something dodgys going on? declined on valuation-japanese knotweed

after waiting since the 4th april to get the valuation done, and the surveyor only turning up to actually do it 8 days ago, we finally got some news after our mortgage adviser hassled them..
no report on any other issue as they still have not sent a paper report out to lloyds or us, but just said that it is being declined due to the presence of japanese knotweed!

both ourselves and the mortgage adviser were floored...

i know what japanese knotweed looks like and i haven't seen any there before...we drove back around today and spent an hour walking the grounds and still saw nothing at all!
this is a 3.5 acre property, and has been empty for 5 years..if there WAS knot weed present it surely would be blindingly obvious in a property left to its own for years?

i spoke to the specialist surveyor that was going to be doing our full building survey and he thinks something is possibly off here...!

for a start, he said the valuer would have spent a minimum amount of time at the property, and most of that would be inside the premises..he most likely would not have gone looking over 3.5 acres for it, so it must be somewhere obvious if he noticed it.. but where? as we certainly did not see any ANYWHERE!
secondly, had he seen what he thought was knotweed, he surely would have asked to have an expert in to correctly identify it before flat out causing a decline...!?
the full building surveyor =said it is very likely that he has misidentified a plant as being such, as it needs to be identified by a specialist as there is too much margin for error- but it had just been turned down, with no further investigations suggested...

this just doesn't feel right!!!
i'm beginning to wonder whether the surveyors mate dave wants to buy the property when he saw what we were paying for it, and is making up some bogus reason why we can't buy it!!!

i'm not going to take no for an answer!
IF there is supposedly something there- then do we have the right to ask the surveyor to identify WHERE it supposedly is?

do we have the right to get a specialist in to either agree with the identification, or tell him that its !!!!!!!!??
if a specialist says its not knotweed, can we then go back to lloyds to challenge the decline???

i'm not an idiot, and ofcourse if theres knotweed there, then i'm glad the surveyor spotted it, but i honestly think that he's probably wrong...and if he is wrong, then i want my mortgage offer!
«1345

Replies

  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
    89.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Mix up perhaps. The lender wouldn't decline without a written report.

    Why the seperate surveyor?
  • wannahousewannahouse Forumite
    362 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    Mix up perhaps. The lender wouldn't decline without a written report.

    Why the seperate surveyor?

    separate surveyor is an old buildings specialist, and we had him lined up to do a full survey after the valuation, as we anticipated needing some further expert opinions for the bank, expected to be raised during the valuation about some minor damp and historic movement...

    the mortgage adviser confirmed they didn't have any further info from the surveyor, just that he had told them it was a no go due to knotweed, so they declined.
    a specialist report wasn't even suggested?
    thats just not normal to take the surveyors judgement on plant identification! its sometimes even hard for an expert to tell, but we certainly didn't even see anything that possibly "could be"!
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
    89.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Is the property Grade 2 listed?
  • wannahousewannahouse Forumite
    362 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    Is the property Grade 2 listed?

    yep..........
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
    89.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Why did you ask for a basic valuation survey then? At the very least would require a building survey I would have thought. Hence why there's no valuation or written report.

    Lender will wish to appoint a firm of their choice to conduct this.
  • edited 30 April 2013 at 9:03PM
    wannahousewannahouse Forumite
    362 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    edited 30 April 2013 at 9:03PM
    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    Why did you ask for a basic valuation survey then? At the very least would require a building survey I would have thought. Hence why there's no valuation or written report.

    Lender will wish to appoint a firm of their choice to conduct this.


    this IS the lenders valuer that has gone in...!
    ours was to go in AFTER the lenders valuation, to do a full survey (it hasn't been done yet, as we were waiting for the lenders valuation to come back.) i spoke to our guy on the phone this evening...

    so in other words :
    1) mortgage application done
    2) lender instructs valuation thru colleys (we paid £500 for the basic valuation!)
    3) valuation comes back verbally after lender chasing him saying no-go...japanese knotweed ,yet the valuation hasn't been sent out to either us or the lloyds mortgage adviser yet, and YES, we do get a copy of it...

    what was going to happen next, was :
    4) our old buildings specialist surveyor would go in and do a full survey, at about £1000... he wolud assess the building and write a report if he thought it was fine or defects easily remedied, to allay lenders fears, for example, with damp etc.
    then based on this, lloyds would lend, assuming we remedied the defect before completetion..

    but all this has been scuttled because of the alleged mystery knotweed!
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
    89.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    wannahouse wrote: »
    4) our old buildings specialist surveyor would go in and do a full survey, at about £1000... he wolud assess the building and write a report if he thought it was fine or defects easily remedied, to allay lenders fears, for example, with damp etc.
    then based on this, lloyds would lend, assuming we remedied the defect before completetion..

    This would have to be the lenders appointed surveyor not yours.
  • wannahousewannahouse Forumite
    362 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Thrugelmir wrote: »
    This would have to be the lenders appointed surveyor not yours.


    no, lloyds specifically have told us, that the valuation would be done,by their appt valuer, and then if he throws up any issues requiring further investigation, such as damp, structural etc, we would have to pay for extra reports.
    these could be provided by a surveyor of our choice, as long as he has the qualifications they specify.
    he would then do the full survey,then write a report suggesting what did and didn't need worrying about, which would then go back to the original surveying firm (colleys)
    the surveyor we were to employ has more experience in old and listed buildings than the garden variety valuer, so they would take on board his recommendations, and decide what works to make us do, based on this.


    that said, it still begs the question why a valuer that has been at the property for a short time, is suddenly an expert on japanese knotweed and feels he has the clout to stop the process dead, instead of getting a specialist in to check out the supposed ,offending herb!
  • GoldiegirlGoldiegirl Forumite
    8.8K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
    Forumite
    So you are accusing the valuer of making up a bogus reason so you can't buy the property?

    It's not really a good idea to throw around accusations like that!

    Your mortgage wouldn't be declined just on the verbal say so of a valuer - they will report back to the prospective lender, and the lender would decide whether or not to decline the mortgage.

    Speak to the lender about this, see whether or not they wish to proceed, or whether they'd consider proceeding on receipt of a specialist report to confirm whether or not there is knotweed on the property. If there is knotweed, I imagine the report would also confirm how the situation can be remedied.

    Oh, and don't accuse the valuer of dodgy dealing when you talk to the lender.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
  • ThrugelmirThrugelmir Forumite
    89.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    wannahouse wrote: »
    that said, it still begs the question why a valuer that has been at the property for a short time, is suddenly an expert on japanese knotweed

    Better than saying not qualified to value a Grade 2 list property.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Boost your Nectar points

Get up to £25 this Saturday

MSE News

Preparing for summer

What MoneySaving things can you do now to get ready?

MSE Forum

Hot Diamonds 40% off code

Including already-reduced outlet stock

MSE Deals