Home Survey Says BISF House Not Mortgageable?

BISF House buying & selling advice at BISF House.com

Hi, Just found this thread and hope that someone might be able to help.

Home surveyor

I am looking to buy a BISF house – It’s a lovely house in a nice area just outside Cardiff.
It has not been modernised and the surveyors report came back saying – not mortgageable (basically due to being unmodernised BISF House).
We don’t mind spending reasonable amount to make it into a nice house, but nobody seems to know anything about this type of the houses.
We have spoken to the council and to various companies which do cladding for BISF houses etc, but nobody has been able to come back with a definite answer of what exactly needs to be done and how much it would cost to make it mortgageable or even re-classed as standard house. 
Has anyone modernised their BISF house to meet mortgage requirements or even to be re-classed as a traditional house?

Any help with answers of contacts for contractors would be much appreciated!


  1. Hello Riepa
    Glad you managed to find our website.
    Firstly, you need to obtain more specific details from your surveyor as sadly many have very little experience with BISF houses.
    I also need to know on who’s behalf the surveyor is acting upon. Have you approached a company with a mortgage application if so which financial company have you asked and is the surveyor acting for them?

    The only time I have ever heard of bank declining a mortgage is due to that banks lending criteria. Certain companies will lend on BISF houses on condition that it has been modernised. Ie, the asbestos roof has been replaced and the property has been fitted with external insulation. However this only applies to some but not all lenders.

    Another problem is that the surveyor can sometimes wrongly classify the house as a Wimpey or No-Fines house etc, and in doing so suggest to your lender that it is defective under the housing act of which many are BUT the BISF house is not.

    You really need to choose a surveyor that has considerable experience with BISF houses.

    You need to do this before you decide to make improvements etc.

    So just to re-cap

    Which bank / building society have you selected for the Mortgage?
    Is the surveyor acting for this bank?
    What company is the surveyor from?
    Obtain a detailed report outling fully why the mortgage is refused from the survey.
    How is the house described in the survey?
    What type of roof is currently on the property?
    Do you have a image of the front of the house that you could show us?

    The ironic thing is mortgages are provided to purchase non improved BISF houses across the country every week with no problems at all. It is not uncommon for incidents like this to happen to potential buyers and all too often it is caused by ignorance on behalf of the so called preofessionals.

    I look forward to your reply. :0)


  2. Hi Riepa, I’m not sure who you applied for a mortgage with but you should be able to get a mortgage for it even in an unmodernised state. My house was in completely original condition apart from replacement windows and Halifax had no problem mortgaging it. One issue you do face though is if it has its original asbestos roof then only Halifax of the major lenders will lend for it, but if it has been re-roofed then pretty much any of the major lenders can accept it.

    You may need to speak to someone more knowledgeable at the lender familiar with BISF houses. Halifax put me through to their head surveyor in the area and he was immediately able to tell me they would have no problems with it. He had surveyed the house next door but one within the last year.