Buying a house in a mining area

Should you consider buying a house in a mining area?

When buying a house in a mining area there are several things you may want to considerthe below.

Has the house been built with a composition of mining waste?

Will the mining area affect your resale price?

Does the building come with a NHCBC guarantee?

Will the property be at risk of subsidence?

If you are unsure if the property is in a mining area you can check with the coal authority to see if you need a mining report.

The mining report will usually be with you within 72 hours.

Getting a mining search

When buying a property your conveyancer will also usually carry out a mining search on the property to ensure it is not sitting on a mine or that there are no issues with any mines that may have been present when you bought the house.

All mines will have been closed but they may still pose a risk to your home and it is important you understand what these risks are before buying a house in a mining area.

There might be old tunnels or shafts which run deep beneath your house and could potentially cause subsidence if not handled properly.

Buying a house with an old mine can still lead to other issues aside from subsidence e.g the water running through an old mine could end up being contaminated and unsafe for consumption.

Explosive gases could also potentially build up in areas with old mines and this may be a concern to you if you intend on buying a house in a mining area.

Some old mines may have not been properly capped off or filed in when the mine was closed and this could be a serious concern to you if you intend on buying a house in a mining area.

A coal mining search will give you some peace of mind when buying a house in a mining area.

Some of the things included in a coal mining search include:

  • past, present and future underground coal mining;
  • mine shafts and adits;
  • coal mining geology;
  • past, present and future opencast coal mining;
  • coal mining subsidence (damage notice/claim/method of discharge of any remedial obligations/stop notice/request for preventive works);
  • mine gas emissions;
  • incidents dealt with under the Authority’s emergency surface hazard call-out procedure.
  • Additional advice may also be included where appropriate, depending on the mining circumstances

A coal mining search should cost about £30 and for that price, you may see value in getting one before buying a house in a mining area.

The good news if you are buying a home in a mining areas is that the subsidence will likely not increase the cost of your home insurance through a claim.

If you had to claim because your property started suffering from mining-related subsidence then you wouldn’t claim on your home insurance for the cost of repairing the damage. Rather, under the Coal Mining Subsidence Act 1991, you claim from the mine owner. To do this you have to download and fill in the Coal Authority’s damage notice form and send it to the owner of the coalmine in your area (or to the Coal Authority if there isn’t an owner).

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.