Oct 08, 2018 7:37 am
A building inspector sent by my insurance company has just advised that my 3 bedroom rental property needs to be demolished because the brickwork is failing. He says it will cost more than the house is worth to fix it. And it is not covered by insurance he says. I haven’t seen the report yet. On advice from the real estate agent I’ve let the tenants brake their lease and they moved out immediately. I still have a mortgage on the property. Any advice. I’m feeling desperate
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished2
Oct 08, 2018 8:39 am
Wow, that seems pretty extreme. If it were me I would want to see the report and then maybe get a second, third and more opinions. I would not be relying on one opinion from an insurance company
If it does turn out to need to be demolished you obviously have 2 options - sell or rebuild. But there are lots of factors to be considered - value of land, age of house, nature of surrounding area (demographics, types of other houses) etc etc etc
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished4
Oct 08, 2018 2:23 pm
I have a structural engineer coming to see the house tomorrow night for a 2nd opinion but in the meantime the tenant has contacted AHI and they are coming on the 23rd and the agent said they will want everything fixed such as down pipes and fences. I just wen to see the house today with a real estate agent and he is as stunned as I am because it doesn't visually seem that bad. There are no signs of structural damage inside the home ie no cracking or ceiling damage or floor problems. There does seem to be one external wall with problems. I'm waiting on the report and contact from the insurance company but just wondered if anyone had any advice.
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished5
Oct 08, 2018 4:07 pm
What involved the insurance company in the first place?
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Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished7
Oct 08, 2018 9:50 pm
It's brick veneer.
The tenant reported problems with brick work on an external wall. They said they could cause the wall to move by pushing on it and they felt it was unsafe. Hence why I agreed with the agent that they be immediately able to terminate their lease.
If it is unsafe I'm much happier that they have moved out.
But I thought bricks could be fixed.
Just wondering if anyone has any experience in this area.
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished8
Oct 08, 2018 10:44 pm
I am not quite sure how your tenant can move external brick wall by just pushing on it.
Solid wall 6m by 3m will be weighting something like 3 tons - really not very easy to move it, even if it the mortar is completely off the ground, which I doubt.
Also, brick ties are generally used to attach bricks to the frames.
In addition, bricks are not a structural component, so I don't see any real safety concerns here.
Sounds more like a trick to end the lease early, however, if independent building inspector has been involved, then I would study his report very carefully.
And surely, it shouldn't cost more to rebuild a brick work on one external wall, which is, again, is not structural.
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished9
Oct 09, 2018 10:16 am
Get a builder to inspect the problem
Worst case is you have to pull down each brick and re build it. As it's brick veneer the roof won't fall over.
Something fishy going on...
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished10
Oct 09, 2018 11:25 am
Thanks everyone for your comments. It makes me feels like I have support.
The structural engineer is coming tonight.
Everything crossed that the buildung inspector is wrong and it can be fixed. Even better if he says it's not unsafe to live in. Then I might be able to claim loss of rent from the insurance company.
It's such a nightmare.
And now we have HIA Order on the property.
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished11
Oct 12, 2018 5:05 pm
Thought an update might be of interest. The structural engineer said the house is Stable and is certainly still liveable. $10.000 max should fix brickwork and plumbing- shower needs renovating as there is a damp patch on external wall due to waterproofing-we think - still to get a plumber's assessment.
The report from the ins company 's building inspector does not match his verbal advice to the tenant and property manager- which was grossly exaggerated. His report says nothing that should have lead to the tenant evacuating. He did not mention the house being dangerous as the wall could fall down in his report.
So, now I have a formal complaint with the ins co which they are investigating. The builder broke their code of conduct by discussing the his findings with the tenant and the property manager and me. And grossly exaggerated the condition of the house
I am hoping not to be out of pocket for any expenses I'm incurring other than the necessary repairs. My tenants were perfect and their lease was until April. I do have loss of income inc the ins. I hope To get compensated for loss of rent while the work is completed, the cost of structural eng report and costs involved in getting a new tenant plus elec/water while vacant and any other costs. And my insurance excess waived for all claims. See how we go.
The other problem is someone complained to AHI which means it's mandatory now that they respond with an assessment which we will have to address b4 it can be tenanted again as well.
So it has all been a bit of a nightmare but it's not as bad as we first thought.
Re: Just advised my rental property needs to be demolished12
Oct 12, 2018 6:37 pm
Rule no 1. The only time you can rely on building advice is if it is from your own competent building consultant otherwise you risk being
misled as has happened to you.
Pay the money and get the best advice and it will be much cheaper and less headache than you got now.
Foremost Building Expert in Australia,assisting with building problems/disputes, building stage inspections,pre-contract review advice for peace of mind 200 blogs http://www.buildingexpert.net.au/blog
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