I have agreed to purchase a property and need a mortgage. Do you consider it necessary to have my own survey carried out or is it safe to rely on the survey carried out by my lender?
When you send your mortgage application to your lender, you will have to pay a survey fee. Having done so, your lender will contact the surveyor and ask him/her to survey the property. When your lender contacts the surveyor, he will be advised of the purchase price that you have agreed to pay for the property and of the amount of mortgage for which you have applied. The surveyor will be asked by the lender to confirm that there is adequate security in the property to cover the amount of your mortgage.
Your lender will only consider the worst possible scenario which will be non-payment of the mortgage and repossession of the property. They are therefore asking the surveyor to confirm that if they were to repossess it, they would recover the amount of the mortgage debt. They have no concern with any financial contribution being made to purchase the property by you.
The difficulty with this is that there may be defects in the property which do not affect the lender’s security but might affect your decision to purchase the property. It is also possible that the property may not be worth the amount that you have agreed to pay for it, which, again, may not affect the lender’s security.
For the reasons set out above, I would strongly advise you to have your own survey carried out even though I accept that this will mean some additional expense on your part.
You may consider asking your lender to instruct the surveyor to carry out a more substantial survey of the property. If you decided to do that, you would only have to pay for the more substantial survey rather than two lots of survey fees.
This Q & A was brought to you by Graham Ireland, Partner and Head of Conveyancing, Woodocks Haworth and Nuttall
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