Do I need a survey?

Always remember the golden rule is "let the buyer beware" so (provided you have not been misled) you will be liable for any problems that you discover after exchange of contracts.

If you are obtaining a mortgage a surveyor will inspect the property on behalf of the lender. Although his report will give you an indication as to whether he thinks the property is worth the amount that you have asked to borrow you will probably not be able to rely on it if things go wrong. In that case you may not have any right to sue the surveyor should any negligence on his part be proved. However, if the surveyor also prepares a report or survey for you then, if he is negligent, you would be able to sue him. The usual building society or bank valuation is not a full survey and the level of inspection varies between each building society/bank surveyor.

For an extra fee you will usually be offered the option to arrange for the same valuer to carry out a more detailed "Home Buyers Report". This can be relied upon by you so if at a later date you find a problem that is not mentioned in the report you will have some redress against the valuer. It might be possible, when making initial contact with your mortgage company, for them to arrange for their surveyor to carry out a House Buyers Report or full survey so that only one surveyor need be engaged.

If the property is quite old and you are particularly concerned about its condition you can obtain a full structural survey report which is even more detailed.

Your mortgagee or the person arranging the mortgage for you should advise you as to the type of valuations and surveys available.  For your own protection we must advise that you should have a full survey.