Mundic is simply an old Cornish word for mine waste. Prior to 1952 concrete wasn’t
made by the large national carriers and was often mixed locally to a site using the
local materials available. As Cornwall is a hard rock mining area they very often and
very sensibly used the mine waste as an aggregate, as being a hard rock mining area,
they had access to granite and blue alvin which made a very hard concrete indeed.
The problem with this was that, as this is a mineralised area and because those
aggregates had very often been through an ore extraction process, there were
occasionally minerals or chemicals still present in the aggregate which can now lead
to deterioration in the fabric of the concrete.
A Concrete Screening Test determines the level of minerals and chemicals within
concrete manufactured before 1952 and identifies whether or not there are any
potential problems to overcome. The concrete is graded as A, AB, B and C.
Grade A means that the concrete is free of any potentially harmful materials and fully
mortgageable. Grade AB means that the concrete contains a small level of potentially
harmful materials, but at such a level that any future problems are unlikely. The
concrete is therefore fully mortgageable. Grade B concrete contains a higher level of
potentially harmful materials which are not in any way active at present, but it still
represents too high a risk for any lender. This means that the concrete is therefore
unmortgageable. Grade C is generally concrete which is undergoing some form of
mundic decay and is again, unmortgageable.
Even if a property is found to be non-mortgageable and especially if it is Grade B,
they are extremely saleable properties as they make excellent investments. This is
because they sell for approximately 65-70% of the cost of an unaffected property, but
they let for exactly the same money. Also of course, any prospective purchaser with
cash to buy a property who does not wish to have a Mortgage, can get far more for
their money by purchasing one of those properties.
Class C properties can often undergo a course of work which will render them
perfectly safe but they will still require a much higher degree of maintenance in the
Autumn Statement: Buy-to-let homes face higher stamp duty – BBC news
Buy-to-let landlords and people buying second homes will soon have to pay more in stamp duty, the chancellor has announced.
From April 2016, those in England and Wales will have to pay a 3% surcharge on each stamp duty band.
George Osborne said the new surcharge would raise £1bn extra for the Treasury by 2021.
Landlords reacted angrily to the change, saying it would “choke off” investment in rented properties.
Other changes announced by the chancellor included an extended Help to Buy scheme in London, and more money for the Starter Homes programme.
‘Choke off investment’
The stamp duty surcharge will lift each band by 3%. That means that for properties worth between £125,000 and £250,000, where the stamp duty is 2%, buy-to-let landlords will pay 5%.
For the average buy-to-let purchase of £184,000, that means they will pay an extra £5,520 from April 2016.
Commercial property investors, with more than 15 properties, are expected to be exempt from the new charges.