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Can we complain about our survey?

(11 Posts)
Fannyfannakerpants Sat 18-Jul-15 21:43:05

We have just moved in to a 1930s house. We paid for a full structural survey. It clearly said that there were no high damp meter readings and did not suggest any further suggestions of investigations for damp. It did say that there was condensation in the bathroom which could be for a number of reasons such as poor ventilation and if it continued we would need to install a vent.
Luckily we have had to strip back a lot of floors and roofs for a rewire and we have found extensive damage from previous and current water pipe leaks.
Upstairs, the shower has leaked, causing dry rot in the wall, floor joists, a trimmer and ceiling. This seems to be dead but will require new joists, walls ad floor. There is also rot where condensation has got in behind the plaster in to the walls. (lathe and plaster, which again we were told there was non of of this makes a difference)
Downstairs, there has been a leak under the sink, which looks like it has been there for a while. When we removed the lino, the floorboards were rotted through to the point that my husbands foot fell through them. Again, it will need new joists and a floor. This is tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage over all.
Now I know that if I complain, a surveyor will say that they can not move anything, look under lino, in to walls etc... but we paid for a full structural survey. This is a massive structural floor. Surely they should have picked up on some of this?
Do I have a case to complain? And if so, do I do this directly to the surveyor?

bestguess23 Sat 18-Jul-15 21:46:59

Having been there I'm sorry to say you would be unlikely to win. Did someone see the surveyor using a damp meter throughout the house because if he did and the damage was hidden the many exclusions in the contract will allow them to get away with it. We had a very similar issue and complained to NICS were dismissed, pursued a claim, lost, appealed and lost again.

Soundofsettling Sat 18-Jul-15 21:57:03

Yes, faced a similar problem and would not go with a structural survey again - it was no better than my own eyes and a checklist from the internet of typical problems by property type.

In future if I spotted suspected damp, I'd just go straight for a specialist for an estimate of cost and work that into my offer.

bestguess23 Sat 18-Jul-15 21:57:49

*RICS not NICS, stupid phone!

Fannyfannakerpants Sat 18-Jul-15 22:08:16

Soundofsettling did you complain? I'm guessing you didn't get anywhere. Apparently half of people who complain are successful but I don't think I've ever heard of anyone who has been.
It's just so frustrating that you spend all of that money and it means nothing. Beyond frustrating but I'm trying to be positive. I guess it means that I get a nice new bathroom. After all of the money and hassle, I'm going to treat myself to a roll top bath to drink lots of wine in.

bestguess23 Sat 18-Jul-15 22:40:51

That sounds fab. Sadly, the get out clauses are all too predictable. If it is reasonable that he could have missed it because it was hidden then he will probably get away with it. Now that you know where the problem areas are were there any places that weren't covered by something where he should have used a damp meter?

Fannyfannakerpants Sun 19-Jul-15 06:37:25

It's damp under and around the sink. Although I'm sure they'll be a clause saying that they can't open cupboard doors. I think its just that there were high levels of humidity in the bathroom, In the middle of a cool day and lime plaster which was missed and no damp and timber survey was recommended.

bestguess23 Sun 19-Jul-15 10:49:44

I'm not very confident you'd get anywhere with it. Arguably ours was more obvious and we didn't. Having said that, there is no harm in trying and it is a PITA dealing with the snowballing costs when damp is found. We are now 60k into repairs and still have problems.

TeddyBee Sun 19-Jul-15 10:59:20

We had no come back on our structural survey, which missed the structural damage being caused by an illegal and dangerous loft conversion.

wonkylegs Sun 19-Jul-15 11:17:15

My mum and dad 'won' there claim against the surveyor but only after 2 years of arguing in court and because their solicitor accidentally forwarded an email which admitted liability. Even though they won they argued down the costs so my parents were still out of pocket but only by 10's of thousands rather than 100's.
Their surveyor had missed serious structural damage caused by a lack of foundations under part of the house.

Ruhrpott Sun 19-Jul-15 11:32:18

We had full structural survey and bought the house off a surveyor (who built it himself) and the surveyor still missed lots of damp issues. Think they both just sat down and drank tea and he wrote some standard no issue report. One damp issue was so bad the tiles were hanging off the plaster above the kitchen window and every time it rained we got a glassful of water dripping through. In his defence it was hidden behind a blind! The floor under this is also not straight and a bit spongy but we haven't been brave enough to take it up. We have now fixed the cause and it's dried out.
We also had a big area of artex in the lounge which had obviously been patched up and was very noticeable if you looked. This was a leak from a badly installed upstairs window which we had fixed.

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