A FORMER paramedic says his family has been left distraught after the kind of loft insulation in his house has left him struggling to get a mortgage.

Alan Mearns, 67, has lived at his home, a three-bed 1950's semi-detached house in Sledmere Crossing, Dunnington in York since 2006 and is mortgage free.

In May last year he decided he wanted to move to a smaller property and he and his wife Jane, decided they wanted to get a buy to let mortgage on the property, so their daughter Alana could move in and get onto the property ladder. And that's when Alan says the problems started.

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"A mortgage broker was engaged to assist in this process. A survey was arranged on my property and was refused on the basis that spray foam insulation was present in the loft space," said Alan.

Alan said that he had had the spray foam loft insulation professionally fitted in 2021 in a bid to make his house greener and reduce energy bills.

He said: "Ever since I have been going round in circles trying to establish the reasoning behind their stance.

"I have spoken to the installer and had a post instalment survey completed by them and was assured all was up to standard. This information was passed to the lenders, but made no difference to the refusal.

"I then contacted the manufacturer and they assure me that all is up to specification.

"My next port of call was the Property Care Association, whose opinion was that surveyors across the country could not agree on best practice jointly, and could offer no way forward other than suggesting removal.

"This offered no real remedy as people involved in removal, apparently have rendered some properties still unmortgageable.

"The whole industry needs tighter regulation and conformity to a recognised and accepted standard for lending purposes.

"At the moment everyone seems to be sitting on the corporate fence, one party blaming the other, and fearing to risk their professional integrity lest they be held accountable in the future."

York Press: Alan Mearns with the spray foam insulation in his loft space at his home in Dunnington, YorkAlan Mearns with the spray foam insulation in his loft space at his home in Dunnington, York (Image: Supplied)

The Government says that, due to concerns over condensation, spray foam insulation can cause problems when people are buying or selling a property.

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, if a surveyor encounters spray foam insulation during their inspection, they may reduce the value of the property or request an independent specialist report. In some cases, spray foam insulation may even render a property un-mortgageable in the eyes of a lender.

The spray foam industry is currently working with lenders and valuers to try and resolve this issue, but that is scant consolation for people in Alan's position.

"It's abysmal what my wife and daughter are being put through as a result of this and they are absolutely distraught.

"I was a paramedic for 25 years in the ambulance service, trying to help people, and if I'd have behaved like this I'd have been out on my backside. It's just unreal the situation we have been left in."