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£0 valuation based on surveyor error

My house received a £0 valuation because of a loft conversion with no record of building control sign-off. BUT there has NEVER BEEN any loft conversion or any other changes to the property since it was constructed in 1904. Evidence is easily available from photographs - it is a semi-detached, the mirror image of next door, down to the positioning of the doors and woodwork on the banisters! It is also pretty obvious if you stand outside and look up, that there are original large bedroom windows on the second floor, and the roof has not been altered in any way.
Since this happened, I have discovered several other people where this kind of issue has arisen ie faulty structural assessment in valuations. Isn't this pretty basic knowledge for surveyors?
The buyers are challenging the survey with their lenders, but this has caused us all delay and a great deal of anxiety. How can a surveyor be held accountable for such basic errors?
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Comments

  • GDB2222
    GDB2222 Posts: 24,350
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    It’s up to your buyers to complain if they want. You don’t have any business connection with the surveyor. 
    No reliance should be placed on the above! Absolutely none, do you hear?
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,364
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    We had the same with MiL's flat.  Surveyor was very condemning of the condition of the flat as it didn't match her idea of a new build block less than 15 years old.  We pointed out that it was actually in a converted Victorian vicarage.  She thought we were lying.  We pointed to the new build block next door with the same post code and said she was looking at a different property.  She still argued and the sale fell through as a result.  Nothing we could do about it.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,396
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    Are you sure that's the only reason for the nil valuation? I don't think I've heard of that before, usually surveyors just shrug and value as it is, with the comment that it assumes any necessary consents were obtained.
  • Sounds like your buyers are telling you fibs and masking the real issue :)
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,406
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    I've heard similar from someone buying a property. The surveyor stated the property had had a loft conversion and paperwork was required.  The whole terraced street was built in 1903 and every property is the same, with stairs to attic from landing and small dormers.

    My grandparents lived in a property exactly the same which they bought in about 1920!  As a small child it was always an adventure to go to the attic when we visited.
  • LHW99
    LHW99 Posts: 4,070
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    Our surveyor said the house had cavity wall insulation and was fully DG throughout. Its 1920's, and neither statement was correct!
  • My house was valued at £0 by National Westminster bank's mortgage surveyor, they asked for a damp/timber surveyor.  Unfortunately I never found out what they had valued my house at.
    £216 saved 24 October 2014
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,396
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    edited 16 December 2023 at 11:07PM
    Yes, a nil valuation makes more sense where it's pending a specialist survey (for damp or structural stability), or it's simply a property which doesn't match the lender's criteria for mortgageability (location, type of construction, etc).

    I would be a bit sceptical about it being a nil valuation at all, and if it is, that the loft being the reason. Surveyors wouldn't normally look into building control sign-off (that's a job for the lawyers), and they're hardly likely to be making definitive statements about a lack of consents, especially for a bank valuation which is generally a cheap-and-cheerful quick squint to check the house vaguely matches the expected value.
  • Thnks for your comments. It just seems crazy that a registered professional can make such a basic error and not be accountable for it to the people most affected  - ie US!  Will try with RICS to see what they say. 
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,396
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    jw52 said:
    Thnks for your comments. It just seems crazy that a registered professional can make such a basic error and not be accountable for it to the people most affected  - ie US!  Will try with RICS to see what they say. 
    Have you even seen a copy of this survey?

    The party most affected is surely the surveyor's client i.e. the lender. You can't really start complaining about the quality of advice which your buyer is getting, far less about the advice their bank is getting.
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