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  • If you are purchasing a property and you had arranged for an independent survey to be carried out, it is likely the surveyor would have asked you to forward a copy of the report to your legal adviser. 

    Surveys are inspections of the condition and structure of properties. Conveyancers are not usually able to advise on any issues relating to the property’s condition as their role is to deal with legal matters. It is your responsibility to let your conveyancer know whether you would like to raise any of the issues with the seller, such as asking the seller to rectify the issues prior to exchange of contracts. 

    It is still worth sending a copy of the survey report to your conveyancer as there is normally a section within the standard RICS survey reports which outlines issues that the surveyor recommends legal advisers to make enquiries on. This section will generally ask legal advisers to obtain copies of planning permissions, building regulations certificates and guarantees for any works that have been carried out to the property, and to obtain recent test reports on the gas and/or electrical installations. These issues are covered in the Property Information Form that the seller would have filled out and provided to your legal adviser within the contract documentation. 

    The legal section of the report might also ask conveyancers to confirm there are adequate access rights and to confirm which boundaries are your responsibility to maintain. Your conveyancer will check and report to you on these points following their review of the title documents and search results, regardless of whether a survey had been carried out. 

    For any issues to which the seller’s initial documentation do not provide answers, your conveyancer will raise them as additional enquiries to the seller’s conveyancer. 

    Survey reports provide valuable information on one of the biggest purchases a person can make in their lifetime. It is important to carefully consider any issues raised by the surveyor in the report. You should also keep in mind what might be a major issue to you might not be a major issue from a legal standpoint. It is therefore recommended that you speak to your conveyancer about any concerns you may have as soon as possible to discuss what your options might be.  

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