Mortgages close to mineshafts
Britain has a long and illustrious history of mining. As a result, there are many old, disused mineshafts in some parts of the country.
Although the valuable minerals might have been extracted from the earth many years ago, the continued existence of mine workings and shafts potentially affects the integrity and stability of the foundations of any buildings. Quite simply, the structure and fabric of any building – including housing – is at immediate or some future risk of subsidence.
That is why the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) warns potential borrowers that mortgage lenders are likely to require more than the usual level of reassurance if you are planning to buy a home in the vicinity of past mine workings. Mineshaft mortgages – or mortgages for a house near a mineshaft – are invariably more difficult to secure. The good news is that we can help.
Can I get a mortgage if a property is close to a mineshaft?
While some mortgage lenders may reject applications for advances on properties close to mineshafts, there are others which – given adequate reassurances – may be prepared to grant you the mortgage you need.
Given the additional challenge in securing a mortgage on any such property, you might want to consult specialists such as us here at Needing Advice, where our experience and expertise may help you identify a willing lender.
What additional checks may a lender need?
Not only is it in your own interests, but any lender will also need to see evidence of the searches made by your solicitor or conveyancer about past mine working in the area near the home you want to buy.
Specialist mining searches may also reveal whether previous owners of the property have had recourse to claims against the Coal Authority for damage caused by subsidence. The government website details the procedure that would have been followed by any property owner making such a claim.
The Coal Authority publishes a number of reports about past coal mining activity and can provide an assessment of the risks associated with a particular property or piece of land based on its postcode.
How do I find out about past coal mining activity?
The government website makes clear that you can find out about past coal mining activity in the area in which you are interested in buying a home, coal mining hazards that have been reported in the past, and any plans for coal mining in the future.
Unfortunately, however, the information relates only to potential hazards from coal mining and the presence of other types of mineshafts are often unrecorded.
It is imperative that before you proceed with the purchase of any property in an area you believe to have been subject to any mining or mineral extraction that you instruct your solicitor or conveyancer to do the necessary searches.
Get expert help when getting a mine shaft mortgage
Whenever a potential mortgage lender seeks further reassurance, the more information – and the more detailed and professionally informed information – you can provide, the better.
Reports prepared by the Coal Authority, for example, reflect an expertise based on an incomparable database of coal mining and unique access to an archive of historical maps and plans.
We have already mentioned the specialist mining searches conducted by your solicitor or conveyancer, for example. You might also want to instruct a surveyor who specialises in work concerned with damage caused by mine workings and excavations to prepare a report on the property.
But there are also specialist companies you might instruct to carry out site analyses of mining and ground stability together with a detailed site survey. A synopsis of the type of work and examples of the reports produced may be found at the website Future Climate Info.
Mortgages for a house near a mineshaft are likely to prove challenging to arrange.
However, that is not to say it is impossible to get a mineshaft mortgage – you may simply need to provide rather more in the way of reassurance to the lender than normal.
Mining and mineral extraction of one sort or another has been surprisingly widespread throughout the UK, with mineshafts and sinkholes continuing to cause buildings to subside and their owners try to seek compensation for the damage caused. In the case of coal mining, that responsibility for remediation falls fairly and squarely on the shoulders of the Coal Authority.
Unfortunately, however, many non-coal mining activities remain unrecorded.
If there is any possibility of the home you want to buy being located close to past mine workings, therefore, you might need to seek specialist help in securing a mortgage.
Here at Needing Advice, we are ready and waiting to offer whatever help you may need in getting a mortgage for a property near to a mineshaft – just contact us to find out more.