You are deemed to have accepted the property in the physical state it is in when Contracts are exchanged for your property purchase. Therefore it is very important for you to satisfy yourself that such matters as the central heating, electrical wiring, drainage and other practical and physical items are up to safety levels and are working satisfactorily before Contracts are exchanged. You will generally not have any form of redress against the seller in respect of any existing defects in the purchase property or affecting anything included in the sale of the purchase property once Contracts have been exchanged.

Accordingly it is very important when buying a property to consider having a Survey carried out on the purchase property before Contracts are exchanged. You should also consider other specialist surveys on the purchase property eg in order to check the central heating system or electrical wiring.

The benefits of having an appropriate survey carried out on the purchase property before Contracts are exchanged are twofold :-

(i) you will have more information as regards the state and condition of the purchase property to help you to decide whether or not to proceed with your purchase of the property at the agreed price and

(ii) if your surveyor fails to identify any serious defects in the purchase property you may have a right of redress against him or her if you go ahead with your purchase of the property and you would not have done so if the defect had been pointed out to you or if you have to spend money correcting a defect which the Surveyor ought reasonably to have warned you about.

Broadly speaking there are three options open to you in respect of Surveys:-

To rely on the valuation made by your Mortgage Lender if you are having a mortgage on the purchase property. You will not incur any additional expense but the valuation will be much less detailed than the Survey and is prepared solely so the Mortgage Lender can consider whether the purchase property is suitable security for the Mortgage Loan. As the valuation is prepared solely for the Mortgage Lender in most circumstances you would find it impossible to successfully claim compensation from the Mortgage valuer if the valuation failed to take account of and draw your attention to any defects in the purchase property requiring attention and/or potentially affecting the purchase property’s value and saleability.

To commission ‘a Home Buyer’s Report and Valuation’. This will give you a much fuller account of the physical state of the purchase property and is prepared by a qualified Surveyor/Valuer for your benefit and protection in order to highlight the main matters of which you ought to be aware before exchange of contracts for your property purchase .

To instruct an independent Surveyor to do a full structural survey on the purchase property. This will give you the most comprehensive report and will cover all aspects of the property’s structure and fabric but it will also be the most expensive.

In deciding upon whether to have a survey done and what type of survey to commission you will consider any factors which appear relevant and in particular the value, cost, location, mode of construction, age and your intended usage of the purchase property.

We are always happy to offer guidance on what types of survey might be appropriate and to recommend a Surveyor wherever possible. Contact us at any time to discuss your requirements.

Survey Advice