Common Property Problems

Common Property Problems

A problem property is a property where the owner is having some form of difficulty or challenge in relation to their property. The outcome is that the owner will struggle to sell the property which is why many sellers turn to National Property Trade. We will buy any property for cash regardless of the issue or condition.

A problem property can present itself in many forms, some of the examples are listed below:

Tenant Issues are common and the list below is not exhaustive. We will buy your property with the tenant in it and deal with the problem of our purchase. Some are more extreme than others but we have encountered them all.

  • Not paying rent.
  • Refusing to leave.
  • Refusing to sign a new lease.
  • Not maintaining the property.
  • Tenant refusing access to allow a property to be refurbished.
  • A tenant may be suing the landlord for the state of the property and the owner cannot afford the works and cannot sell the property because the tenant won’t vacate the premises.
  • Squatters in the property and the owner doesn’t have the experience or finance to solve the issue

State of Disrepair

A property in a state of disrepair where the owner does not have the time, energy or means to upgrade the property is another common issue.

  • If a property is very bad then it will be deemed un-mortgageable or uninhabitable by a surveyor. This can be due to lack of hot water, toilet, shower or bathroom, electricity or a kitchen.

Structural Issues

This can be deemed as an existing or ongoing movement. In traditionally constructed buildings, it is natural for movement to occur continuously. The majority of the time these movements are very slight and will not affect the structure of the building. However, over time movement and settlement can result in structural issues. Structural issues can be relatively minor and easy to repair, or somewhat more serious and raise concern over the safety of the building. Therefore it is important to monitor and repair any structural problems before they become progressive and lead to structural failure.


Environmental and biological factors can also affect building structure, such as damp and dry rot. It is more common in older buildings, unkempt buildings, basements or wet weather.

  • Types of damp issues are rising damp, penetrating damp, condensation.
  • Dry rot infestation causing the property to be un-mortgageable or resulting in mortgage retention.

Trees Affecting Property

  • Tree roots typically grow close to the surface, and it is not uncommon for them to develop on the underside of hard surfaces such as driveways, which can lead to cracks developing through physical pressure.
  • Overgrown trees nearby to a house can result in roots affecting the property foundations
  • Trees can affect drains, gutters, roofing and all aspects of the exterior if not managed.

Construction Type

Irregular type of property construction where many lenders won’t lend. Some vendors aren’t aware of this until they try to sell.

  • This may be a concrete construction,
  • Steel framed,
  • Timber framed,
  • Prefabricated.
  • Property may be listed or protected by the local council making refurbishment slow and costly.

Leasehold, Freehold and Management Company Issues

  • A common property problem especially in the London area within the M25. Usually below 80 years remaining on the lease and buyers become scarce. Below 70 years remaining means, many lenders will not lend meaning it is mortgageable.
  • Freeholders can become absent and not respond
  • Freeholders can become difficult when a leaseholder attempts to extend their lease. Without time, money, experience and the right legal team, this can be a nightmare situation.
  • Some management companies who manage the lease can be notoriously predatory, unfair and downright crooked in our experience. There are of course many ethical and reasonable companies but NPT have come across vendors ill with stress because of unscrupulous management companies.
  • Some Freeholders can also be overzealous and very aggressive. Examples of this will be them piling on the charges and legal fees with no justification. We have experience dealing with them and will take this problem away from the owner upon a cash purchase.

Japanese Knotweed

A seemingly innocuous plant in your garden may actually cause a structural threat to the building. It can be found in overgrown or unkempt gardens and must not be ignored because it will affect your sale to a buyer requiring a mortgage.

Fallopia japonica, commonly known as Japanese knotweed, is a large, herbaceous perennial plant. In the UK, Japanese Knotweed is established in the wild in many parts of the country and creates problems due to the impact on biodiversity, flooding management and damage to property. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to “plant or otherwise cause to grow Japanese knotweed in the wild”. It is also classed as “controlled waste” in Britain under part 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This requires disposal at licensed landfill sites. The species is expensive to remove.

Read more about dealing with invasive plants here.

Why are these issues for a seller?

Typically a seller would find a standard buyer via an estate agent. Open market or standard buyers will rely on a mortgage from a mortgage lender. If you are trying to sell a problem property to a standard buyer, this is where your property problems may prohibit a sale. Mortgage lenders have notoriously pedantic underwriting departments where the money will be withheld, delayed or even withdrawn last minute once the lender becomes aware of the property issues. The issues may not be revealed to them until the final stages of the process meaning your buyer will fall through at the last minute leaving you in the lurch. These issues can also spook less experienced buyers understandably if they don’t have any experience in dealing with them.

The key is to address these issues head-on and to not get dragged into a long and ultimately never-ending process. At National Property Trade, because we don’t rely on mortgages and we are experienced professional buyers, we will buy any property no matter the issue you are facing. In fact, the majority of our property purchases will be what is known in the trade as a “problem property”. As a cash buyer, this will be one of the benefits of selling to us.

By selling to National Property Trade, you are selling to a genuine cash buyer. We buy any property in any condition and will offer on every property regardless of its condition. So you don’t need to deal with the uncertainty of the open market which can often result in lost time and money chasing the elusive buyer.

We will offer below market, but our offer is reliable and we will not back out later in the process. We will carry out our valuations and our formal offer will be put to you within seven days. We can complete within seven days of formal offer very comfortably. We have completed within seven days of enquiries in the past so if you need it sold that quickly, no matter your complications, let us know and we can get it done.

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