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Survey - recommendations before exchange?

(5 Posts)
jb7445 Thu 27-Nov-14 15:25:08


I am in the process of buying my first property. I have just received back the results of the full buildings survey and, although there doesn't seem to be anything major wrong with the property, the surveyor has provided a long list of things that he would recommend are checked before exchange. For example, an experienced gardener to check for Japanese knotwood; testing of gas, electric, heating and water systems; a timber expert to check the outbuildings and fences...

Can I ask whether people usually do all of this, or if this is just a way of the surveyors limiting their potential liability? In each case they have basically said all looks fine, but they would recommend that an expert confirms this.

If this is something that people would usually do as a matter of course, who pays for this??

Thanks in advance for any advice!

bilbodog Thu 27-Nov-14 15:52:06

Hi - unfortunately this is what surveyors always say - and you would have to pay for any checking you decide to do. You need to take a view. If there is anything you are concerned about then you could get it checked - I've not heard them say get the outbuildings checked before - unless they are a large part of the purchase i.e. a barn? You could also go through the survey report with the estate agent and if they are helpful they can indicate if they think anything needs checking out. Basic checks, such as an electrician to check the standard of the wiring might not cost anything at all if you know a good local guy but they would charge to do a full check and issue a certificate. If the house is very old and/or hasn't been rennovated within the last 20 years you might want to get more checks done - just so you know what might need doing in future. If you are buying a rennovation project and are going to make lots of changes it probably doesn't matter because you would possibly re-wire and re-plumb whilst doing major works.

wowfudge Thu 27-Nov-14 15:55:50

It's normal to ask for proof of the boiler being serviced and the electrics being checked as part of a purchase, but the rest of it is backside covering imo.

Were the fences and shed in good condition when you saw them? In which case, no need to worry there. As for Japanese Knotweed - it is usually known in an area and if there were JK on the property, you can bet your bottom dollar the surveyor would have said so as some mortgage companies won't lend on properties where there is JK nearby, i.e. within a certain distance. The reason you attention is drawn to JK is that if it is on your property and encroaches onto someone else's property then it is your responsibility to get rid of it.

specialsubject Thu 27-Nov-14 17:03:11

that is a shocking amount of arse-covering and not good enough. Surveyors can't check electrical installations and they are not gas safe experts, but he should have been much more thorough than that.

doesn't sound like he has even flushed toilets.

how much did you pay this idle shyster?

jb7445 Fri 28-Nov-14 11:32:17

Thanks all! On that basis I think I will ask for boiler service history and safety certs but nothing else. The house, garden and outbuildings (which are just a shed and a small summer house - nothing valuable) seem in really good condition overall.

Specialsubject, I've probably been guilty of oversimplifying - the report did go into a lot of detail on the checks that had been done on the various utilities systems etc., it just seemed like every section ended with '...but we would recommend this is tested by [xxx] expert prior to exchange'. So although I think he is basically arse-covering, he has given some level of assurance that we should be able to rely on if any of the content of the report is actually wrong!

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