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How to Sell a Problem Property?

Property Saviour » Problematic Properties » How to Sell a Problem Property?

A property problem can be incredibly stressful to sell. Property ownership is a dream for many people.

However, there are times when ownership can turn into a major headache or even a nightmare.

In these circumstances, homeowners want to sell their property quickly:

Table of Contents

Problem tenants

Even with thoroughly vetting tenants before they move in, landlords can face challenges with difficult and even anti-social tenants. 

Taking quick and firm action may be necessary if your tenants start behaving badly, such as damaging property.

Do not hesitate to communicate directly with the tenants and explain why their behaviour is unacceptable. You can also refer to clauses in their tenancy agreement to support your concerns. If the situation worsens, the tenant’s eviction will be required.

The Money Advice Service, established by the government, provides free and impartial advice on finding the right solicitor for property matters.

Sitting tenants

Regulated tenants can live in a property until they pass away.

These tenants, known as sitting tenants, have signed regulated tenancies and possess stronger rights than usual AST or Assured Short Tenancy agreements. 

These tenancies typically began 30 years ago, and regulated tenants can only be evicted under specific circumstances. 

As a result, a property with sitting tenants may be valued differently because obtaining vacant possession for re-sale can be more challenging. Landlords must apply for a possession order from a court to evict such tenants. 

The court will assess the reasonableness of the “discretionary grounds” presented for eviction, including rent arrears, breaching tenancy terms, or engaging in anti-social behaviour.

Evicting sitting tenants is not a straightforward process and can sometimes take time. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to take the time to understand how sitting tenancies work.

Occasionally, we get enquiries from sellers with haunted properties, and we are more than happy to buy them.

Who organises a home survey
Even with thoroughly vetting tenants before they move in, landlords can face challenges with difficult and even anti-social tenants. 

Who organises a home survey?

The buyer is responsible for organising a home survey. This is an important part of the “Property Due Diligence” principle, followed in the UK and many other parts of the world.

Due diligence means the buyer must conduct thorough research on their potential home. This may not seem fair initially, but it is common in all industries. Whether you are buying a new car, a pet, or even a light bulb, sellers will not highlight any flaws in their products. Instead, they will focus on why you should make the purchase. Therefore, you are responsible for researching, comparing, and examining potential faults.

The same principle applies when buying a new home, although the scale of the investment is much larger. Since property purchases involve a higher risk, it is wise to protect your investment by hiring reliable solicitors, conducting thorough research, and arranging for a home survey. In some rare cases, the seller may choose to pay for a home survey and share the results with potential buyers as a gesture of good faith. However, they are not legally obligated or particularly encouraged to do so.

It is accepted that the person who wants the survey report should commission and pay for it. In most cases, this responsibility falls on the buyer.

During the process of buying a house, many people choose to have a house survey done on the property they want to purchase. The purpose of the survey is primarily for the buyer’s benefit. It provides information about the condition of the property and any potential risks. Typically, it is the buyer who arranges and pays for the survey.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed, a plant with white flowers, can be a serious nightmare for property owners.   It can grow as much as 10 cm per day, causing considerable damage to building structures and substructures. 

Common damage includes cracks in the tarmac, paving, foundations, and wall structures, reducing the property’s value.

If your property has Japanese Knotweed, it will be down-valued by a surveyor, possibly making it unmortgageable.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published a paper on Japanese Knotweed and its treatment. Treatment over an extensive period of 3 to 5 years is recommended to eradicate the plant.

Did You Know?

It is perfectly safe to touch, and you can eat it. Japanese knotweed has a lemony rhubarb-like taste and is used in various sweet and savoury recipes. These include purees, jams, sauces, fruit compotes, soups, wines, ice cream, and even gin!

Can you sell a derelict property?
We’ll buy your empty house if you wish to sell.

Derelict buildings

Buyers will struggle to find lenders willing to finance the purchase of derelict buildings because these properties are unlikely to be suitable for human habitation. A single structural defect is often enough to deter potential buyers and mortgage lenders.

We’ll buy your empty house if you wish to sell.

Poor drainage or waterproofing

Visible cracks in the ceiling and walls are usually a result of inadequate drainage or waterproofing. If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to damp, woodworms, or even flooding, which can compromise the integrity of the building’s foundations.

Mortgage lenders refuse to lend against any property with such structural defects.


Subsidence claims have been rising recently, with some insurance firms recording a 480% increase from the previous year.

Initially, it was due to the substandard construction of the buildings. However, the extremely hot and dry weather experienced in the UK through the summer was a contributing factor.

Not only can subsidence be costly to remedy, but it can also cause insurance premiums to skyrocket and adversely affect the saleability of a property.

Research showed that claims of a larger magnitude cost homeowners an approximate average of £30,000, some even reaching a whopping £500,000. The last time such a jump in claims was recorded was in 2018, when 23,000 claims were made, adding up to £145 million, again caused by an intense summer heatwave.

Properties affected by subsidence are also challenging to sell. Most cases of subsidence occur due to soil sinking or swelling around the property.

The primary cause of subsidence is often excessive extraction of groundwater, but it can also occur if the property is built on an old underground mine or landfill.

Signs of subsidence include uneven floors and visible cracks on the ceiling and walls, which may have become damp due to excess moisture. Subsidence can cause structural defects that distort the building and make it difficult to close doors.

How to sell fire damaged property
A property with fire damage will also be difficult to sell by traditional means.

Fire damage

A property with fire damage will also be difficult to sell by traditional means. Not only the structure of the building is compromised by the fire itself, but the gallons of water the Fire Brigade used to put it out can destroy the walls and flooring.

Trees growing near your house

While living on a tree-lined street can be appealing, having trees growing too close or even into your property can pose serious problems. Tree roots near the foundations and walls of a house can cause damage, making the property harder to sell.

Tree roots can block or damage gutters, driveways, and garden paths. Watch out for trees subject to a tree preservation order (TPO), as cutting down or damaging these trees is prohibited.

Structural Issues with a problem property

Identifying and fixing structural faults in your property early on is key to avoiding costly expenses. Serious problems can include windows that do not shut properly, cracks in the walls, and walls separating from the house, which may indicate subsidence issues.

While these problems can be repaired, it is often a complex and expensive process that requires the skills of a professional builder and a structural engineer. Selling the property quickly will be a less stressful option.

how to sell a problem property
Pre-fabricated, steel-framed, timber-framed, and concrete-frame houses. There are doubts about these materials' long-term strength and durability.

Questionable building materials

While bricks and mortar are the most reliable construction materials, alternative materials have been used for years. These include pre-fabricated, steel-framed, timber-framed, and concrete-frame houses.

There are doubts about these materials’ long-term strength and durability. Properties built with these materials may be more difficult to sell, as mortgage lenders view them as potential problem properties.

Risk of floods near a house

It is not surprising that houses near rivers and canals struggle to obtain home insurance.  Buyers are put off because of the risk of flooding.  This makes houses near water harder to sell.

Anti-social Neighbours

The issue of anti-social neighbours is becoming increasingly common in the UK.  Noise, damage, and threatening behaviour can quickly turn a once-pleasant area into an undesirable part of town.

Buyers prefer to live in quieter areas. If you are experiencing anti-social behaviour, it may be worth reporting the problem to your local council.

It is highly unlikely that your local council will buy your home as most are practically bankrupt due to mismanagement of funds.

Even if you have a boundary dispute, we’ll buy your home.

What to do if your property has damp?
Rising and penetrating damp are major concerns for sellers in older properties.

Damp in your problem property

Rising and penetrating damp are major concerns for sellers in older properties. Rising damp is common in homes without a damp course or a neglected house perhaps awaiting probate.

Penetrating damp can be caused by leaky roofs, missing pointing and blocked gutters. Both types of damp can lead to severe dry rot and a substantial repair bill.

How To Sell a Problem House?

At Property Saviour, we understand that selling a property can be challenging, especially in poor condition. That is why we specialise in buying properties quickly, no matter their condition.

Whether your property has fire damage, structural defects, subsidence, flooding, or boundary disputes, we have a solution for you.

Our process is simple and straightforward. We offer a 100% cash sum and work at your preferred pace. As reputable house buyers with substantial financial backing, we can provide a competitive price for your problem property.

With Property Saviour, you can trust us to ensure a smooth transaction.

If you want to sell your problem property quickly and easily, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you every step of the way.

Sell with certainty & speed

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.

We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 

Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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