I specialize in home surveys and Surveyor/Valuer negligence cases and it grieves me when I know so many buyers are going to regret buying the home they set their hearts on. The builder next door said it was ok; my brother viewed with us, he’s a brickie and he said it looked good; the loan company advanced on it so we thought it would have been good. I have heard all the excuses but when it boils down to the heart of the matter several things link to cause this sorry state of confusion and shame in our community:-
- That Government chose to withdraw Seller Surveys from HIPs.
- That people think a Survey is not essential (often justifying this by saying “what’s the point, you cannot sue a Surveyor”).
- General ignorance about what a survey is, the various types available and the value they add to any transaction.
- Politics and Regulations – the “powers that are” do not regulate adequately to clear the market of dumbed down expertise and survey products.
- Estate Agents who do not take Home Information Packs and Surveys seriously thinking they are doing sellers a favour by giving biased advice and steering buyers and sellers alike to sources whereby they, the Agent, gets a commission, to the detriment of the seller and buyer.
A few years ago the then Labour Government decided that HIPs would be better without a seller’s survey (that buyers could rely on and sue the Surveyor if the report was negligent). Despite HIPs being criticized massively in other ways, the only thing the Government did to be seen to be authoritative was to remove what most thinking people believe would have been the best part of the whole initiative.
If you buy a Mars bar, a Car, a Holiday, you have rights if things go wrong. If you buy a house, probably your single biggest investment and then things go wrong you have next to nothing to protect you. Why? It just does not make sense and yet every day the great English public perpetuates this mistake and no momentum exists by the world authority on surveying, the Royal Institution of surveyors blackpool based in London, to change things fundamentally.