BTL buy or no buy? toilet flood issue

Hi All,

Sometimes there are issues with investment properties that isn’t perfect but you can always accept it as long as the discounted price factor that in.

However, in some circumstances it is a completely no. So I just want to hear your thoughts on those matter if the case below is something to avoid completely or price in with a discount.

  • In short, a 2nd floor flat that had a flood caused by a long metal thin pipe in the communal waste pipe that caused a blockage which resulted in building wastes above exiting from the toilet instead. It had a few inches of waste water which soaked up the whole wooden floor and penetrated to next door and communal corridor. It went to this extent as the owner wasn’t at home until neighbour starts to complain.

  • It was insured by the building insurance to redo drywall, door frame, skirting board, paint wall and ceilings and sanitised. It is now looking as good as new and no one would of thought they had a problem there.

  • However, my question is, is this something to avoid buying completely or it is ok to have as it has been fixed? e.g. take into account future cost of flood insurance when bargaining down? or this is something that future buyer would know and not easy to resell so might as well not buy it?

Any suggestion helps, thanks in advance!

as long as the job has been properly dryed out and there is no smell all should be ok Bargaining down depends on competition for the place and other market factors

So this flat is in a strategic disadvantage position where it is possibly the turning point of a pipe. So if the pipe next to you is likely to build up and it might happen again except this time you will pay or your tenant suffer which it redirects the cost to me.

I am no expert and let me know if i am wrong, tenant may ask for rent reduction or refund or even threaten to sue. paying damage to their item would be the least of the concern.

It is a good flat except it has a proven risk that crazy poo flood might happen. This time the building insurance covered it and it took them 2 months to renovate and imaging it happens again when you bought it and have a tenant, not only they might ask you to pay for a different place to live you are loosing 2 months of rent for the insurance to repaint again.

Wouldn’t that be an issue?

not an issue for me I am a builder … sounds as if you have made up your mind to offer less… . it is your call . your money

It would be ideal to modified the pipe which solves all the problem if it is a house which you can do whatever you want but as for a flat they won’t allow it unfortunately.

Not really made up my mind as I am hearing recommendations to avoid buying those properties at all cost to avoid all those potential trouble while tenant is there so was wondering if there is any suggestions that i might not thought it that’s all.

if its a tight 90 degree bend it might be possible to change it to a slow bend. they are less likely to block up

of course, only if those rigid building management is willing to do it which seems quite unlikely as everything is tightly done in the wall. that would be getting every flat owner’s service charge to bend your pipe, it looks like will get held in a red tape.

I mean as you are the expert, do you buy what they say a thin long metal pipe cause the blockage? or the blockage would of happen anyway at some later stage and the mental thin pipe just sped up the blockage?

without seeing the whole scene it is impossible to say and if it is all now boxed in, Then it is anyones guess, Where would a long thin metal pipe come from?

the guess was it was some carelessness when builder of that building dropped it in, it is a 3 year old flat, and you cant flush and go through the bend and reach that area.

i mean when the apartment was under construction

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I used to work as a claims assessor a few years ago now but I’d assume not much has changed so I would probably not purchase this property if the pipe work has not been change because if it’s happened once it will happen again and therefore the insurance could invalidate any claim on this as it would be classed as a preexisting condition or known issue. However you could always speak to your current insurer and ask if could give you any advise if such a scenario should happen again.

Hi. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

So what they were saying is it is a design fault at the construction stage were a long small pipe fell in and cause the blockage which now has been rectified.

Although, what it means is your flat location doesn’t change. if blockage happens again it will go through your bathroom first as it is the closest one on the corridor but they assured me it is a straight down pipe so if there is a blockage underground lower level flat will got hit first.

But they also pointed out blockage is not like that and it can happen anywhere which may happen again and what happened is what i will get.

No long thin pipe ,no blockage likely

good point, so it is unlikely the same issue will happen again so the presumed risk is reduced based on the new information i got confirmed with the management that it is indeed an unlikely unlucky event.

although the risk still remains but way smaller, it looks like it is ok to go ahead with the purchase but maybe re-value the market price to take in the risk of this.

it is like buying a higher flat like a penthouse and the flat below, lower flat should be cheaper just like the one closer to the waste pipe should be cheaper too if I value this higher than the market price.

Tell you what is worse, one of these hang in the loo freshners that can fall in and get flushed to the u bend. I ask my tenants not to use them

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Nice tip there! Thanks! i wonder what items usually causes blockage, i never thought of this one.