If you buy a house in certain parts of the country where coal mining was prolific historically you should be advised by your solicitor to obtain a coal mining search prior to the purchase.

Your solicitor should also be able to advise if a search should be carried because the area, even if not an obvious historical mining area, was nevertheless mined.

But what happens if the advice is not given, you buy the property and then to your horror find out that your house sits atop a mine shaft?

It is not uncommon that such problems only come to light when for example a sale of the property is considered or a re-mortgage is applied for and a diligent solicitor carries out a coal mining search. The implications then are likely to be that the value of your property has declined significantly and you will not recover the purchase price on sale or be offered a re-mortgage.

In such circumstances all may not be lost. If it can be established that the solicitor’s failure to advise on the need for a coal mining search was negligent and you can show that properly advised you would not have bought the property for the same price, if at all, then you may have a negligence claim which has very good prospects of success.

In the event you can establish negligence then damages would be recoverable either based on the cost of repair works or diminution in the value of the property, that is the broadly speaking the difference between the price you paid for the property on the assumption there was no mine below it and the value of the property sitting above the mine, depending on which figure is lowest.


If you have found yourself in this situation or have been let down in some other way during the purchase of a house which has left you out of pocket Jordans Solicitors can advise whether you have a professional negligence claim and may be entitled to compensation. Call our team free on 0330 300 1103 or request a call back and they will contact you.

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