Few things can damage the potential earning power of a property like a structural problem. An unsound property can be very difficult to sell and will almost certainly lose a good chunk of its value as soon as the problem is uncovered. Repairs can be incredibly expensive and, in the worst cases, properties have been known to lose their value all together. What can you do about serious structural faults?
Warn Your Tenants
First things first, you will need to let your tenants know about the problem. It’s quite likely that they will have noticed cracks or damp anyway, but alert them that there may be a problem and assure them you are dealing with it. Be honest about the damages and if there is a chance that the property could become uninhabitable then they need to know so they can go about finding somewhere else.
Contact your Surveyor
Speaking to your surveyor about the problem should be easy and your complaint should be well received. Check whether any surveys you have had completed on the property identified the damage and, if they did not, be sure to ask why not. Your surveyor is responsible for the problem if it was not spotted, but if you chose to disregard advice then you may find yourself having to bear the burden.
The Route to Repair
Finally, you will want to let your Landlords Insurance provider about the issue. They may be able to help you make a claim but even if they can’t you will need to know about the damages. You may find your premium will be affected or your policy wording changed if you have structural issues and so you should speak with an advisor directly. You should still be covered for ordinary insurance issues while your property undergoes repairs.
Unfortunately one of the underlying risks of property investment is structural damage and properties don’t always last forever. A sound assessment of the damage, a frank conversation with your tenants and to hope for a positive outcome is sometimes the only real solution.