Frequently asked questions

What specific documentation relating to electrical safety certificates should I be asking for?

An NICEIC Electrical Safety Certificate

Assuming that I get hold of this documentation, what should I be looking out for?

Any faults to the electrical system such as faulty circuits, wiring, etc

Assuming that I get hold of this documentation, do I still need to engage a qualified electrician to carry out a full inspection of the property?


What exactly is the “automatic door closer”?

A mechanism that closes the door. It consists of a chain and a winding mechanism. This is a fire safety feature

Is this on the front door to the flat or the front door to the building?


What exactly is the problem with the mechanism? Does it need replacing?

The winding mechanism is perished and should be replaced

What are “PR rated lights”?

Sealed lights that are impervious to steam penetration

What are the implications of not replacing the current lights with PR rated lights?

The chances for electrical short circuits is increased

Is it unusual for a property of this type not to have a heat sensor installed in the kitchen?


Is the fire alarm that requires reattaching inside the flat, or in the communal lobby outside the flat?


Is it unusual for the hot water not to be functioning in a vacant property (ie could the Vendor have switched it off)?

We are not allowed to switch on heating systems as part of the survey. Ask the vendor if they switched it off

Is it a system or regular boiler?

Hot water cylinder

Chimney/Living room:

1. Does the lounge chimney have a flue inserted or does it have a hat?

This would need to be exposed and checked by a flue specialist.

2. If something happens to the chimney stack whose responsibility is it? (possibly not one you can answer)

Depends on which side of the stack it is.

3. Is the chimney usable in its current state?

This would need to be exposed and checked by a flue specialist.

4. From memory there is textured wallpaper in the living room – what is behind it / is it hiding anything?

You would need to strip this off the check this.


1. Why is there raised area in cellar and does it need to be there? Could it be pared back to (close to) the foundations, to create more standing space in the cellar?

Not sure shy this has been done.

You could expose and check this and possibly lower it so long as you don’t go lower than the footings.

2. Can you confirm that the cellars are air bricked?

There is ventilation to the cellar

3. There doesn’t seem to be insulation between the original kitchen floorboards and the cellar. If you took up the lino, would there be a draft? If there were be, would there be any reasons why you couldn’t add a false ceiling (e.g. damp?) or any precautions that ought to be taken?

Yes this will cause a draft. I would not recommend a ceiling in the basement.

4. What is the possibility of adding a stolen light under the bay window to provide some natural light to the cellar?

This should be possible subject to obtaining planning permission.

5. If you were to take up the flooring to expose original floorboards – would this make the flat very cold given seemingly limited insulation between floor and cellar?



1. How solid are the walls, and have they been damp coursed? If so, by whom and under what guarantee?

The walls seem sound. You would need to check any records from the vendor regarding damp proofing.

2. How long ago was the property re-plastered and the new floors installed?

Not known

3. Does the whole flat have original floorboards underneath current floor? Provided that this was sanded down, would the floorboards be usable?

These would need to be fully exposed and checked

4. What are the arrangements regarding repair and maintenance of the roof with the guy above (freeholder?) and the party walls with next door. This design has these protruding above the roof and stone capped by the looks of it. How old is the roof – it looks fairly new? Is it covered by a guarantee anyway? (again may not be able to answer)

Can’t answer this

Potential Additions/Extensions:

1. We are interested in whether we could make this into a two bed flat – our current thinking is that you’d make the study the second bedroom and add a corridor down the party wall of the bedroom, and move the study door to the other side. This obviously makes the main bedroom rather narrow, so we were wondering about whether structurally you could add a side return where the bay window is, and steps are down to the garden are (taking the side return out as far as the end of the bedroom (ie leaving the study as is). You could use part of the utility room to become and en suite (and ideally plug straight into services below in cellar). To make it light enough you would add a skylight and have french doors out onto the garden. Would there be any way to still have access to the garden from the kitchen – ie not having to access through the bedrooms? Our thinking here is you could leave a narrow walkway from kitchen out down to garden – ie not extend the full width of the flat.

Any changes will require freeholder consent and building control approval. It may be possible to try to modify this however this is a major prject and you would need to appoint an architect to help with this and check any restrictions on the lease.

2. More generally, are you able to advise on the feasibility on an extension out into the garden or any other options for extension?

This will need planning permission to extend the building. You may be able to do a small extension subject to statutory consents.

3. What is the feasibility of connecting into the original services (e.g. by turning the utility room into a bathroom)

The waste pipe for the bathroom is larger than the pipework for the utility room. This should be possible but you would need to expose and check the drains.

4. How easy would it be to install a gas cooker and an extractor fan and dishwasher in the kitchen? We assume that for the dishwasher you could plug into the existing services below in the cellar?

This should be straight forward.

I hope this helps

Subsiding land issue if any (there is not any but in-case) Any weed or tree.

There is a large tree towards the rear of the property. The building has not shown any signs of structural movement, but we cannot rule out on any movement in future.

Roof and loft (if any repairs required specially with photos)

There is staining to the plasterboard but there is no damp present. The staining was likely to have been caused by the skylight being left open in the rain. The structural timbers do not show any signs of decay or rot. No significant defects noted.

FLOOR Type and condition i.e Concrete (Ground Floor),Wood etc.

The ground floor is a combination of suspended timber and solid flooring The floor coverings were covered at the time of the inspection. We are unable to comment on the condition.

As would like to understand if we would need screeding for installing laminate with underfloor heating.

We recommend appointing an underfloor heating specialist to inspect flooring and assess the suitability for underfloor heating.

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