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  • Repairs to a house after a car crash

    Question: I'm a first time buyer and have seen a house I really like. However, when doing some research about the house and the area I've discovered that a year ago a drunk driver crashed into the house and the kitchen and bathroom were destroyed. You can't tell by looking at the house that anything happened to it, however I'm concerned that this might cause problems down the road. In your experience is this likely to be the case?

    Answer: Thank you for your enquiry, which raises several interesting points.

    The research you have done to uncover this incident is excellent.

    1/  Risk Assess:

    Firstly, my concern would be what is the likelihood of such an incident happening again?  Has the council taken measures such as barriers to protect your property, or is it considered an acceptable low risk?  Is it on a dangerous bend or opposite a junction?  Everyone’s attitude to risk is different, consider how you feel about this before incurring costs.

    2/  Insurance:

    Consider the availability and cost of buildings insurance.  I recommend making enquiries of the existing insurers that full cover remains available at reasonable premiums and that there are no outstanding matters in respect of the incident.

    3/  Building repair compliance:

    Ask your solicitors to request full details of the works carried out by the insurers or owners and evidence of building regulation compliance, work specifications and sign off by a suitably qualified building works inspector.

    4/  Structural integrity

    Consult a Chartered Surveyor.  I would have a Building Survey rather than a “Level 2” Homebuyer or House Purchase Survey.  A Building Survey is a bespoke report and you can discuss with your surveyor that particular attention is paid to the affected part of the structure in the report.  A Building Survey is usually non-invasive and the surveyor can only look for surface signs of failure unless specific consent by the owner has been obtained to open up the structure.  But given the information you will have obtained above and shared with your surveyor, they will provide an opinion for you.  You can find a local surveyor at  If your proposed purchase is in our area, we will be happy to discuss this with you and provide a quotation.

    I hope you find this guidance useful.  Good luck with your home search.

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