The stamp duty holiday triggered a surge in home purchases, with people aiming to complete deals ahead of the original deadline. Recent HM Revenue and Customs data shows that UK residential transactions increased by 48.5% compared to February 2020, and made a 23% jump from January.

Sheridan Lifts, a family-owned UK-based lift services provider, offers pointers for people looking to purchase a property in a building equipped with a lift. Tony Sheridan, managing director, says, “When it comes to buying a home, we see people having trouble making up their minds because they want to do their due diligence, but don’t necessarily have all the knowledge to evaluate certain features, such as the state of a lift, as this is often a cause for concern. As a company that’s equally adept in installing, maintaining and repairing lifts, we think they just need more information to make the right decision before the 30 June deadline.”

What to be aware of when reviewing the state of a lift

  • Check what company the lift is from and whether they are also authorised to do the maintenance work, otherwise look into who does and make sure they are certified;

  • Ensure there are available records of all the work, checks and maintenance the lift has undergone, as well as other relevant information about its lifespan;

  • Inspect the maintenance package attached to the lift, as they can range from basic with just checks and lubrication, to ones that include all the work on a call basis;

  • Check that the homeowners’ insurance is favourable where costs associated to lifts are concerned;

  • Get a breakdown of involved costs to make sure there are no hidden ones; also relevant for top floor flats as there might be other costs apart from maintenance shared at building-level;

  • Keeping a record of the make, model, serial number, age and incorporated drive system is essential, as this information might need to be provided/inspected in various circumstances: repairs, purchasing or selling of the home, inspections;

  • Check for warranty, as ideally it should be transferable between owners.

Tony adds, “While the average buyer might avoid purchasing a flat on a higher floor, we advise them to think twice. Top floors bring the benefit of true peace, as there are no upstairs neighbours, but also less foot traffic as very few people will have a need to pass by. Aside from having more privacy, there’s also the plus of being high above street-level, away from traffic noises, offering advantages such as dust pollution and fewer pests. Another perk is having a great view and natural light for most of the day, but possibly also lower heating costs and electricity bills. Thefts are also less likely, as top floors can mainly be reached via card-only access lifts.”