that some of the slates are being held on by lead tingles, which indicates that it is getting close to needing re-roofing in this area.

Protective Underlayer (Often known as the sarking felt or underfelt)

You can see in this photo that some of the slates are being held on by lead tingles, which indicates that it is getting close to needing re-roofing in this area.

When we were in the roof space we noted a Hessian reinforced sarking felt, which indicates that the property has been re-roofed within the last 30-40 years.

High Level Flat Roof

To the left hand side there is a flat roof between the subject property and number ???????????.

ACTION REQUIRED: This needs replacing and the various detailing around it needs sorting out.


This is the rear corner of the roof. The pen indicates where the asphalt has come away from the fascia allowing water to go down behind it. This is over the first floor toilet.

Low Level Roofs

There are several low level roofs, a pitched slate roof to the front that is in reasonable condition and has a lead flashing, a bitumen roof with a chipping finish to the left hand side, which we were unable to access and could only view them from a ladder. To the right hand side there is a felt roof that has had various repairs.

ACTION REQUIRED: Generally within the next two to three years we would expect the right hand side roof to be renewed, including a new lead flashing, the rear roof to have work carried out to its perimeter at the very least and probably also to the box gutters. The front left hand roof will need to be checked and have a close inspection when roof work to these roofs is being carried out.

This is the low level pitched roof to the front. Note to the left hand side some of the pointing is starting to come away from the flashing.

This is the low level right hand roof. It is difficult to see in this photo but there is literally a dip where the green mineral felt flashing is, also note various flashing repairs that have been carried out.

Rear Roof

To the rear is the largest flat roof that covers the kitchen area. This is in reasonable to poor condition, it is in a very poor condition considering that repairs were only carried out a few years ago.

ACTION REQUIRED: We recommend that the flashings be repaired the very least, if not replaced in lead and we also recommend that the box gutters are checked at the same time.

We are also aware that the landlord/landlady have used the roof to sit out on in the summer months. This puts point loads on the roof and if you intend to do the same we suggest that a walk way/sitting out area is added to the roof in the form of tiling.

General picture of rear roof.
The pencil indicates indents in the roof where such things as chairs or tables have been sat in hot weather.
Close up of the box gutter, which is always a weak area on this type of roof.

Finally, all the roofs were inspected from ground level with the aid of a x16 zoom lens on a digital camera. Flat roofs have been inspected from on the roof.


The roof structure or framework must be built in a manner which is able to give adequate strength to carry its own weight together with that of the roof covering discussed in the previous section and any superimposed loads such as snow, wind, foot traffic etc.

The main roof is accessed via the loft hatch located on the first floor landing. From what we could see there is no access to the rear right hand side of the roof.

The access to the main roof has no loft ladder, there is a roof light but there was no light at the time of our survey and there are some boards, although these are not secured. We recommend that a ladder, a florescent light tube and secured boards are added as this will make the roof space safer and easier to use.

The roof space has been viewed by torch light, which has limited our viewing slightly.

This is a timber roof that has been purpose made. We believe it is what is termed a close coupled roof. It is fairly typical of roofs from the Victorian era. There are purlins running along the length of the roof to give extra support to the common rafters, which is quite common. There are also steel poles running from the apex of the roof that are ceiling level to give extra support.

General view of the roof. You can see the purlin running on the left hand side horizontally to the rear and the common rafter sitting on top of it. There are prop timber supports running at 45 degrees from the purlin. To the far right hand side you can see a thin cast iron pole giving extra support to the whole structure.

This is a close up of one of the purlins which bonds into the wall.

This is a picture of the underside of one of the valley gutters, you can see that dampness is getting through this area. This is why the roof work is necessary.

General view of the front roof.

We have shown a photo similar to this already. This is water staining where rain is getting through the roof. These are basic things that need repairing.

Water Tanks

Formed in plastic and assumed new. We noted that there were no lids to the tank, which means that all sorts of debris is getting into them. Please see our photo. We suggest you have these drained and cleaned before you clean your teeth with this water.
Water tank


We are concerned with the electrics for the surface mounted lighting found in the first floor. If you look closely at this photo you will see that the live red wire could easily be knocked and cause a fire. Funnily enough there is straw nearby. More modern versions of this type of light have the wiring etc encased at the top. We recommend these be replaced.

Fire Wall

Normally we would talk about a fire wall in a semi detached property, however due to the way the property has been built the roofs do not actually meet.

Roof Timbers

General Comment

We have inspected a random sample of the roof timbers for active woodworm and structural defects to the timber and wet rot. Our examination was impeded to some extent by the stored items and/or insulation that covered part of the timber roof structure.

However, in the areas inspected we did not note any problems other than in this instance the water staining and ingress that we have already mentioned previously. We spent approximately half an hour inspecting the roof structure; it is therefore feasible that there may be problems in the roof other than those noted, which are hidden, although we believe it unlikely. The only way to be 100% sure is to have the roofs cleared and re-checked. We would be more than happy to carry this out but there would be a return visit fee charged.

Finally, we would ask you to note that this is a general inspection of the roof, i.e. we have not examined every single piece of timber. We have offered a general overview of the condition and structural integrity of the area.


Gutters and Downpipes is the term given to the rainwater gutters and the rainwater downpipes. Their function is to carry rainwater from the roof to the ground keeping the main structure as dry as possible.

Defective Gutters and Downpipes are a common cause of dampness that can, in turn, lead to the development of rot in timbers. Regular inspection and adequate maintenance are therefore essential if serious problems are to be avoided.

The Gutters and Downpipes are a mixture of plastic and the original cast iron. To many areas they were full of grit and mulch and need cleaning out and general re-alignment.

As it was not raining at the time of the inspection it is not possible to confirm 100 per cent that the rainwater installation is free from blockage, leakage etc. or that it is capable of coping with long periods of heavy rainfall.

ACTION REQUIRED: We would always recommend that the Gutters and Downpipes are cleaned out, the joints are checked and the alignment checked to ensure that the gutters fall towards the downpipes.

We did note a leak on the drain to the far left hand corner where replacement would probably be best and we also noted a downpipe to the front right hand side, near the bar side, which looked to be corroding. These areas should specifically be given attention. No doubt when it next rains you will be able to find a few other areas that are leaking.

This hopper head is not man enough
to take the water coming off the roof
that overflows. Also the right angled
joints are susceptible to leaking but
there seems to be little choice due to
the position of the extract fan.

Taking a step back, the result is the
green mould to the base of the wall.
To this roof there is a complete lack of guttering altogether, which is why you have a green stain down the wall. From memory the downpipe on the right hand side is cast iron and rusting.

Finally, gutters and downpipes have been inspected from ground level. As it was not raining at the time of the inspection it is not possible to confirm 100 per cent that the rainwater installation is free from blockage, leakage etc. or that it is capable of coping with long periods of heavy rainfall. Our comments have therefore been based on our best assumptions.


External walls need to perform a variety of functions. These include supporting upper floors and the roof structure, resisting dampness, providing adequate thermal and sound insulation, offering resistance to fire and being aesthetically presentable.

The original property is finished with a Flemish bond brick, which is painted to the first floor level; part of it has a rendered plinth. To the rear the kitchen extension is in a cavity brick.

Flemish Bond Brickwork

The property to the rear is built with a red stock brick. It is bedded in the original lime mortar and has more recently been re-pointed in cement mortar. The brickwork bond is Flemish.

The term Flemish Bond brickwork relates to the way the bricks are bonded together. We are only able to see the outside of the brickwork. In some instances, tradesmen would imitate this pattern with a single skin of brickwork, bonding a cheaper brick on the inside, thereby saving money/increasing profits and reducing structural integrity. This is rare, however the only way to be 100% certain is to open up the wall.

Generally Flemish Bond brickwork is liable to penetrating dampness internally, dependent upon the condition of the brickwork and the exposure to the weather. In this case the re-pointing is needed. It is essential that external faces be kept in good condition.

Lime Every Time

In many areas the original lime mortar is starting to show through and in some areas this has been washed away, for example to the gable end sign on the right hand side and to the right hand chimney. In other areas it is mouldy/mossy where the downpipes or gutters are leaking nearby. These areas all need re-pointing again.

Unfortunately the re-pointing, whilst well meaning, is not appropriate for this type of construction. A cement mortar has been used rather than a lime based mortar. We recommend you use lime mortar in any future repairs regardless of what the builders say! Using lime mortar will limit further damage to the brickwork, which is almost impossible to repair successfully.

ACTION REQUIRED: Over the course of time gradually re-point the property with a lime mortar.

General view of Flemish bond. Re-pointing needed and also some pointing under the perimeter of the slate roof.

Lime Mortar Defined

A mix used to bed bricks upon; its characteristics being that it flexes and moves with the structure. It was used up to the War years.

Cement Mortar Defined

A sand cement mix used commonly in brick houses from about the First World War onwards (first invented about 150 years ago). It is relatively strong and brittle and therefore does not allow much movement.

Cracking to Front Right Hand Side Wall (all directions given as you face the property)

There is a step crack to the front right hand side wall, we believe this is simply differential movement between the main building wall and the door that sits to the left hand side of the entrance to the car park.

Crack to Left Hand Wall

We went onto the adjoining land on the left hand side through the archway to carry out an inspection of the property. Here we found that a lintel has been built into the party wall. This has formed or caused a point load, which has resulted in a vertical crack.

Left hand side
Close up of vertical crack

Hairline Crack to the Right Hand Chimney breast

Upon close inspection we noted a hairline crack to the chimney breast, roughly to the centre, but we do not think this is anything to be too concerned about. It is possible that this chimney is in use and that the lime has cracked, causing this hairline cracking, if this is the case re-lining will be required, unfortunately we have no way of checking this.

Rendered Bays

Render is often used externally on solid walls to prevent moisture penetrating through. It is also popular as a decorative finish.

There are two rendered bays to the front of the property and one to the rear. The two to the front have had cement repairs fairly recently. We could see no obvious signs as to why they have moved other than typically bays do not have foundations underneath them and are therefore more susceptible to movement than other areas.

As a surveyor we are always concerned when we see render-finished properties, as the render can hide a multitude of sins. We carried out a tap test on the render (literally hitting the render with the back of a hammer to try to establish if there are any hollow areas to it) and we were pleasantly surprised as we expected to find more hollow areas than we did. Therefore we would comment that the render is fairly typical for its age.

The render repair to the bay looks messy, as it has not been painted.

Cavity Brickwork

Rear Single Storey Extension

The rear single storey extension walls are formed in cavity brickwork, also termed stretcher bond.. The term cavity brickwork is based on the pattern we can see on the outside bricks. We noted a course showing the sides of the bricks (known as "stretchers") followed by a similar course above set off so the joint is centrally above the "stretcher". This pattern is then repeated. This is repeated with blockwork internally and tied together with a wall tie as shown in the sketch below.

Because we are only able to see the outside view of the bricks, we have no way of knowing without opening up the structure that this is a properly built cavity wall.

Cavity walls were first used in Victorian times. It originates from solid walls not always being waterproof against driving rain and only giving a limited degree of heat insulation. The design of cavity walls makes them relatively unstable and they depend upon the wall ties.

Walls of cavity construction should incorporate ties to hold together the inner and outer leaves of masonry. As there is no access to the cavity it has not been inspected and we cannot comment on the presence or condition of wall ties.


Where the window and door lintels are concealed by brickwork, render and plaster, we cannot comment on their construction or condition. In buildings of this age timber lintels, concrete lintels or metal lintels are common which can be susceptible to deterioration which is unseen particularly if in contact with dampness.

The lintels have been rendered over, there has been some movement in them as indicated by the red pen, but nothing unacceptable for the age of the property.

Finally, the external walls have been inspected visually from ground level and/or randomly via a ladder. Where the window and door lintels are concealed by brickwork, render and plasterwork we cannot comment on their construction or condition. In buildings of this age timber lintels, concrete lintels, rubbed brick lintels, stone lintels or metal lintels are common, which can be susceptible to deterioration that is unseen, particularly if in contact with dampness.

Our comments have been based upon how the brickwork, render and plasterwork has been finished. We have made various assumptions based upon what we could see and how we think the brickwork, render and plasterwork would be if it were opened up for this age, style and type of construction. We are however aware that all is not always at it seems in the building industry and often short cuts are taken. Without opening up the structure we have no way of establishing this.


The foundations function, if suitably designed and constructed, is to transfer the dead or superimposed load through the soil so it can suitably carry the loads. Many properties prior to the 19th Century have little or not foundations, as we now think of them, with a minimum depth of around one metre filled with concrete.

Typically, with a Victorian property of this period, if we excavated around the foundations theoretically we would expect it to follow the Building Act of 1878. This Act required a minimum concrete foundation of 9 inches and an oversight layer of concrete 6 inches thick. In practice a stepped brick foundation may be present. It is simply not possible to tell without excavation.

We have inspected the walls for any signs of significant moment and have not found anything in this instance.

A common problem with this type of Victorian property is that the bay windows are sometimes not tied into the main property, which allows them to move away from the main building. There may be a problem in this instance of minor movement, which is why the rendering has been carried out, but we could not see any obvious signs of movement between the main structure and the bay.

Building Insurance Policy

You should ensure that the Building Insurance Policy contains adequate provision against any possibility of damage arising through subsidence, landslip, heave etc.

Finally, we have not excavated the foundations but we have drawn conclusions from our inspection and our general knowledge of this type, age and style of property.

As no excavation has been carried out we cannot be 100 percent certain as to how the foundation has been constructed and we can only offer our best assumptions and an educated guess, which we have duly done.


Trees within influencing distance of a property can affect the foundations by affecting the moisture content of the soil.

There are no trees within influencing distance of the main property, however to the rear of the property there are several fairly large trees that are close to the adjoining building and possibly blocking their light and definitely being within what we would term as influencing distance.

We spoke to the owners about this building, from memory it appeared new (I once actually worked down this road, although it was many years ago). We were advised that the company had not pulled down the old building but re-clad the outside fairly recently, so we assume that at that time it was also checked for structural movement.

ACTION REQUIRED: We would recommend that an Arboriculturist is called out as soon as practicable to give a comment on how best to maintain the trees.

Influencing Distance Defined

This is the distance in which a tree may be able to cause damage to the subject property.

Please also refer to the External Areas Section.


The Building Act of 1878 required a damp proof course to be added to all newly built properties within the London area. It also required various other basic standards. These requirements were gradually taken up (or should that be grudgingly taken up) throughout London and then the country as a whole, although this took many years for it to become standard practice.

All modern properties should incorporate a damp proof course (DPC) and good building practice dictates that a differential of 150mm (6 inches) should be maintained between the damp proof course and ground levels.

It was not possible to see if there is a damp proof course to the front of the property due to the rendered plinth. Often damp proof courses are hidden behind the plinths in the form of a slate damp proof course, but we cannot be certain in a property of this age. Unfortunately we were unable to inspect this internally due to the decking, the bench seating and the dado rail.

To the single storey rear extension for the kitchen there is cavity brick and we did note a thickening of the mortar indicating there is a damp proof course built in, which would be normal for this age of property.

Your attention is drawn to the section of the report specifically dealing with dampness.

The rendered plinth in red. It is not unusual to find some dampness in properties of this age.

Finally, sometimes it is difficult for us to identify if there is a damp proof course in a property. We have made our best assumptions based upon our general knowledge of the age, type and style of this property.


The external joinery part of this section covers windows, doors, fascias and soffits and any detailing such as brick corbelling etc.

Windows primary functions are to admit light and air, but they also have thermal and sound properties. The doors allow access and egress within the property. Another element of external joinery is the fascias and soffits. These offer protection to the rafter feet and also allow the securing of guttering.

Fascias and Soffits

The fascias and soffits are painted timber. Most of the fascia is hidden by the rainwater gutter, however they appear in reasonable condition. We are advised that the present landlady had not had them re-decorated in the past few years she had been there. A customer believed that external re-decoration was last carried out about five years ago. Most leases have an external re-decoration clause that is usually about every five years, so you should check this to make sure you do not have to paint the property.

ACTION REQUIRED: Your Legal Advisor to check when the next re-decoration is required under your lease terms.

A view of the fascia and soffit.

Windows and Doors

You have a mixture of mock Georgian style windows to the front of the property and sliding sash windows to the rear of the original part of the property and casement windows to the new extension. Approximately half of them will need redecorating, of this half approximately a quarter will need repair work. They would all be in what we would classify as saveable condition.

ACTION REQUIRED: We suggest a good quality joinery firm would take the best part of a week to sort these windows out. We feel it would be well worth spending the money on the older windows, but not so much on the more modern extension windows.

A view of one of the newer windows.

Finally, we have carried out a general and random inspection of the external joinery. In the case of the fascias and soffits it is typically a visual inspection from ground level. With the windows and doors we have usually opened a random selection of these during the course of the survey. In this section we are aiming to give a general overview of the condition of the external joinery. Please also see the Internal Joinery section.


The external decorations act as a protective coat for the building from the elements. Where this protective covering has failed, such as with flaking paintwork, the elements will infiltrate the structure. This is of particular concern as water is one of the major factors in damage to any structure.

In this case the external decorations are fairly reasonable to the brickwork and there is bare timber visible to some of the windows and doors and wet rot will definitely need repairing. To the fascias and soffit boards the paint is just starting to flake. To the signage flaking is occurring to the base.

Cleaning of Brickwork

There are various areas where moss is present, from what we could see this is normally related to problems with the Gutters and Downpipes, which need resolving and we would recommend that the moss is cleared away as it is unsightly. The areas where we noticed moss are as follows:

  1.   Rear right hand side of the kitchen, where a hopperhead looks to be overflowing   leaving moss at the lower level.
  2.   Front left hand side just above the flat roof over the gentlemen’s toilets, there looks   to be a leaking gutter in this area.
  3.   To the rear left hand side, behind where the private living accommodation and   W.C. is, again this relates to a leaking gutter.
  4.   to the rear of the bathroom area, this we believe relates to the angle that the   downpipe is aimed, which looks to spray water onto the wall and needs adjusting.

ACTION REQUIRED: Clear moss from brickwork once associated repairs have been carried out.

Finally, ideally external redecoration is recommended every four to five years dependent upon the original age of the paint, its exposure to the elements and the materials properties. Where painting takes place outside this maintenance cycle repairs should be expected. Ideally redecoration should be carried out during the better weather between mid-April and mid-September.

Please see our comments in the External Joinery section.



In this section we look at the finish applied to the structural elements such as the plasterwork applied to the ceiling joists, walls or partitions, together with the construction of the internal walls and partitions. The concept of internal finishes is relatively modern. Partitioning developed originally to separate the livestock from the human occupants. Finishes have developed from this very functional beginning to their decorative nature of today.


From the age of the property we believe the ceilings will have originally been lath and plaster, although the new alterations are likely to have been built with a plasterboard finish. Generally the ceilings are in reasonable condition, although we would refer you to our room by room schedule at the end of this section.

Lath and Plaster Defined

Laths are thin strips of timbers which are fixed to the structure. Wet plaster is applied to the laths, usually in several layers. The plaster forms a key as it is forced between the laths. This plaster, once dry, is given further coats and often a decorative finish.

Internal Walls and Partitions

There are a mixture of solid walls and studwork walls, this is fairly common in a public house of this age, which has been converted and amended over the years. Without opening up the structure we have no way of checking what supports have been added and therefore cannot confirm its suitability other than to say that the structure would appear to have stood the test of time and we noted no visible visual stress marks.

We would refer you to our schedule at the end of this section, which gives a detailed report of the condition of the various areas in the property room by room.

Finally, ceilings, walls and partitions have been inspected from floor level and no opening up has been undertaken (unless permission has been obtained by yourselves). In some cases the materials employed cannot be ascertained without samples being taken and damage being caused.

We cannot comment upon the condition of the structure hidden behind plaster, dry lining, other applied finishes, heavy furniture, fittings and kitchen units with fitted back panels.


With the advent of central heating fireplaces tend to be more a feature than an essential function in most properties.

At the time of the survey both fires were not in use, however there was one fire to the left hand side of the bar that looked to have been in use recently, but unfortunately the landlady did not know when the chimney had last been swept.

Finally, it is strongly recommended that flues be cleaned and checked for obstruction prior to use to minimise the risk of hazardous fumes entering the building.

Please also see the Chimney Stacks, Flues and Parapet Walls section of this Report.


Functionally floors should be capable of withstanding appropriate loading, preventing dampness, have thermal properties and durability. In addition to this upper floors should offer support for ceilings, resistance to fire and resistance to sound transfer.

No exposure was carried out due to the restrictions of fitted carpets, floor coverings etc. The comments are based upon our experience and knowledge of this type of construction.

Ground Floor

Although areas of the ground floor bar are finished with a timber floor boarding, we believe that underneath this there is a concrete finish. As we have not lifted carpets etc we have no way of being certain of this and/or the standard construction of the floors.

First Floor

Again we have not exposed this floor, however we believe it to be of joist and floorboard construction, as this is typical for this age of property. In addition there are likely to have been some steel ‘I’ beams added where walls have been removed on the ground floor.

No floorboards were lifted, and the floor was not accessed.

Joist and Floorboard Construction Defined

These are usually at first floor level consisting of a joist supported from the external walls, either built in or, in more modern times, sitting upon joist hangers, sometimes taking additional support from internal walls, with floorboards fixed down upon it.

Finally, we have not been able to view the actual floors themselves due to them being covered with fitted carpets, floor coverings, laminated flooring etc. The comments we have made are based upon our experience and knowledge of this type of construction. We would emphasise that we have not opened up the floors in any way or lifted any floorboards.


In this section we look at any problems that are being caused by dampness. It is therefore essential to diagnose the source of the dampness and to treat the actual cause and not the effect of the dampness.

Rising Damp

Rising damp depends upon three components, the porosity of the structure, and the supply of water and the rate of evaporation from the wall surface. The water rising from the ground will tend to rise in the raw materials and will continue to do so due to capillary action to varying degrees of intensity and height.

Unfortunately our testing was restricted due to the finishes in the trading area, which included close boarding and tiling, for example, in the toilet and kitchen areas. Given the age of the property we feel there is likely to be some dampness, however this is present hidden by the décor and fixtures and fittings.

ACTION REQUIRED: If you wish to be 100% certain that there is no dampness then we recommend that sections of the close boarding are removed and quotations are obtained from a damp proof company.

Effective testing was prevented in areas concealed by heavy furniture, fixtures such as kitchen fittings with back boards, and wall tiles etc.

Lateral or Penetrating Dampness

This is where water ingress occurs through the walls. This can be for various reasons such as poor pointing or wall materials or inadequate gutters and downpipes, such as poorly jointed gutters.

Tests were taken with a damp meter and we found some dampness, but this was at an acceptable level for this type, style and age of property.


We believe that some condensation will occur in both the kitchen and the bathroom as there is not suitable extraction in either. At the time of our inspection the kitchen window was open (although it was a cold winter’s day) as the washing was being carried out in this area, which of course leads to condensation.

ACTION REQUIRED: We recommend that extract fans are added to any high humidity areas such as bathrooms and kitchens and in these areas where there already are extract fans we recommend that these are cleaned and generally overhauled.

Finally, effective testing was prevented in areas concealed by heavy furniture, fixtures such as kitchen fittings with backboards, wall tiles and wall panelling. We have not carried out tests to BRE Digest 245, but only carried out a visual inspection.


This section considers dry rot, wet rot and woodworm. Wet and Dry rot are species of fungi, both need moisture to develop and both can be very expensive to correct. We would also add that in our experience they are also often wrongly diagnosed.

Dry Rot and Wet Rot

Dry rot is also sometimes known by its Latin name Serpula lacrymans. Dry rot requires constant dampness together with a warmish atmosphere and can lead to extensive decay in timber.

Wet rot, also known by its Latin name Contiophora puteana, is far more common than dry rot. Wet rot darkens and softens the wood and is most commonly seen in window and doorframes, where it can relatively easily be remedied. Where wet rot affects the structural timbers in a property, which are those in the roof and the floor areas, it is more serious.

There is wet rot visible in the roof space, if left this could ultimately lead to dry rot. We have set out earlier within this report ways to repair the roof, which should stop the dampness coming into the property.


Active woodworm can cause significant damage to timber. There are a variety of woodworm that cause different levels of damage with probably the worst of the most well known being the Death Watch Beetle. Many older properties have woodworm that is no longer active, this can often be considered as part of the overall character of the property.

The roof space was inspected for woodworm and there were no obvious visual signs of it or indeed signs that past woodworm activity had caused any structurally significant damage, however, if you wish to be 100 per cent certain the only way would be to have a check when the property is emptied of furniture and various stored items. Although I think it is unlikely there is active woodworm you can never be 100 per cent certain.

ACTION REQUIRED: If you wish to be 100 per cent certain get the property checked when it is empty of fixtures, fittings and furniture etc.

Finally, when you move into the property, floor surfaces should be carefully examined for any signs of insect infestation when furniture and floor coverings are removed together with stored goods. Any signs that are found should be treated to prevent it spreading. However, you need to be aware that many damp and woodworm treatment companies have a vested interest in selling their products and therefore have fairly cleverly worded quotations where they do not state if the woodworm they have found is ‘active’. You should ask them specifically if the woodworm is active or not.

We would also comment that any work carried out should have an insurance backed guarantee to ensure that if the company does not exist, or for whatever reason, the guarantee is still valid. More importantly it is essential to ensure that any work carried out is carried out correctly.


Cellars and vaults tend to be found in older properties and offer a useful space, although usually they are dam, unless some treatment has taken place such as the tanking of the walls, which is a liming process, or an external damp proofing membrane of some type has been added, or if internally the walls have been lined, therefore hiding the damp. Cellars are often susceptible to flooding from excessive rain, rising water table levels or even blocked drains.

Please see our comments within the schedule at the end of this Report.

Finally, we have made a visual inspection of the cellar/vault only and have no way of knowing what the construction is without opening up the structure.


In this section we put any other matters that do not fit under our usual headings.

Environmental Health

We recommend that your Legal Advisor makes formal enquiries with regard to the Environmental Health Notices that have been served or are pending.

ACTION REQUIRED: As detailed above.

The difficulty with Environmental Health issues is that they are very subjective and really down to the particular Environmental Health Officer that visits and their relationship with the Landlord/Landlady. We noted during the course of our inspection both property issues and the way in which the operation was run issues, which we feel the Environmental Health Officer would not be happy if they saw them. You may already have your own ideas upon this type of area.

Generally however, the kitchen could do with a very good spring clean and general re-organisation.

The Disability Act

The Disability Act came into being recently and generally requires you to consider the disabled. This can range from anything from the partially sighted to the wheelchair bound and you need to give reasonable consideration to allow them to use the premises as would any able bodied person. In this instance this may mean having a ramp available to allow them to get into the pub, having staff trained and aware of their needs and requirements to be able to assist them etc.


We are advised that the property has two close circuit TV cameras, but neither of them are currently working.

Fire Precautions

During the course of our inspection we did not note any fire extinguishers or other such appliances, which we were surprised at.

ACTION REQUIRED: Your Legal Advisor to check to see if there is a current Fire Certificate on the property.


We would always recommend staying with the existing insurance company, then if there are any problems you should not have the difficulty of negotiating with two insurance companies passing the blame between each other.


This survey does not include any specialist reports on the electricity supply and circuits, heating or drainage as they were not requested. The comments that follow are based upon a visual inspection carried out as part of the overall Building Survey.

Services and specialist installations have been visually inspected. It is impossible to examine every detail of these installations without partially dismantling the structure. Tests have not been applied. Conclusive tests can only be undertaken by suitably qualified contractors. The vendor should be requested to provide copies of any service records, test certificates and, ideally, the names and addresses of the installing contractors.


The electric fuses and consumer units were located in the office area. From our visual inspection we do not believe the electric system would meet current Regulations.

ACTION REQUIRED: If there is no record of an electrical test having been undertaken within the last five years it is recommended that the insulation be tested by a competent electrician (NICEIC registered) and all recommendations implemented. Thereafter the insulation should be re-tested every five years.


There is very little we can check for in a gas installation, we do inspect to make sure there is one and that it has a consumer unit and that the boilers are vented. Ideally you should have a service inspection carried out by an independent CORGI registered plumber.

We have not been able to locate the gas meter. The gas is used for both cooking and heating and we forgot to ask during our question and answer session. We are happy to return if this is an issue.

We do not carry out any gas tests. All gas appliances, pipework and flues should be the subject of an annual service by a competent engineer, i.e., a member of CORGI (the Council of Registered Gas Installers); works to gas appliances etc., by unqualified personnel is illegal. Unless evidence can be provided to confirm that there has been annual servicing we would recommend that you commission such a service prior to use to ensure safe and efficient operation.

As a matter of course it is recommended that the entire gas installation is inspected and made good, as necessary, by a CORGI registered contractor. Thereafter the installation should be serviced annually.


In this section we do our best from a visual inspection to look at how the water is supplied to the property, how the supply is distributed around the property, how it is used to heat the property and how it is discharged from the property.

Water Supply

The controlling stopcock was not located. It is important that its presence is established in case of bursts or leaks. The stopcock and other controlling valves have not been inspected or tested for operational effectiveness.

It should be noted that the supply pipe from the Water Company stopcock to the internal stop tap is the responsibility of the property owner.

We cannot comment on the condition of the water service pipe to the building. It should be appreciated that leaks can occur for some time before signs are apparent on the surface.

Water Pressure

When the taps were run to carry out the drainage test we checked the pressure literally by putting a finger over the tap and this seemed reasonable.

The Water Board have to guarantee a certain pressure of water to ensure that things like boilers, particularly the instantaneous ones have a constant supply of pressured water (they would blow up if they didn’t!).

Cold Water Cistern

This is located within the roof. As already mentioned it requires a cover.

Please see our comments in the Roof section

Hot Water Cylinder

The property has a combination boiler and therefore does not have a hot water cylinder.


The plumbing, where visible, comprises copper pipework. No significant leakage was noted on the surface, although most of the pipework is concealed in ducts and floors.


Our limited inspection of the hot water and central heating system revealed no evidence to suggest any serious defects but we would nevertheless recommend that the system be tested and overhauled before exchange of contracts and that a regular maintenance contract be placed with an approved heating engineer. As mentioned earlier we noted that some radiators were off the wall and need re-securing.

Soil and Vent Pipe

There are various soil and vent pipes. Our main concern is how these go through the rear flat roof and this flashing detail should be tidied up when the roof is repaired.

Finally, it should be noted that the supply pipe from the Water Company stopcock to the internal stop tap is the responsibility of the property owner.

We cannot comment on the condition of the water service pipe to the building. It should be appreciated that leaks can occur for some time before signs are apparent on the surface.


In this section we consider the overall condition of the sanitary fittings such as the toilets, bathrooms, the kitchen, the utility rooms and the cloakrooms.

Please see our comments within the schedule at the end of this report.


The sanitary system, as we know it now, came into being some 100 years ago during the Victorian era and works so successfully today it is often taken for granted. It is only in recent years that re-investment has taken place to upgrade the original drainage systems.

It is assumed that the foul drains from the property discharge into a public sewer; this should be confirmed by your Legal Advisor prior to exchange of contracts, who should also provide information in respect of any common or shared drains including liability for the maintenance and upkeep of the same.

Inspection Chambers/Manholes

For your information, inspection chambers / manholes are required to be provided in the current Building Regulations at each change of direction or where drainage runs join the main run.

Unfortunately in this instance we did not find any manholes within the curtilage of the property and therefore have not been able to inspect the drains. However, during our question and answer session we were advised that there was a grease trap, although we could not actually find this.

You should be aware that properties of this age that originally started off serving beer and have generally moved towards a food trade can have problems with the drains, particularly when an excess of grease is discharged into the drains, which can cause blocking.

Finally, it must be emphasised that the condition of the property’s foul drains can only be ascertained by the carrying out of a test; such a test has not been undertaken. Should there be leaks in the vicinity of the building then problems could occur, particularly with respect to the stability of the building’s foundations. Drainage repairs are inevitably costly and may result in damage being caused to those areas of the property beneath, or adjacent to, which the drains have been run.

Rainwater/Surface Water Drainage

Whilst very innocent looking rainwater downpipes can cause lots of problems. If they discharge directly onto the ground they can affect the foundations and even if they are taken away to soak-aways they can attract nearby tree roots or again affect foundations.

Some rainwater drains are taken into the main drainage system, which is now illegal (as we simply do not have the capacity to cope with it), and can cause blockages to the main drains! Here we have done our best from a visual inspection to advise of any particular problems.

We have been unable to determine the ultimate means of rain/surface water disposal. It was noted that some of it disposes directly onto the pavement/patio area and we feel there are unlikely to be soak-aways. The remaining drains are likely to discharge directly into the main drains.

Finally, rain/surface water drains have not been tested and their condition or effectiveness is not known. Similarly, the adequacy of soak-aways has not been established although you are advised that they tend to silt up and become less effective with time.

Please also see our comments within the Gutters and Downpipes section.



There are no outbuildings.


Right Hand Boundary

The right hand boundary is made up of a horizontal shiplap fence with concrete posts. This is in need of re-staining and re-aligning.

Opposite the gable of the pub there is a gable of a residential property which has a pea shingle render to the majority of it, with the exception of the bottom meter and a half that has a plain render. There is also a scaffold pole handrail to the rear right hand side boundary.

Rear Boundary

The rear boundary is formed with two large conifers, an unidentified tree and a brick wall of approximately two meters high with piers in it of about every two meters, which is at a slight angle. There is a rendered section of about two meters squared to the far right hand corner.

Left Hand Boundary

To the left hand side there is a vertical shiplap boarded timber fence with timber posts. This is in need of re-staining. The car park is tarmac with parking for approximately 16 cars. The tarmac is in reasonable condition, although there do not appear to be any drains upon it.

On the left hand side there is also a wall and fenced area that incorporates a bin store and access to the cellar. The fence in this area is horizontal shiplap boarding with concrete posts and a dwarf brick wall. There is also a low level patio area here with a dwarf brick wall that is part retaining wall. We noted no weep holes to the wall and a corner section of the wall has been cut back for steps in the corner. We noted some vegetation to the patio area and we noted the two gullies, one of them had a missing gully cover.

Whilst we note the boundaries, these may not be the legal boundaries. Your Legal Advisor should make further enquiries on this point and advise you of your potential liability with regard to any shared structures, boundary walls and fences.

The left hand boundary is usually the responsibility of the subject property.


From our investigations the property has been identified as being Listed and situated within a Conservation Area.

Your Legal Advisor should confirm the above and carry out any searches he/she feels are necessary.


There now follows a room by room schedule of condition of the property.

Private Living Accommodation



Lightly artexed with inset ceiling lights. There are several hairline cracks (these do not look to be plasterboard related).


Painted with two layers of tiles above the work top kitchen units. Both wall mounted and floor mounted kitchen units, which are slightly dirty and some of the handles are broken or missing (we counted two broken and two missing).

One wall freshly plastered, no decorative finish.


Vinyl finish.

Joinery - Windows and Doors

Sliding sash window in need of decoration and some filling. Four panelled painted timber door with marks and scuffs.


Internal radiator.

The boiler is a Baxi combi range. It is installed on the external wall with an undecorated service duct that needs decorating.

NOTE: We noted that most of the electric sockets are surface mounted (as opposed to being inset and flush).

First Floor Bedroom – Far right hand side


Lightly artexed and in fair condition. Near the door there is damage to the wallpaper – possible leak above (unfortunately there is no access to this ceiling, so it is difficult to comment further other than to say that this sits approximately where the valley gutter is between the two main roofs and therefore is a likely area for a leaking roof).


Papered and painted and in tired but reasonable condition.


Carpets. Slightly marked.


Old style gas fire fitted to chimney. Double panelled internal radiator.

Please see our comments at the end of this section with regard to internal radiators, which the majority of the radiators to the first floor are.

Windows and Doors

Sliding sash windows (not opened) and panelled door with minor marks.

Stair Hallway


Papered and painted, slightly marked. Insert ceiling lights, we are slightly concerned about these as the electric wiring is exposed within the roof space. Please see the comments within the Services Section of this Report.


Painted woodchip, tired with some marks.


Carpet, slightly marked.


Slightly marked – difficult to view due to the amount of stored items within this area.


The small area we could see was slightly marked.


Some of the steps’ carpeting is unfinished.


Handrail newel posts are painted timber with slight marks


Sliding sash window with no access – due to the stored items on the landing.

Bedroom Two – Front right hand side


Painted woodchip - tired.


Painted woodchip with hairline crack running the length of the left hand dividing wall (directions given as you face the property). Some marks to the walls.


Two built in cupboards either side of the chimney with slatted doors. The chimney is vented.


Carpeted, slightly marked.

Windows and Doors

A mock Georgian look window with a top opening light – generally dirty and in need of cleaning. A panelled door marked and scuffed.


Internal radiator.

Bedroom Three – Presently used as an ironing room – (small)


Lightly artexed, starting to go off colour.


Painted woodchip. A vertical crack running from the ceiling to floor level. Studwork walls. Paper is generally coming off the wall at the edges of each role.


Carpeted and slightly marked.


Skirtings marked and wood is visible in some areas.

Built in cupboards, the doors are painted timber and are dated.

Windows and Doors

Mock Georgian window with opening top light. Generally dirty. Panelled entrance door which is painted white and stained and marked.


Internal radiator.

Access Corridor


Mixture of painted areas and painted woodchip paper with ceiling mounted lights.


Painted woodchip (bright red).


Carpeted and marked.


Timber dado rail to the rear side wall.

Bedroom Four


Painted woodchip.


Painted wallpaper with graffiti and needing complete redecoration.


Carpets badly marked and stained.


Chipped skirtings.

Built in cupboard with timber slats around the chimney. The chimney is vented.

Windows and Doors

Dirty mock Georgian with top opening light. Double panelled entrance door, which is marked and scuffed with a damaged doorframe where the room looks to have been broken into at some point in time.


Internal radiator.

Toilet – Far left hand side


Painted woodchip paper.


Painted woodchip paper - marked


Carpeted and in reasonable condition.

Sanitary wear


Joinery - Windows and Doors

Sliding sash window in need of making good, general easing and adjusting and re-decoration. Painted panelled entrance door with some minor marks on it.



Lightly artexed with pealing paint over the bath. Inset light and also surface mounted light. Extract fan in need of cleaning.

Sanitary wear

Enamelled bath and ceramic wash hand basin. General overhaul required.


Tiled from ceiling to bath level on the bath side with some tiling around the external wall and the wash hand basin with paint to the remainder of the wall.

The seal between the tiles in the bathroom needs re-masticing and some of the tiles have lost their key and need re-bedding. There are some fixing holes within the tiles.



Joinery - Windows and Doors

Timber sliding sash window in reasonable condition. The door is a painted four panelled door with two glazed sections to the top all messily painted white, which has gone over the glass areas as well.

In Summary

In our opinion the entirety of the first floor needs re-decoration to ceilings and walls and joinery. In addition to this most rooms need re-carpeting.

We would also comment that the radiators are fitted on internal walls which tends to promote dampness through cold spots.

The electrics look to have been added to over the years and we do recommend that an electrical test is obtained prior to accepting responsibility for the lease.

Ground Floor

Catering Kitchen


Some marks and staining.


Tiled throughout with some ingrained dirt and grease to the grout and various old fixing points (we judge in the region of 20).


Altro-style flooring, some of the sealed units are starting to come away and there is general marking and staining, particularly to the perimeters.


Two cupboards within the kitchen area, one to the boiler, presumably for the trading area, with no manufacturers name visible on it, however there is a Potterton timing device. There is also a factory insulated cylinder, the sealing in this area is starting to come away slightly.

Windows and Doors

Painted single glazed timber casement windows in reasonable condition. Painted entrance door with vision panel and door closer.

Storage Cupboard


Painted with a hairline crack to the far corner.


Tiled. Some of the tiles are starting to come away, approximately a dozen or so to the rear wall.


Altro-style with the seal completely gone at the door joint.


Three shelving units, all painted timber, some of these are marked and worn and could do with re-decoration.


There is a painted flash panelled door. We noted impact damage, general marking and dust and dirt from everyday use.

The external door to the rear is a two panelled door with a top vision panel. The thermal seal is starting to come away from it.

Kitchenware/Sanitary wear

This includes a double sink and double drain, stainless steel six ring gas cooker with a double extraction hood above it, three microwaves, and two fryers with a single extractor hood above it and a griddle and various stainless steel units. There are also various fridges and freezers.

We have not tested any of the units.

Toilet Opposite Kitchen

This does not look to be presently used and there are various stored items in it.


Painted and in need of re-decoration. There is some mould to the corner areas and some hairline cracks that looked to be plasterboard cracking.


The walls are tiled, mould covered in parts and dirty.


Quarry tiled, dirty and in need of a clean.

Sanitary ware

The W.C. and wash hand basin are in desperate need of a clean.

Joinery - Windows and Doors

There is a timber entrance door, which we could barely open due to the amount of stored items in the area. We could not gain access to the window, although externally the paint is flaking on it.

Lobby Area to First Floor and External Access


The external door looks to be an internal quality painted flash panelled door. The door to the base of the stairs is a painted impressed hardboard door, which has some damage and is also marked.

The internal door between the lobby and kitchen corridor is a six panelled timber door, which is damaged and has part of a panel missing and is not painted.

There is a partition that has been formed in plasterboard that looks to have been added as a fire regulation requirement to separate the stair area from the kitchen, which is considered a high risk area.


There is an Altro-style floor covering that is marked and dirty.

‘Office’ – Galley-style


Lightly artexed with a taped joint with the tape coming away.


Painted. Marked and in need of re-decoration. There is a high level kitchen-style unit and a desk top.


Altro-style. Some of the welded joints are starting to come away. There is a mass of services to the front right hand corner (all directions given from the front of the property). The flooring is literally coming away at the entrance to the cellar.

Joinery - Windows and Doors

No door or windows to this area.

Cellar – off of Office area


Painted ceiling with some hairline cracks following the plasterboard line and some general marking. There is also a leak to the ceiling to the far left hand edge. This has resulted in some hairline cracking around the beam.


Painted blockwork. There is a painted brick plinth, three courses high, to the perimeter of the cellar, we assume to protect the blockwork.


Concrete, marked.

Joinery - Windows and Doors

The entrance door is a painted panelled door that is badly marked.

There are two rear metal plated doors.


The area includes a cooler unit, beer cleaning lines, general storage shelves, Formica cupboard on a shelving system and doors to the rear with a floor drain (no sump pump visible).

Trading Area

Gents Toilets


Painted, marked, stained and tired.

Roof Lights

Two Georgian wire, polish plated rooflights, flat with side vents, which looks to be metal.


Tiled from floor to ceiling, marked and ingrained dirt to the top portion.


Quarry tiled throughout with ingrained dirt to the joints and to the perimeter. Some marks to the quarry tiles in the W.C.

Windows and Doors

Painted timber window with a Georgian wire, polish plate glass. The paintwork is dirty and tired. The fan within the window needs cleaning.

The entrance door is a six panelled door which is marked with paint missing and various graffiti scraped into it. The door closer is broken. The W.C. door is a flash panelled door with minor scratches on it. The framework paint is yellowing.


Single panelled radiator.

Sanitary ware

Two urinals, wash hand basin and W.C.

Ladies W.C.


Painted ceiling. Marks where the lights have been moved and burn marks to the ceiling. This room is internal so there are two extractor fans, both of which need cleaning. There are two bulk head lights in the two W.C’s, both have the casing missing and there is also general marking on the ceiling, particularly in the W.C’s.


Predominantly tiled with paintwork to the top section. In reasonable condition, although the mastic seal around the wash hand basin could do with replacement.


Quarry tiled flooring with ingrained dirt to the joints with a wood skirting surrounding it (as opposed to a tile skirting, which would be a better detail).

Windows and Doors

Two painted flash doors to the W.C’s, in reasonable condition. Minor amount of marking to the lower areas.

Entrance door (there is a small lobby), a painted flash panelled door in reasonable condition.

Note: The lobby should be vented and it is not.

Main Bar


Painted plaster with a mixture of surface mounted lights and spot lights.


Painted embossed paper in an ‘L’ shaped bar with scuffs and marks to the lower area, there is a painted timber dado rail and a pool table to the right hand side, this area is the most heavily marked. In the main bar there is a timber dado rail with close boarding and brown paint.


Carpets in the majority of the bar with tiles surrounding the bar and wood boarding running left to right with the pool area being heavily marked.

Windows and Doors

Generally marked and slightly stained and in need of re-decoration.

Bar Servery Area

A timber boarded clad bar with painted timber canopy with close boarding. Back bar painted timber with shelving of varnished timber. To the front of the bar there is a Formica covered shelving system and an Altro style floor covering.

In Summary

The areas generally need a thorough clean and re-decoration and there are various repairs that need carrying out for example the doors, tiling etc.

If you wish to proceed with your purchase of the property a copy of this should be forwarded to your Legal Advisor and the following points should be checked by him/her:-
Responsibility for boundaries.
Rights for you to enter onto the adjacent property to maintain any structure situated near or on the boundary and any similar rights your neighbour may have to enter onto your property.
c) Obtain any certificates, guarantees or approvals in relation to:-
i) Timber treatments, wet or dry rot infestations.
ii) Rising damp treatments.
iii) Roof and similar renewals.
iv) Central heating installation.
v) Planning and Building Regulation Approvals.
vi) Any other matters pertinent to the property.
Confirm that there are no defects in the legal Title in respect of the property and all rights associated therewith, e.g., access.
e) Rights of Way e.g., access, easements and wayleaves.
f) Liabilities in connection with shared services.
g) Adjoining roads and services.
h) Road Schemes/Road Widening.
i) General development proposals in the locality.
Conservation Area, Listed Building, Tree Preservation Orders or any other Designated Planning Area.
Confirm from enquiries that no underground tunnels, wells, sewers, gases, mining, minerals, site reclamation/contamination etc., exist, have existed or are likely to exist beneath the curtilage of the site upon which the property stands and which could affect the quiet enjoyment, safety or stability of the property, outbuildings or surrounding areas.
Our Report assumes that the site has not been put to contaminative use and no investigations have been made in this respect.
Any outstanding Party Wall Notice or of the knowledge that any are about to be served.
We strongly recommend that Envirosearch or a similar product is used by your Legal Advisor to establish whether this area falls into a flood plain, old landfill site etc., and brought to its logical conclusion. If your Legal Advisor is not aware of the system please ensure that they contact us and we will advise them about it.


From our investigations the property has been identified as being Grade II Listed and situated within a Conservation Area.

Your Legal Advisor should confirm the above and carry out any searches he/she feels are necessary.


Planning and Building Control

We have made a telephone enquiry with the Planning Department and the Building Regulations Department on ????? at ???????, we have spoken with a ?????????? who advised us that their records go back to 1996 and in this time there have been no applications. We would comment that further records will be available by visiting the Council offices and when your Legal Advisor carries out a formal search.

We therefore advise that your Legal Advisor should carry out any checks he or she feels necessary and confirm the above information together with any further information that they find that they consider of interest and relevance.

Finally, an extract from the book “Sold”!

“When you receive your full structural survey (now known as a Building Survey), do remember that you have requested a list of the property’s faults so it is unlikely to make cheerful reading. Every property has its faults but what you are looking for are the serious ones. If your Report does reveal a serious problem that you had not anticipated when making your offer, the first thing to do is to decide whether you want to take on the repairs if an adjustment is made to the price. If you do, then get quotes for the work as quickly as possible and present your case in a fair manner. Most people are reasonable under such circumstances and will compromise but inevitably there are those who are sufficiently confident of their position to say take it or leave it. In a very active market, prices may have moved up sufficiently to cover the extra expenditure in theory and the vendor will not hasten to point this out but remember that he has probably got a vendor pressing him to proceed quickly and starting with a new purchaser will cause him delay”

It is our policy not to offer a conclusion to ensure that the Building Survey is read in full and the comments are taken in context.

If you would like any further advice on any of the issues discussed (or indeed any that have not been discussed!) then please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 298 5424.

For and on Behalf of

GEM Associates Ltd
Chartered Surveyors

This Report is dated


The repair and maintenance of houses
Published by Estates Gazette Limited

Life expectancies of building components
Published by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and
Building Research Establishment

Surveying buildings
By Malcolm Hollis 4th edition published by Royal Institution of
Chartered Surveyors Books.

House Builders Bible
By mark Brinkley, Published by Burlington Press



Our limitations are as the agreed Terms and Conditions of Engagement.


The report has been prepared in accordance with our Conditions of Engagement dated ????????? and should be regarded as a comment on the overall condition of the property and the quality of its structure and not as an inventory of every single defect. It relates to those parts of the property that were reasonably and safely accessible at the time of the inspection, but you should be aware that defects can subsequently develop particularly if you do not follow the recommendations.


We would remind you that this report should not be published or reproduced in any way without the surveyor’s expressed permission and is governed by English Law and any dispute arising there from shall be adjudicated upon only by the English Courts.


This report is for the sole use of the named Client and is confidential to the Client and his professional advisors. Any other persons rely on the Report at their own risk.


Although we are pointing out the obvious, our Surveyors obviously can’t see through walls, floors, heavy furniture, fixed kitchen units etc. they have therefore made their best assumptions in these areas.

As this is a one off inspection, we cannot guarantee that there are no other defects than those mentioned in the report and also that defects can subsequently develop.


It was a cold winter’s day at the time of the inspection. The weather did not hamper the survey.

We would add that some defects only become apparent upon physical occupation or are only present as a result of the extremes of weather (which are becoming a more frequent occurrence); for example the year 2000 was the wettest year on record and the 2003 the driest year on records, this is likely to have adverse effects on lots of buildings in years to come.


The property was occupied at the time of our survey, which meant that there were various difficulties when carrying out the survey such as stored items within cupboards, the roof space and obviously day-to-day household goods throughout the property and usual items associated with running this type of business. We have, however, done our best to work around these.


We used to include within our reports articles on the property market that we thought would be of interest and informative to you, however we were concerned that in some cases these did not offer the latest information. We have therefore decided to recommend various websites to you, however it is important to realise the vested interest the parties may have and the limits to the information.
This records the ownership of interests in registered land in England and Wales and issues a residential property price report quarterly, which is free of charge. The Land Registry is a Government body and records all transactions as far as we are aware, although critics of it would argue that the information is often many months out of date.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors offer commentary on the commercial market. Although this has been criticised as being subjective and also limited.

However it is important to realise the vested interest that the parties that run the websites may have and the limits to this information.