‘Understand the ground’ takes centre stage as mortgages refused


tmgroupTerrafirma, one of tmgroup’s environmental search providers, has today rebranded and launched a new website supported by a new strapline -‘understand the ground’.

In the wake of lenders refusing to secure mortgages against properties in close proximity to mineshafts, the strapline supports Terrafirma’s ongoing campaign to improve awareness of ground stability risks.

Take a look at the new Terrafirma website here

Lenders are refusing to mortgage properties in close proximity to mineshafts

With sinkholes in the headlines appearing more and more frequently, Terrafirma’s renewed commitment to ‘understand the ground’ has never been more relevant.  Terrafirma is changing the way professionals identify, assess, manage and resolve the risks the ground poses. Combining existing and unique data with a professional opinion, it has created a platform to disrupt environmental risk assessment and management across the UK.

Taking an innovative approach to mining risk and ground instability ensures that professionals and consumers alike are forewarned to the reality and variety of risks the ground poses to properties and land across the UK.

The rebrand closely follows Terrafirma CEO, Tom Backhouse’s, recent TV appearance on Rip Off Britain, where he explained how some lenders are now refusing to secure mortgages against properties in close proximity to mineshafts – creating new challenges for conveyancers and trapping homeowners in houses they’d previously had no problems buying.

The episode covered the case of Sharon who had been struggling to sell her home for three years. Buyer after buyer pulling out at the last minute had been a mystery, until one revealed that banks were refusing to lend against the property after local searches highlighted a mineshaft underneath the neighbouring house.

Even though the mineshaft had caused no damage to her house, Sharon was given no choice but to put her house up for auction with a reserve price that was £61,000 under market value. Even then, the property remained unsold.

Given that there are over 130,000 properties in the UK within 20 metres of a mine shaft, this isn’t an isolated issue.

You can watch a replay of Rip Off Britain here

Terrafirma’s data insights reveal a fuller picture of ground stability

Drawing on Terrafirma’s specialist knowledge in the innovation and provision of mining-instability risk assessment, the TerraSearch® product suite analyses coal mining risks alongside an additional 55 mining hazards to reveal a fuller picture of ground stability in our towns and cities.

The following TerraSearch® products are now available on tmconvey to order against residential and commercial properties :

  • TerraSearch® Coal Extra is a regulated ‘CON29M-Compliant’ coal mining search offering an equivalent to the Coal Authority report, including a professional opinion of all coal mining risks and CON29M questions and additionally alerting to 55 further mining hazards.
  • TerraSearch® Assess is a single search that comprehensively assesses the risk to a site (property and land) from all 60 mining hazards, including past, present and planned extraction.

Both TerraSearch® Coal Extra and TerraSearch® Assess include additional professional interpretations, as well as a TerraSearch® Coal & Brine Report Indemnity Policy up to £50,000 loss in market value of the property (in the event that a conclusion changes based on the addition of new data), and £10 million liability per report in the event of wrong or missing information. 

TerraSearch® Coal Extra and TerraSearch® Assess are also supported by a TerraSearch® Alert, which is now available on tmconvey.

For more information, take a look at Terrafirma’s new website. You can also book your place at one of our Risky Business Roadshows this November to discuss your challenges with Tom Backhouse in person.

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