Zoe Olender, Conveyancing Solicitor discuses the need for a survey when buying a house
Q: I am buying a property; do I need to have a survey done?
A: When buying a property it is your responsibility as the buyer to satisfy yourself as to its physical state and condition as the seller is not required to reveal any structural defects.
The best way to do this is to have a survey carried out. Your home is probably the most expensive purchase you will ever make and therefore it is surprising how few people have a survey carried out.
If you are buying property with a mortgage, your lender will instruct a surveyor to carry out a valuation, which normally you will pay for. However, this is only a valuation and not a survey, and is carried out solely for the benefit of the lender to ascertain whether the property will provide adequate security for the loan. Accordingly, the valuation may not reveal all or any defects in the property.
If you have a survey carried out prior to entering into a legal obligation to purchase the property, and it reveals defects, you will have the opportunity to obtain further reports and estimates (if necessary), renegotiate the purchase price or agree for the seller to have remedial works carried out before you proceed further.
If you don’t have a survey, once you have entered into a legal obligation to purchase the property it will be too late and you will be legally bound to purchase the property warts and all!
It is always recommended to seek professional advice and your solicitor will be able to guide you.