Millions of UK home owners fail to get a survey on their property

Taylor Scott International News

Over seven million UK home owners have taken a serious financial risk by choosing not to have a survey completed on their current property, new research has found. Some 13 million home owners have needed unexpected building work completed on their property since moving in and 56% of those who had major building work said knowing this in advance would have influenced their decision to buy the property. Surveyors say the top three problems with properties which can be detected by a building survey are damp, roof issues and subsidence, according to the research rom Churchill Home Insurance. But millions choose not to do so and this includes 3.5 million who did not have any type of independent checks completed and 3.6 million who assumed a mortgage valuation was sufficient. With the price of property stretching many home owners’ budgets, it appears people are scaling back on the level of surveys completed on their property pre-purchase and choosing to go down the cheapest route. The number of people having at least a base level survey has increased over time, from 63% 20 years ago to 91% in the last 12 months. The number of home owners, however, having the comprehensive building survey has reduced significantly from 28% 20 years ago to just 6% in the last 12 months. The research also found that 36% of UK surveyors have seen a change in the trend for people requesting surveys in recent years, the main one being an increase in the number of surveys requested compared to previous years. Some surveyors said buyers look for the cheapest survey as they want to save money throughout the property purchase. ‘It’s encouraging to see the number of people having a survey has increased over time. Only by having a qualified surveyor assess a property are prospective buyers fully informed of the true state of that property, so it is an essential part of the buying process,’ said Martin Scott, head of Churchill home insurance. ‘Those relying on a mortgage valuation alone should be wary as this is just a cursory look at a property from a mortgage lender to assess how much it is worth, not a survey looking at the state of the property,’ he added. The research also reveals that 23% of surveyors have had clients who needed expensive building works doing to their property soon after moving in, which would have come up in a more comprehensive survey. Indeed, one home owner had a Home Buyers report that missed the full extent of subsidence affecting the property while others needed roof repairs, had problems with dry rot, damp or heating issues, all of which would have come up in a full building survey. Overall 42% of UK home owners have needed unexpected works doing to their property within 12 months of moving in, some 9% needed major works completed, while 15% needed moderate remedial work. Demonstrating that scrimping on a thorough survey can be a… Taylor Scott International

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