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Watch out for Subsidence in Your Rental Property

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					Watch out for Subsidence in Your Rental Property

Subsidence is a major risk for homeowners. The damage it causes can cost thousands of pounds to
repair and it can reduce the resale value of your house by a significant amount.

Summer is a bad time for subsidence. The sun dries the ground under your house and this can make
it move. A little bit of movement is a normal, natural thing but if the ground moves too far it can
take the foundations of the house with it. This creates a particular problem for homeowners that
have been refused home insurance and therefore are unable to find a policy that suits them. They
may even find, given the recent bad weather that many parts of the UK has experienced, that their
property is situated in what is known as a “high risk flood area”. Dry spells and heavy rainfall can
cause subsidence as the ground tends to disappear beneath the foundations. The best thing to do
would be to inspect your property regularly for signs of damage so, at the very least, you know
what needs to be done. The following are a few questions that you might like to ask yourself during
the inspection.

Are the windows and doors easy to open? One of the first signs of subsidence is a change in the
shape of external door frames. This causes the door to stick and makes it difficult to open. If the
doors and windows don't fit correctly this could be a sign of subsidence. Are there many cracks in
the walls? All houses have cracks and most cracks aren't a sign of anything sinister. Some however,
indicate subsidence. Are they more than 3 or 4 mm wide? Are they wider at the top than the
bottom? Are they near to structural weak points such as doors or windows? If the answer to any of
these questions is yes, you may have a subsidence problem.

Look out for trees near the property as these are a major cause of structural problems. Large trees
have large roots and large roots can be very thirsty. Roots that grow toward the foundation of the
property and remove moisture from the ground will cause problems.

Check the drains and guttering properly. It's something people overlook but leaking drains and
gutters will, over time, cause structural problems. Rainwater soaking into the ground will soften the
earth and cause it to move, this can damage the foundations.

Subsidence can be a very expensive issue to deal with, so it's important to make sure you have the
right insurance in place. Once you have your insurance in place, be sure to check your property at
least once every twelve months for these tell-tale signs.


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