The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) is calling on lenders to give clear advice to mortgage applicants about the importance of obtaining an independent survey of the condition of the property they are about to buy. This follows recent announcements by lenders, such as Nationwide, that they “may no longer commission physical mortgage valuation reports…”.
RPSA Chairman, Alan Milstein said: “Buyers have often mistaken the lenders valuation for a survey of the condition of the property they are about to buy, but with an increasing reliance on desktop valuations, it means that no one with a trained eye will be visiting the property, let alone assessing its condition. This leaves consumers at significant risk. Indeed, figures show that, where buyers don’t commission a survey, they are often landed with £000s of unexpected repair bills.
“It’s more important than ever that lenders, lawyers, and estate agents give buyers clear advice about the need for a good quality survey by a trained, and preferably independent, specialist residential surveyor. Ignoring this is ignoring their duty of care to their client.
“We are calling on all sectors of property professionals to urgently review their practices and to raise, with every buyer, 3 simple points. Firstly, ask them if they have arranged a survey? Second. If they haven’t, then they should be directed to the RPSA (www.RPSA.org.uk) or RICS (www.rics.org) to find a local surveyor. Thirdly, if they don’t wish to have a survey then they need to be aware that the property may contain defects that will require repairs at their own cost.
“We property professionals have a responsibility to ensure that our clients are fully informed about the buying decision they are making. Failure to do this is a dereliction of our duty and, in today’s world, is just not acceptable.
“Providing home buyers with clear information about the need for an independent survey, at an early stage in the buying process, needs to be given the highest priority, and we are calling on all sectors of the property industry to clearly demonstrate the actions they are taking to implement these long overdue system changes.”