Property investor's shock at 'unexplainable level of damage' he discovered after buying new home

1 December 2023, 18:10 | Updated: 1 December 2023, 19:24

A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham.
A caller to James O’Brien’s programme has shared footage of the extraordinary destruction done to his newly purchased property just outside of Durham. Picture: Supplied

By Eleanor Walsh

Footage shared by a James O'Brien caller shows the extraordinary destruction done to his newly-purchased property just outside of Durham.

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Adam, fro, Solihull, told James he bought the house on auction in early September and completed on the property a month later, only to find the house in ruin.

"I did a site visit, couldn’t get in with the key, looked through the window - the house had been set on fire from the inside," he said.

"One of the neighbours came out and told us what had happened."

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Property investor describes ‘unexplainable level of damage’ done to newly purchased home

He found the house stripped of its copper pipes, with radiators stolen and a burned porch affecting the front room.

After contacting County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Adam discovered that they had changed the locks, having discovered a break-in and fire on September 5th - the day before the house went up for sale.

Property investor shows upstairs damage to newly purchased home

The seller's solicitors claimed they were unaware of what had happened, which Adam accepted but said: "The fact remains we bought a property which did not look, or match the description of the property in the auction."

James speaks to Adam

The house was uninsured and Adam estimates it’ll cost up to £20,000 to fix the structural damage alone - a hefty sum, particularly given that the property set him back only £40,000.

It comes as National Trading Standards, a consumer protection body, told estate agents that they must include potentially undesirable factors relating to a property in their listings in order to prevent legal action as well as property sales collapsing further down the line.

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