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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.”

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  • jacobsyummymummy 4th July 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I think it needs to go further than this and investigate the charges (how much charged? how much to the surveryors?) admin charges of 30%+ are unacceptable in todays electronic age…and the reports themselves can be questionnable. There are some I feel are undervaluing properties and others specifying (unnecessary cosmetic) work to complete which then requires a re-inspection fee…

    Also when you pay for a valuation you do not get the full report that the lender does, and yet you are the customer paying for the service.

  • jacobsyummymummy 4th July 2011 at 5:44 pm

    I think it needs to go further than this and investigate the charges (how much charged? how much to the surveryors?) admin charges of 30%+ are unacceptable in todays electronic age…and the reports themselves can be questionnable. There are some I feel are undervaluing properties and others specifying (unnecessary cosmetic) work to complete which then requires a re-inspection fee…

    Also when you pay for a valuation you do not get the full report that the lender does, and yet you are the customer paying for the service.

  • The Floor shaker 21st June 2011 at 9:30 pm

    The hard research undertaken by Which and others continually shows homebuyers beleive they are getting a proper survey when its only a valuation. If I paid £300 – £500 I would expect a proper survey and not just a valuation. Rip off Britain strikes again!