Property Assure

From a database of actual UK subsidence incidents (plus detailed soil and drainage data) the search uses full postcode matching to assess the level of risk for a particular property against the average subsidence incidence profile. The certification then rates the risk of subsidence as low, medium, high or very high.

For property sales this marks a valuable breakthrough and a valuable addition to your search portfolio.

What is Subsidence?

Subsidence is the vertical downward movement of a building foundation caused by the loss of support of the ground beneath the foundations. This is usually associated with changes in the sub soil supporting the foundations, for example:

  • Shrinkage or softening of clay soils
  • Washing away fines (loose granular material)
  • Compression of peat, other than that directly due to the self-weight of the building
  • Further compaction or consolidation of the ground 

Every year an estimated £175 million¹ is spent on subsidence claims, rising during drier periods. It is worth noting that the UK has recently recorded one of its driest springs for over 100 years².

Subsidence Search*

The subsidence search provides a subsidence risk assessment for a property with the level of risk calculated from a database of actual UK subsidence incidents using full postcode matching.

The risk assessment and certification service is certified by SPPS ** (Consulting Civil & Structural Engineers and Chartered Building Surveyors with a specialism in subsidence) and the Landmark Information Group.

The level of risk is calculated and presented on the following criteria:

  • Low – Fewer cases of clay shrinkage or drainage related subsidence are predicted in this area compared to the average number for the UK as a whole
  • Medium – Predicted risk is over 1 and up to 2 times the average for the UK for clay shrinkage or drainage related subsidence
  • High – Predicated risk is over 2 and up to 4 times the average for the UK for clay shrinkage or drainage related subsidence
  • Very High – Predicted risk is over 4 times the average for the UK for clay shrinkage or drainage related subsidence


*Arranged by Quantus, provided by Property Assure in partnership with Landmark Information Group.
**SPPS (Smithers Purslow Property Services)
 Sources: ¹Association of British Insurers (ABI) figures for the 2009, ²Met Office (1 June 2011)

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