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The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Turning Every Stone

Tim Hodges, Acquisitions Director of the Vincit Group, comments

We had an offer recently accepted on a lovely building in Kent, which had potential to be converted into several units. Normally for complicated builds, before we offer, we would send our architect, consultant and builder down to raise any red flags, but on this occasion we did the sums and realised there was a deal here so we made an offer, subject to our team viewing the site. This was a Grade II listed building, which had already undergone major works, which didn’t concern us as the owner was a very experienced developer. How wrong we were.

As we turned up with our team, our builder gave us that typical look and sigh before delivering his quote. But this was different as he couldn’t give us a quote and he then preceded to list a number of concerns with the works already in progress, one of which included a possible prison sentence if certain Listed commencement works hadn’t been done. While walking around the site it was clear the ground floor wasn’t supported adequately enough from the basement dig and cracks along the staircase supported this. Even in the front yard old fireplaces and doors had been chucked out which is a real red flag with listed buildings. Now we don’t shy away from these concerns as sometimes they can offer an opportunity to negotiate and it also reduces the competition. So we have now sent the vendor a list of questions relating to the integrity of the works, which will need answering before we can recommence the sale.

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