RPSA slated for complaint on surveys

The Residential Property Surveyors Association has been criticised for demanding the Financial Services Authority investigates lenders over their lack of clarity on surveys.

The RPSA has written to Hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA, claiming lenders are duping customers into thinking that they have had a survey carried out when they haven’t.

It claims only one in five home buyers obtain a survey or condition report on the property they are buying, yet 80% of home buyers believe that they get a survey.
It says the main reason for the discrepancy is that most mortgage borrowers believe their lenders’ valuation is a survey.

Alan Milstein, council member at the RPSA, says: “They should make it explicit to their borrowers that the valuation they procure is for their purpose alone and says nothing about the condition of the property.’

But Rob Clifford, a board member of Direct Valuations, disagrees.

He says: “Lenders don’t see it as a core responsibility and presumably wouldn’t want to get involved in recommending whether a consumer proceeded or didn’t proceed with a particular house purchase.

“It’s the job of the industry to educate consumers about the options available to them, not to blame other professions.”

One broker commenting on Mortgage Strategy Online says: “In my experience, lenders could not be any clearer on this point. I can’t believe anyone is not aware that they have got a copy of a valuation, not an actual survey.”