The RICS has warned homeowners to look out for cracks in properties caused by the heat wave.
Long, hot summers can cause subsidence as the subsoil shrinks from loss of moisture. When the hot spell ends the soil expands unevenly, causing buildings to move and crack.

Pre-1970 houses, especially of Edwardian and Victorian vintage, are particularly at risk because they have shallow foundations.

The RICS advises returning holidaymakers to check their houses for cracks of 3 mm or more. It says these require immediate action.

John Sparkes, professional information officer at the RICS, said that property affected would need to be underpinned, and that the work should be carried out by a reputable builder in conjunction with an engineer, contractor and insurer.

He said: "There is little co-ordination between all the parties and owners can often feel they're 'piggy in the middle'. We would advise householders to step back and let the experts get on with the job."