Legal Q&A: How quickly can I sell a property with an entrance to a mine on the boundary?

The house I'm buying has an entrance to a mine on the boundary. How difficult it would be for a buyer to raise a mortgage against this property?

Click to follow

Question: I have just found out that the house I am in the process of buying has an adit — the entrance to a mine — on the boundary. I am awaiting a report on the mine. I am a cash buyer, but I wonder how difficult it would be for a buyer to raise a mortgage against this property if I wanted to sell it quickly. I would appreciate your opinion.

Answer: As a cash buyer, it is entirely up to you if you wish to buy the property, as you are not hindered in any way by having to satisfy the conditions and requirements of a lender. However, you are wise to consider the impact the adit may have on a future buyer who may be utilising mortgage funding to purchase the property. A lender will always look at the financial circumstances of a borrower and also at the state of the property to be mortgaged, as a lender will wish to ensure that the property offers suitable security for the loan. Several areas of the country are affected by disused mine shafts. The risk for a property near or over a mine shaft is the structural stability of that property. Your solicitor should enquire of the seller’s solicitor about any subsidence the property may have suffered. Provided your solicitor establishes, as a result of the mining search and enquiries, that the presence of the adit and/or a mineshaft has not caused and is unlikely to cause any subsidence issues for the property, then a lender is likely to be satisfied by this. However, lenders all have varying requirements.

What's your problem?
If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (
These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor.

Follow us on Twitter @HomesProperty, Facebook and Instagram