Animals and Plants Living Around Your Building

Independent Surveyors help solve problems

plants around buildingWe are Independent Surveyors who over the years have come across all sorts of property problems involving animals and plants.

We carry out Building Surveys (also known as Structural Surveys), Engineer's Reports and Home Buyers Reports.  We also provide Specific Defects Reports on such areas as cracking and movement and much more.

We can also carry out Independent Valuations but please note these are not for bank lending but are to advise you how much we feel the property is really worth.

Free phone us on 0800 298 5424 for a friendly chat with an Independent Surveyor.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Wildlife - A warning!

You simply cannot do what you want with wildlife even though it is living in or around your property.  Much of it is covered by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  Many things are protected, as is their habitat and you certainly can't go around shooting, trapping and poisoning!

However, whilst the tunnelling by these animals may not be enough to cause subsidence it certainly can be the start of a problem.  We believe that the keepers of Hadrian's Wall have been battling with great excavators for many, many years.

A few myths about bats

plants around buildingFirst of all, bats are protected, as is their habitat.  This covers all types of bats, so you have no need to become an expert and identify them. Apparently, if you listen for a chittering sound to try to identify them, as trying to find them hanging from the ceiling joists is, we are told, a myth.  In reality you are never likely to see them but you are likely to see their droppings, which we are advised (we are sure you have never done this) that if you wear some rubber gloves and roll all the droppings in your fingers it becomes a powder.  Then you will need to advise in your report that the bat man or the bat woman needs to be called in, as they should be preserved.

For those that have ideas about removing them without telling anyone they need to be aware that Natural England has the whereabouts of many of the habitats on record.

No-one likes grey squirrels

plants around buildingWe are advised, although we have never seen it, that grey squirrels in your roof is not a great place for them to be.  They can cause all sorts of damage.  You are unlikely to see them in the actual roof, you are more likely to see the tree that gives them a bridge into the roof, or the chewed insulation on the pipes within the roof and the timbers or the pear shaped droppings.

Fat Dormouse who lives in the Chiltern triangle

Back in years gone by the Rothschild's family brought to England the fairly destructive Dormouse (which apparently was a Roman delicacy!), who still lives in the Chiltern area, which is where the Rothschild's homes are located in the Tring area.

Ticks and bed bugs

plants around buildingIf you manage to read this without scratching then you are doing well.  Ticks are very small until they've had a blood meal and this is when they reproduce and are not pleasant at all.  Bed bugs (not to be confused with dust mites that are everywhere) do not fly, as you would expect a bug to do, but travel on things, such as luggage.  They are lady bird sized but flat.  They give out a nice bite and they don't necessarily relate to uncleanliness.

plants around buildingRats and the Black Plague

Rats, originally bringers of the Plague, still cause destruction in roofs and carry unpleasant diseases, particularly the urine.

Plants that can cause problems

Japanese Knotweed

plants around building

This is very fast growing.  We are told it is like asparagus, although from what we have seen it is more like a bamboo shoot.  Any lending institutes are becoming more concerned about this and therefore have standard phrases that it has to be removed.  The going rate, we are advised, is about £1000 per square metre, which could be expensive as it grows fast.

Giant Hogweed

plants around buildingWe are advised it looks like cow parsley and by way of its fine hairs gives burns and blisters and from the pictures we have seen this certainly has to be avoided.

We would like to thank Neil Hagley, chartered surveyor, for his input and interesting presentation.

You may be interested in the following articles:

   Engineers Report

Environmental Reports

Estate Agents

Why have an independent survey with us?

We have a wealth of knowledge about all things property related (not just the animal and plant problems!) and always recommend that you have an independent building survey as this will pinpoint any property problems.  Caveat emptor means buyer beware and is why you need to have a building survey to find out if there are any problems within the property; the estate agent certainly will not advise you of any problems but we most definitely will!

Remember the independent building Surveyor that you employ will be the only person working for you with your interests at heart.

Our unique sketches

plants around building
An example of one of our sketches

We use sketches in our building survey reports that are unique to us. The positive feedback we have had from our clients is that they help them understand the property we are surveying for them.

Our photos, circles and ovals

plants around building
An example of one of our photos

We also use many photos throughout our survey reports taken with a very powerful optical zoom camera.

The circles and ovals on many of our photos (like the one shown here) and sketches are a system we use to highlight certain areas we feel are important.

Commercial Property

If you have a commercial property, be it leasehold or freehold, then you may wish to look at our Dilapidations Website at and for Disputes go to our Disputes Help site .

Our articles

We hope you found the article of use and if you have any experiences that you feel should be added to this article that would benefit others, or you feel that some of the information that we have included is wrong then please do not hesitate to contact us (we are only human).

The contents of the web site are for general information only and are not intended to be relied upon for specific or general decisions.  Appropriate independent professional advice should be paid for before making such a decision.

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