A 17th Century Public House

Mr Andrew Hoy

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 risk.

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.



The ?????? is a large public house, situated on ???????. It is two storeys in height, and has had many and various additions and alterations over the years, as have most properties of this age.

We are advised that the public house is not targeted at any specific age, and is wet trade driven with a reasonable food trade. The pub is presently trialling live music. There is a petanque and a pool team.

To the rear of the property is a beer garden and the petanque court, together with a small car park.

We believe the property was constructed originally in the 17th Century, with various additions and add-ons over the years.

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

Putting Life Into Perspective

Some of the things that were happening around the time the property was built:

1666 The Great Fire of London
1681 Oil powered street lights are put up in London
Britain recognised American Independence
The start of the Industrial Revolution
1793 – 1800 The Grand Union Canal was built

Front Elevation

Rear view

Beer Garden

Car Park

Car Park


Ground Floor – Trading Area

Front of House

The ground floor area consist of:

  •   An open plan bar area with a raised floor section, and includes a pool table and   dart board.
  •   Female toilets to the right hand side.
  •   Male toilets to the right hand side.

Back of House

  •   Catering kitchen (there is no private kitchen)
  •   Corridors to the rear and to the first floor.

Cellar – access from Trading Area

  •   The cellar is divided into a cold area and a storage area.

First Floor - Private Living Accommodation

  •   Lounge
  •   Three Bedrooms
  •   Bathroom
  •   Separate WC
  •   Office
  •   Very small store


Right Hand Side of the Bar

Left Hand Side of the Bar


Cellar Area

Gents WC

Catering Kitchen

First Floor

Front Bedroom, Right Hand Side

Rear Bedroom





Chimneys: Four brick chimneys
Main Roof: A pitched roof, clad with concrete tiles
Rear Roof:
Shallow pitched and clad with a slate
Rainwater Goods:
Predominantly plastic; some original cast iron remaining
Walls: Partly painted pebbledash render and Flemish bond brickwork (assumed)
External Joinery: Painted timber sliding sash windows


A mixture of lath and plaster, and some plasterboard to the newer sections (assumed)
Walls: For the Trading Area they have been removed to the upper floors; they are predominantly heavy duty studwork (assumed)
Ground Floor: A suspended timber floor over the cellar area (assumed)

First Floor: Joist and floorboards (assumed)


The front of the property sits directly onto the pavement. To the rear there is a beer garden, car park and petanque court.

We are advised that the property is Listed; therefore permission will need to be sought. We always recommend that general advice be obtained from the local authority.

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/home when we are trying to second-guess what their 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 150 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:-

Generally, we found the property externally in reasonable condition for a leasehold public house, with a few specific exceptions. Internally, superficially the property is in good order. There are, however, several issues that need addressing, which we have detailed in the main body of this report.

We have divided the Executive Summary into ‘The Good’, ‘The Bad’ and ‘The Ugly’, to help distinguish what in our mind are the main issues.

The Good

Generally speaking, the area the public house covers has been well developed, considering the space.

The bar arrangements allow “supervision” of all the trading area from the bar.

You advised us that you have a public entertainments licence.

We are sure you can think of others, having been tenants for some years.

The Bad

1) Gutters and Downpipes

Much of the original cast iron has been replaced with plastic. Unfortunately, the brackets have been left at the original cast iron spacings and this, as plastic is not as robust as cast iron, has resulted in the guttering deflecting and discharging water down the buildings in some areas.

ACTION REQUIRED: Additional brackets and/or the plastic guttering being replaced with cast iron.

This shows the problem quite well;
you can see the deflection in the
guttering, and you can see the
hairline cracking in the adjoining
part of the structure.

Please note, there are a number of areas where the cast iron and plastic are joined together; these will generally leak as the cast iron is to imperial sizes and the plastic to metric. Please see the Gutters and Downpipes Section of this Report.

2) Main Roofs

Within the roof, we can see that some of the tiles to the rear are originally peg tiles. The wooden pegs have been replaced now with nails; this is never an ideal situation as the roof is held together mainly by gravity.

ACTION REQUIRED: Unfortunately, to resolve this is very difficult and it will result in a renewal of the roof being required. Having said that, at present we could see nothing specifically that would mean we would recommend this action, and we would normally leave this type of roof until water is getting in.

You can see the displaced peg tiles
to the left hand side.
The back of the clay tiles. If you look
carefully, you can see the nails. This
roof is held together with good luck
and gravity.
Valley Gutters
Valley gutters are always weak areas within a roof structure. This property has two valley gutters, one of which is particularly weak, to the rear left hand side (all directions given as you face the property).

Unfortunately, we were unable to access and view these areas.

If you look closely in this photograph you can see a valley gutter, just above the window on the right hand side. We feel this very awkward gutter detail will allow water in sooner or later.

Please see the Roof Structure and Lofts Section of this Report.

3) Services - Electrics

From our visual inspection, we would consider the electrical installation not to NIC EIC standards.

ACTION REQUIRED: Have an Institute of Electrical Engineers full report carried out on the property, and any recommendations actioned.

ANTICIPATED COST: In the region of £250 to £300 for the circuit board, plus any other recommendations that are made.

Please see the Services Section of this Report.

4) Kitchen Area / Bar Area

We noted several items are not strictly to Environmental Health standards, such as defects and poor quality repairs to the flooring, no fly screens to the windows (assuming that they are opened occasionally), storage items in the access corridor from the kitchen to the trading area.

ACTION REQUIRED: Repair as necessary.

ANTICIPATED COST: Several hundred pounds

5) Airflow to the Cellar

There would appear to be very little airflow to the cellar, which can promote rot. The pub company has carried out work in the cellar. From what we can see and gather, this has done little more than hide the problem rather than actually repair it.

ACTION REQUIRED: Add airbricks, and the pub company to advise of what work they did.

ANTICIPATED COST: We would expect costs to be approaching £1,000 for the addition of several airbricks.

6) Windows

There is a fair amount of visible rot to the windows, which is bad but we would term the windows as saveable.

ACTION REQUIRED: Splice in new timber and repair and redecorate.

ANTICIPATED COST: We would expect costs in the region of £2,500 to £7,500 for the job to be done properly.

7) Woodworm
There is woodworm throughout the property, as one would expect in a building of this age. We are not overly concerned with this, as we do not believe that the woodworm is active. However, we cannot be certain unless we visit during the breeding season (spring).

The Ugly
8) Chimneys

The front brick chimney needs repointing. It will be a difficult/expensive job as it will require scaffolding access.

We would also recommend all the other chimneys are checked at the same time. Some of these are substantial; they are already braced.

We noted one of them requires a lead flashing, as opposed to its present cement flashing.

Please see the Chimneys Section of this Report.

Front chimney. Note also the
cement flashing.
A lead flashing all the way round
would be recommended.
9) Dampness / Condensation into the Rear Slate Roof

The property has a shallow pitched slate roof to the rear, as was a common design. Originally, the roof would have been self-venting as there would have been no underlayer. However, in more recent years, we believe this roof has been re-roofed and an underlayer added without ventilation. This has resulted in condensation occurring in the roof.

ACTION REQUIRED: Add ventilation to the roof, and also carry out a thorough inspection of all the timbers, and replace as necessary.

Please see the Roof Coverings and Underlayers Section of this Report.

If you look closely, you can see the
dampness in the timbers.
Here you can see the warping in
the timbers.
10) Cellar

The cellar is not currently to Environmental Health standards. There should be “smooth impervious surfaces” for this area. We note that the concrete flooring is damaged, and dampness is visible to the walls.

What we are also concerned about is that within the storage section of the cellar, much of the ceiling structure was recently covered up.

ACTION REQUIRED: Beer cellar to be brought up to Environmental Health Standards. The pub company to provide details of the work they carried out to the cellar, and any drawings / structural calculations they had with regard to the alterations in general.

Please see the Cellars and Vaults Section of this Report.

11) Viable Business
  Based upon the comments and discussions had during the course of the survey, we would also suggest that you view the viability of the business. We always recommend that a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis is carried out, and that you actually set aside half a day away from the business to do the review.

DIY/Handyman Repairs

As this is a Full Repairing and Insuring lease (FRI), all future maintenance would be your responsibility together, depending upon the terms of your lease, to “put and keep” the property in good order.

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.


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:-

One of the things that we feel we should reiterate is that many pub companies will not allow a schedule of conditions to be attached to the lease. We have prepared a Commercial Building Survey here; this is not a Schedule of Condition. However, we have set out our notes in such a way that we can convert it to a Schedule of Condition should you require.

Our main concerns would regard the chimney, as this is a fairly major cost.

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 business will be being put onto a long lease (15 years plus), with 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.





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 four chimneys to this property, one to the front and three to the rear, two of which are to the right hand side, the third being to the middle.

Chimney One –Front Left Hand Chimney

This Chimney needs completely repointing, and there may be other work when you have a close inspection of it. This chimney sits on the party wall, so in theory the costs can be shared; in practice, it can be a completely different matter. Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.

Chimney Two – Rear Middle Chimney

This is brick built in a white brick, and has one chimney flue. From what we could see from ground level it looked in good condition considering its age. Unfortunately we were unable to see the flaunchings, we therefore cannot comment upon them.

Chimneys Three and Four – To the rear left hand side of the property

There are two substantial brick chimneys built in a white brick, each with one chimney pot. They are strapped; from the sides we could see they looked in reasonable condition, with the exception of the rear right hand one requiring the cement flashing to be replaced with a lead flashing.

ACTION REQUIRED: We would, given the size of them, recommend a close inspection before committing to the lease. You will need a builder with a set of long ladders to view them properly.

Dormer Window

There are dormer windows to this property, they are formed with what looks to be a lead roof (although we could only see the side of it), and painted render cheeks / sides. It generally looked in reasonable condition, although we would add with the caveat of the flat roof; we were not able to see it.

ACTION REQUIRED: Inspect the flat roof to the dormer when you are carrying out the inspections to the chimneys.

Close-up view of the dormer window.


Skylights generally sit in line with the roof pitch and are often used to allow rooms to be formed in the roof space. They are also commonly known by their trade name of ‘Velux’ windows or roof lights.

The property has a purpose made skylight, which looks to have leaked in the past. Often problems occur around the lead flashing; this should be checked. We literally could not see it.

ACTION REQUIRED: Check flashing and redecorate / repair the skylight.

Flaunchings Defined

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.

Finally, we have made our best assumptions on the overall condition of the chimney stacks, dormer window and skylight 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 prevent wind and minimise 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 two areas, the Main Roof and the Rear Slate Roof.

Main Roof

This is pitched and clad with a clay tile. In this case, a small clay tile has been used with nibs to the front of the property, and a peg tile to the rear of the property.

As a general comment on the roofs as a whole, as viewed from ground level, the roof coverings showed nothing out of character for their age and type.

A close-up of the roof.

Roof over Right Hand Side of Property

This is a concrete tile roof. Concrete tiles have been used for the past 40 or 50 years and are generally the cheapest alternative for roofing materials as they can be mass produced without compromising on quality, giving both a consistent size and quality.

This generally looked in reasonable condition, although we would add there was a lot of moss sitting on the roof, which normally indicates that the face of the tile is starting to deteriorate.

Another problem with the moss growth is this can, in extreme cases, impede the run-off of rainwater, lead to gutter blockages and cause water penetration, which in turn may lead to rot or other defects in nearby timbers.

Valley Gutters

Valley gutters are generally considered to be weak areas on a roof. The valley gutter is used where a roof changes direction.

Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.

Rear Slate Roof

Slate has been commonly used as a roofing material in many areas, particularly where it was available as a natural resource. Its heyday was during the Victorian and Edwardian period although it had a brief revival during the mass building periods at the end of the First and Second World Wars, which with the development of the transport system meant that slates could be used throughout the country.

This roof is pitched and clad with slate. All things considered the roof looked in good condition as viewed from ground level, considering its age, type and style. However, this type of shallow pitched roof can often be a problem, originally because wind-driven rain could get underneath the slates. A problem that we have been coming across more recently is condensation can occur in the roof because there simply is not enough roof void for the dampness to dissipate.

Please see our comments in the Executive Summary and also in the Ventilation Section of this part of the Report.

ACTION REQUIRED: Add ventilation to the roof. At the same time the ridges should be checked of this roof and the main roof.

Staining and dampness to the timbers beneath this roof.

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

From the 1940s onwards felts were used underneath tiles/slates to stop wind damage and water penetration, these in more recent years have been replaced with plastic equivalents. These are commonly known as underfelts but now the name is not really appropriate, as felt is not the only material used.

Main Roof

When we inspected the loft space we found there was no underfelt. It is therefore possible that during periods of heavy and prolonged driving rain some water penetration could take place through the roof coverings. At the time of our inspection this was not occurring

Main Roof without underfelt.

Main Roof Right Hand Side

In parts of this roof we found a Hessian based sarking felt.

Main Roof to the right hand side, with underfelt.

Rear Roof

When we inspected the loft space we found a Hessian base Bitumen membrane. This type of membrane has been used since the 1960s. We generally found it to be in average condition, it is damaged in a few places but this is not unusual considering its age.

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.

Unfortunately we were only able to see approximately 90% of the roof from ground level via our ladder or via any other vantage point that we managed to gain. We have made our best conclusions based upon what we could see, however a closer inspection may reveal other defects.


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.

We will consider the roof structure in two areas; the main roof and the rear roof.

The main roof is accessed via a hatch set within the cupboard on the first floor, and the rear roof a hatch set within the bathroom area. Neither roof has a loft ladder, electric light or secured floor boarding, or indeed insulation! They would benefit from all of these; it would make the loft easier and safer to use.

Both lofts have been viewed by torch light, which has limited our viewing slightly.

Main Roof

This is what is known as a coupled roof, or cut timber roof. This means that it was made and formed on site; this particular roof has timber peg fixings in some areas indicating that it is several hundred years old. Within the roof we found signs of woodworm, as we would expect to find in most roofs of this age. In some areas, it has caused damage that we would term as “structurally significant”. Care should be taken when going into the roof. Additional weight on the roof may cause problems, such as a heavy fall of snow, etc. The roof is already taking a heavier load that it was originally designed to, as some of the clay tiles have been replaced with concrete tiles which are, relatively speaking, heavier.

ACTION REQUIRED: Woodworm treatment may be required. We would need to re-inspect the roof in the breeding season (spring), and also some timber replacement may then be required.

General view of the roof. You can see
some staining to the timbers.

A close-up of the peg fixed ridge.

The purlin, and you can see some of
the peg fixings.

Purlins Defined

The purlin is the horizontal timber member usually running from gable end to gable end and parallel with the walls which supports the jack or common rafters (the angled rafters forming the slope to the roof).

This photograph shows the roof has been repaired previously, with the different colours of it.


Rear Roof

This type of roof structure is also known as a cut timber roof, although it is much newer. This roof was viewed from a ladder, as it was difficult to access, because of the water tank, etc, blocking the way into the roof. The general roof configuration is in line with what we typically see. We found woodworm present, though not as bad as the main roof in the areas we could see. The main problem in this area relates to condensation and lack of ventilation.

ACTION REQUIRED: Add ventilation and have a thorough check of the timbers for rot, particularly at the perimeter of the roof.

Fire Walls

Firewalls help prevent the spread of fire through roofs and are a relatively recent Building Regulation requirement. In this instance the firewall is built in blockwork, the type of block indicating that it has been done in the last 30 to 40 years. There is usually a requirement when a loan is taken out on a property, although often in a listed property the walls are carried out more sympathetically to the construction of the building.

Water Tanks

The water tanks were noted in the rear roof, formed in plastic and we assume, therefore, are relatively new (in surveying terms, in this instance, that is the last 30 years).

We would always recommend that water tanks be drained down and cleared of any debris etc. (we have seen dead birds and other unmentionable things in these tanks). As you are cleaning your teeth with this water it is best that it is as clean as possible!


No insulation was present in the roof. It would benefit from this being added, but the roofs must be ventilated to stop condensation. Please see the next section.


When the property was built insulation certainly was not a requirement. As already mentioned, there is evidence of staining to the timbers, we believe this to be condensation that is due to lack of ventilation in the loft space. This tends to occur due to the high levels of heat that we all enjoy in today’s houses. With the loft spaces being insulated and the roof being relatively cold condensation occurs and this is why the Building Regulations now require loft spaces to be vented.

ACTION REQUIRED: Add ventilation.

Electric Cables

We can often identify the age of an electrical installation by the age of wiring found in the roof. In this case there was insufficient quantity of wiring for us to feel that we could comment.

Please see our further comments in the Services Section of this Report.

Finally, we would ask you to note that a general inspection of the roof timbers has been made, we have not examined every single timber because some parts of the roof are inaccessible and it is simply not practical.


The function of gutters and downpipes is to carry rainwater from the roof to the ground keeping the main structure as dry as possible.

Please see our comments in the Executive Summary. We feel that repairs and alterations have been carried out with little thought for the building. We have identified several specific areas of problems;

For example, there is water discharging out of the gutters to the left hand side of the main doors. This is causing moss to occur on the brickwork below.

Rear right hand corner (all directions given from the front of the property), the brackets have not been spaced correctly which has resulted in the guttering deforming, which has resulted in water cascading down part of the building, which has resulted in cracking occurring in the timber frame in this area.

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

Blocked gutter.
Deterioration beneath it.

Finally, gutters and downpipes have been inspected from ground level. We were not able to make a close inspection of the roof level rainwater goods (our ladders are not long enough) and therefore cannot be 100% certain of the type of material used or the condition. Our comments have therefore been based on our best assumptions.

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.


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 main property is finished in a soft red brick, with the extension to the rear in a white brick. The bricks are laid originally in a lime mortar, which has in turn been repointed in parts with a cement mortar. The brickwork is bedded in what is known as Flemish Bond construction.


Taking into consideration the age, type and style of this property we would say that the brickwork and pointing overall is in below average condition.

ACTION REQUIRED: Likely to require ad hoc repointing, which should be carried out in a lime mortar.

Some spalling to the face of the
brickwork, and you can see a mixture
of lime mortar and cement mortar.

Lime Every Time
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.

Poor repairs in the wrong type of
brick and the wrong cement.

However, we would add that many, if not most, of the properties that are re-pointed are re-pointed wrongly; it is only in recent years that we have discovered the problems that can occur from it.

Previous repairs; if you look closely,
you can see the render repair to the
brickwork. We would take an educated
guess this is due to old leaking gutters.

Here you can see the deterioration that
has been caused due to the use of
cement mortar.

Deterioration of Brickwork

We would add that in this case the brickwork is deteriorating quite badly in some instances, and this would be accelerated by the use of cement mortar.

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.

Spalling Defined

Spalling occurs to brick or stone when water penetrates the surface and via freezing and thawing starts to cause deterioration to the surface. This in turn allows further water penetration and the surface breaks up further. This ultimately can lead to water damage or structural damage to the area.

Finally, our best assumptions have been made on the construction of this building from the outward appearance of the brickwork.


Render is a mixture of sand and cement and in older renders also lime. As a surveyor we are always concerned when we see render finished properties as the render can hide a multitude of sins, particularly if it has been recently repainted. We generally would steer people away from rendered properties. In some areas in years gone by a decorative finish is added and this was known as pargeting. We found a small area to this property.

The walls to this property are finished in a pebbledash painted render. We have carried out a tap test to the render at low level (literally hitting the render with the back of a hammer to try to establish if there are any hollow areas in it) and we feel in this instance that the render is in average condition for its age, type and style, though would benefit from redecoration, although due to its location it is bound to suffer from dirt of the passing traffic.

Render Detailing

A way of telling the quality of the render, we have found over the years, is by the quality of detailing above the windows and to the base of the property.


Ideally there should be a small drip detail formed above the window; there is not in this instance.

Painted Brickwork

In some areas to the rear of the property, the brickwork has been painted. It generally looked in reasonable condition. Obviously you will have to repaint it every three to four years.

Minor deterioration to the brickwork is visible, as it looks to have been recently painted. The paint flaking here is a sign that there is rising damp in this section of the wall.

Base of the Wall

The render in this instance goes down to the ground. Unfortunately this will help dampness get into the structure.

ACTION REQUIRED: Likely to require ad hoc repointing, which should be carried out in a lime mortar.

Render Defined

A sand and cement external coating applied in two or three coats or layers.

Bell-Mouths Defined

A bell-mouth is a curve at the base of a wall which throws the water away from the structure therefore preventing dampness.

Timber Framed Structure

There is a timber framed structure to the right hand side of the property forming a canopy area. Due to the way the gutters have been replaced, water and dampness is getting into this part of the structure. We note there has been some movement to the front of the property, and there is cracking to the rear. We believe this relates to the guttering, although we would have to see the property on a rainy day to be certain.

If you look closely, you can see
cracking to this structure. This is due
to water getting in from the gutters.

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 we cannot comment on their construction or condition. In buildings of this age timber 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 has been finished. We have made various assumptions based upon what we could see and how we think the brickwork / render 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.

In a property of this age we would expect little or no foundation, particularly as the area has a cellar. To the rear extension typically, with a property of this period, we would expect to find a stepped brick foundation, approximately half a metre deep.

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, no examination has been made of any foundation to the building because to do so requires extensive excavation. We therefore cannot confirm 100 per cent the stability of the walls the foundations support but we have drawn conclusions from the surface evidence available at the time of the inspection and our general knowledge of this type of construction.

Likewise, we cannot comment upon how the foundations are constructed, we can only offer you our best assumptions, which we duly have done.


There are no trees within influencing distance of the main house.

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 Walls Section and the External Areas Section of this Report.


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 the Country.

In properties of this age it is unlikely that a damp proof course would have been built in originally. However, often they have had damp proof courses added at a later date. We could see it in some areas, for example, to the rear of the property, but it did not seem to be consistent.

Checking for Dampness

Our next course of action when we cannot see the damp proof course on the outside is to check on the inside of the property. Unfortunately, we were unable to check internally to the front of the property / trading area due to the dado rail / boarding internally. We did find dampness to the rear of the property in a few areas where we were able to check it.

Please see the Dampness Section of this Report.


In properties with suspended floors you need to have an airflow beneath to stop deterioration. The air is allowed to pass under the property by the use of airbricks. Generally the rule of thumb is that airbricks are spaced every metre and a half approximately, but this depends upon the specific circumstances of the property.

In this case, we could only find a few airbricks. Judging by the conditions of the cellars, the areas would benefit from a better air flow.

ACTION REQUIRED: Likely to require ad hoc repointing, which should be carried out in a lime mortar.

An airbrick to the centre of the photograph. Also, a good example of deterioration to the soft red brick that this property is built from.


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 property has stained / painted timber fascias and soffits. We noted that these are in average condition, which we were surprised about given the state of the guttering.

We would add the fascia is hidden behind the guttering in this instance and therefore we cannot see it, although it is common for this type of detail to have some deterioration to the timber.

There is some flaking paintwork to the fascias and soffits.

Windows and Doors

The property predominantly has sliding sash windows. These are single glazed and have a painted timber finish and are what we would term saveable (but it may be more costly to do it this way). We would specifically comment that we would recommend the existing windows are saved if at all possible.

ACTION REQUIRED: You need to obtain costs on repairing the windows.

Finally, a general and random selection and inspection of the fascias and soffits, windows and doors and any exposed timbers, has been made visually to give an over-view of the general condition. 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.

Generally in reasonable condition, although dirty, with the exception of the windows which are in poor condition and obviously need major repair prior to redecoration.

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 our visual inspection of the ceilings and our general knowledge of this age and type of construction we believe that the ceilings are likely to be originally lath and plaster, although we believe that the newer work is plasterboard, and possibly plasterboard has been tacked over the original lath and plaster.

In this age of property, you would expect some minor hairline cracking to the lath and plaster and possibly areas where the plaster has lost its key or bond to the laths.

ACTION REQUIRED: General filling of any movement cracks with flexible filler and redecoration.

Plasterboard that has hidden the defects in the ceiling, but we can see already the plasterboard beads are rusting (this is because internal beads have been used rather than external, which are not resistant to dampness).

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.

Common defects with this type of plastering are that the laths are placed too close together or too far apart therefore the plaster cannot form a key. It can also deteriorate due to dampness within the structure, general vibrations, structural movement and age.

Internal Walls and Partitions

We found the walls to be studwork although we think the studwork is quite dense; by this we mean that the timbers are relatively close together and/or there is insulation board in between the timbers. This type of studwork limits the noise transfer and also if the timbers are close enough can be structural.

Perimeter Walls

To the perimeter we found some areas of blown plaster. This is not uncommon in properties of this age, particularly around the window and door openings and around the chimney area. When redecorating you may have to do some re-plastering.

Finally, ceilings, walls and partitions have been inspected from floor level and no opening up has been undertaken. The type of materials employed cannot be ascertained fully without 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.


The fireplace and associated chimney breast developed from the enclosing of a fire with either bricks or stone. This was still considered a luxury in the mid 16th Century. Today real fires are often an added luxury in the sense that the property is heated via a central heating system.

They offer a focal point rather than a pure heat supply, which is lucky as they are relatively poor in their output, offering a maximum of 45% efficiency.

At the time of the survey no chimneys were in use. Any chimneys that you do not propose to use should be capped and ventilated to prevent dampness.

Finally, should you wish to use the fires, 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.

Ground Floor

We assume that the ground floor construction was suspended timber floor.

We believe there is dampness in this structure; it will, therefore, be causing deterioration to the joist ends.

Suspended Timber Floor
Construction Defined

A suspended timber floor usually consists of timbers spanning the ground floor, supported on piers (usually brickwork), vented via air bricks within the walls.

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.

First Floor

We have assumed that the first floor construction is joist and floorboards, as this is typical in this age of property. You advised us that some work had been carried out to the front middle bedroom.

ACTION REQUIRED: This area needs opening up for inspection and / or details from the pub company that carried out the work.

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.


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, as there are also other sources of dampness such as condensation, which may inadvertently by the inexperienced eye be considered to be lateral dampness or rising damp.

Rising Damp

Rising damp depends upon three components, the porosity of the structure, 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.

We believe the property has rising damp throughout. However, we were unable to gain readings to the main bar as it had a timber dado rail. To the rear of the property, we were able to gain readings in a few areas.

ACTION REQUIRED: Many surveyors would recommend a damp proof course is inserted. We feel that with a property of this age it is more beneficial to the structure as a whole to allow it to breathe and, therefore, not add a damp proof course. You do, however, need to be aware that dampness can cause rot to the surrounding structure, and you’re likely to be getting dampness into the suspended timber floor. There is very little you can do about this, apart from periodic repair, and increase ventilation to the cellar / floor area.

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 material, inadequate rainwater goods or corroded downpipes.

Tests were taken with a moisture meter at random points to internal walls, floors and other surfaces. Our readings were in line with what we would expect for this age of property, i.e. minor dampness. No evidence of any significant penetrating/lateral dampness was detected.


This is where the humidity held within the air meets a cold surface causing condensation.

We can see no obvious signs of condensation, however, it depends upon how you utilise the building. If you do your washing and then dry it in a room without opening a window you will, of course, get condensation. Common sense is needed and a balance between heating and ventilation of properties. Normally opening windows first thing in the morning resolves most condensation issues.


With the exception of the bathroom, where we noted condensation and mould. This, in our opinion, needs a larger extract fan as the bathroom is internal.


This section looks at the doors and the stairway.

There is a mixture of doors to the property, showing general wear and tear as one would expect.


We were unable to examine the underside of the stair timbers due to it being lined with plaster, which precluded our inspection, so we cannot comment further upon the stair structure. We can, however, say that the lining plaster gives a resistance to the spread of fire if such circumstances were to occur.

Catering Kitchen

From our cursory visual inspection the kitchen looked in reasonable condition, although it has suffered from some minor day-to-day wear and tear as one would expect. We have not tested any of the kitchen appliances.

Domestic Kitchen

There is no domestic kitchen. This is likely to be a problem in years to come.


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

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.

In the areas inspected no evidence was found of any dry rot and we feel it is unlikely that it is occurring, given the conditions found.

Wet Rot

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.

To the windows there is visible evidence of wet rot. Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.

As mentioned elsewhere within this report, there is likely to be wet rot within the floor structure. We recall repairs were carried out in the cellar area; from the state of the plaster beneath we still believe dampness is getting through which would be affecting the timber structure above.

ACTION REQUIRED: Ideally the ceiling needs to be opened up and this area inspected or, alternatively, the pub company to advise what work they have carried out, and guarantee it.

Please see our comments in the Executive Summary.


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. Recent research has shown that many woodworm chemicals do not actually work and it should be remembered that the chemicals are poisons. Also, unless great care is taken, the people applying the treatment can cause significant damage. The woodworm can only really be seen in action during the breading season, which runs from April to July. We have therefore tried to take a pragmatic view on this matter.

We have found evidence of flight holes in some of the timber, which is not unexpected, given the age of the property. We would suggest that much of the woodworm is actually old and not active. However, to be on the safe side, you are strongly advised, prior to exchange of contracts, to engage the services of a reputable specialist timber treatment contractor to carry out a full inspection of the property and provide a report and quotation for any necessary remedial treatment works. The contractor should be prepared to issue a long term insurance backed guarantee on completion of the work.

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.


With paints it should be remembered that up to 1992 lead could be used within paint and prior to this most textured paints (commonly known as Artex) contained an element of asbestos up to 1984, so care should be taken if the paintwork looks old and dated.

The trading area is to a reasonable standard. The private living accommodation would benefit from some making good and redecoration to brighten it up.


Cellars and vaults tend to be found in older properties and offer a useful space, although usually they are damp, 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.

We would first of all comment that due to the very nature and location of cellars they are usually damp. Overall we consider this one to be in average condition. Due to dampness usually found within the cellars, we would recommend that only non-perishable goods are stored in this area.

We were pleased to find a sump pump, which will be beneficial when the cellar floods, which we are advised it does from time to time during periods of heavy rain.

The cellar has been repaired over the years with both stone and brickwork. We feel that a missing factor in the cellar area is good ventilation.

Our view was very limited due to the recent replastering that has been carried out, although this itself is deteriorating already.

Storage Area

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.

Please see our comments in the Executive Summary, and the Flooring Section and the Dampness Section of this Report.


Up until the mid 1940s we did not really consider insulation in properties, for example it was only in the 1960s that we started putting insulation in the roof and then it was about 50mm, in the 1970s this was upgraded to 100mm. Then we started to think about double glazing and cavity wall insulation. Since then insulation standards have increased considerably and today we are looking at typically using insulation not only in the roof but also in the walls, floors and windows and more recently considerable work has been carried out on how efficient boilers are within properties. Care has to be taken that properties are not insulted disproportionately to the ventilation as this can cause condensation and you should be aware that you need to ventilate any property that is insulated.


There is no insulation within the roof, which is not unusual for a public house. If you add insulation you must ventilate the roofs to reduce condensation.


The walls to this property are solid. It is very difficult to improve thermal efficiency in solid wall construction without major alterations. These will usually affect the external appearance or reduce the internal space.


The windows are single glazed and therefore do not have particularly good thermal properties.


We noted two boilers to this property. You should have them regularly serviced for them to run at their most efficient.


Assuming the above is correct, this property is below average compared with what we typically see.



A security system has been noted. A good alarm system should not only help reduce break-ins but also your insurance. We are not experts in this field and therefore cannot comment further. Further information should be obtained from the vendor and the installer at a later date.

Smoke Alarms / Fire Alarms

We were advised us that a fire alarm system has been hard-wired into the property. We have assumed that you have this on a service contract or regularly checked, and that you have an appropriate fire certificate.


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 lobby behind the bar. The fuse board looked dated.

We carried out an earth test in the kitchen area to the socket point that is normally used for the kettle, this proved satisfactory.

Visible wiring and fittings are a mixture, as is usually the case within public houses.

You should satisfy yourselves that a suitable number of power points are available as during the course of the survey we noted the use of extension leads and adapters and in older properties there are often a minimal number of power points for today’s needs.

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

The consumer unit was not located. We are advised that it is located outside the back door.
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.

ACTION REQUIRED: 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

We are advised that the controlling stopcock is located under the kitchen sink. 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

Please see our comments in the Roof section

Hot Water Cylinder

The hot water cylinder is located in the bathroom. It is relatively new, as it is factory insulated.


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. In older properties there may be some lead still remaining.


There are two boilers to the property; one located in the bathroom and one located in the kitchen. Both are wall mounted. The one in the bathroom is a Potterton Suprema, and the one in the kitchen is a GlowWorm Micron. We would always recommend in a public house that the heating is split between the trading areas and the private living accommodation, which we assume is what has been done here, although we have not carried any checks.

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.

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 bathroom, the kitchen, the utility room and the cloakroom.


The property has a three piece bathroom suite, which is in a below average condition, suffering from more day-to-day wear and tear than would reasonably be expected. Please note our comments with regard to condensation in the bathroom area.

Public Toilets

Both the public toilet areas are dated. The areas are worn and would benefit from decoration and general maintenance.

Finally, although we may have already mentioned it above we would reiterate that it is important to ensure that seals are properly made and maintained at the junctions between wall surfaces and baths and showers etc. We normally recommend that it is one of the first jobs that you carry out as part of your DIY on the property, as water getting behind sanitary fittings can lead to unseen deterioration that can be costly, inconvenient and difficult to repair.


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

We have not lifted any manholes or inspection chambers. We feel that the only way to properly check a drainage system in a public house is to have a closed circuit TV camera inspection, as drains are usually old and dated and are heavily used.

Where there is a catering element to the business, such as this one, a grease trap is recommended, though they are costly.

Rainwater/Surface Water Drainage

We have been unable to determine the ultimate means of rain/surface water disposal, however much of it seems to deposit directly onto the ground outside the property.

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.

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.



Rear Garden

We note that the boundary wall has been partly rebuilt. We also note that the original plaster wall has bonding timbers in it, indicating that it was likely once to form part of a building. Unfortunately, bonding timbers can rot over the years, which is maybe why the large portion of wall fell over when the car drove into the wall.

Here, if you look closely, you can see the bonding timbers in the wall.

Finally, 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.

If you decide to proceed with leasing this property, a copy of this should be forwarded to your Legal Advisor for their comments. We generally recommend they check the following points:-
a) 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.
Commercial properties are covered by the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Work Place) Regulations 1997, and the Disabilities Discrimination Act.

Finally, an extract from the book “Sold”!

“When you receive your full structural survey (now known as a Building Survey) or House Buyers Report, 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, 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 should be noted that we are not local surveyors to this area and are carrying out the work without the benefits of local knowledge on such things as soil conditions, aeroplane flight paths, common defects in materials used in the area etc.


It was a cold snowy day at the time of the inspection. The weather did hamper the survey slightly.

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 and trading 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.


Unfortunately in this instance our inspection has been very limited due to being unable to access the rear roof properly, or the roof over the right hand side of the bar, due to the sheer drop. Our view of the private living accommodation was limited by the amount of stored items.


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 quarterly reports via their members. Although this has been criticised as being subjective and also limited, historically their predictions have been found to be reasonably accurate. and
Surveys have been carried out by these two companies, one now a bank and the other a building society for many years. Information from these surveys is often carried in the national press. It should be remembered that the surveys only relate to mortgaged properties, of which it is generally considered represents only 75% of the market. It should also be remembered that the national coverage of the two companies differs and that they may be offering various incentives on different mortgages, which may taint the quality of information offered. That said they do try to adjust for this, the success or otherwise of this is hard to establish.