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what can I do about major problems missed in my house survey?

Evening Standard Homes & Property logoEvening Standard Homes & Property 3 days ago Piers King
a man standing in front of a window © Provided by Evening Standard Homes & Property

Question: I recently bought my first home but have discovered severe damp in the kitchen which has rotted the kitchen counter and there are also several windows with broken handles.

I had a survey done at the time and have tried contacting the surveyor but they are not responding. What can I do?

Answer: You should carefully read the report provided by your surveyor to ensure that there is no mention of any of these issues.

It may also be necessary to obtain an independent surveyor’s view of how long the damp has been present.

The next step will depend on what type of survey was carried out. If you have a mortgage and were looking to rely on the valuation report provided for your lender then it will be difficult to make a claim as this is not intended for your benefit and makes certain assumptions that a normal survey would not.

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However, if you obtained a Homebuyer’s Report or similar survey, then this should contain sufficient detail to have covered the issues you are now facing.

The surveyor will generally be found to be negligent where they have made an error that no reasonable member of the profession would have made in the same scenario.

The amount you can claim in compensation for any professional negligence may be limited to the difference between the purchase price and the value of the property after factoring in the defects.

The cost of repair is less frequently available.

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