Types of complaints we see
We hear from customers who say:
- they wouldn’t have bought the property (or would have reduced their offer) if they’d known the facts
- you arranged the wrong type of survey
- the survey on the house didn’t flag up important problems
- the valuation didn’t match the asking price – so you refused to offer what was needed to buy the property
Because the surveyor is instructed by you, the customer may think it’s always up to you to put things right.
In some cases, you’re liable for what the surveyor did or didn’t do. But not always. We look carefully at the circumstances of each individual complaint, including:
- if you were clear about whether the valuation was carried out by an in-house or an independent surveyor
- whether the independent surveyor you instructed was a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
- whether parts of the survey report were commented on by you, and so appeared to be your opinion – not the independent surveyor’s opinion
- anything you said in the report that turned out to be wrong
Handling a complaint
You have the opportunity to sort things out before we get involved. If a customer complains and you don't respond within the time limits, or they disagree with your response, then they can come to us.
Find out more about how to resolve a complaint.
Things to consider
If you receive a complaint about the content of a valuation or survey, even if you think it's the surveyor's responsibility there may be issues around the instruction, or lending based on the report.
Make sure you understand the customer's complaint, think about your responsibilities and - where appropriate - signpost your customer to the surveyor (or RICS).
What we look at
When a customer says they missed a chance for a discount
We’ll look at:
- the property market at the time
- other interest in the property
- whether or not the seller had already agreed to any reductions
When a customer complains about a surveyor
We may direct them to RICS for help. We can't usually deal with a complaint about the actions of an independent surveyor.
When a customer complains about the type of valuation report
Customers pay for valuation reports, but they are carried out for your benefit to decide if the property is good security for the loan. If the buyer wants a survey to help them decide whether to buy a property, they’ll need to pay for an additional report from the surveyor. They can also choose their own surveyor.
Customers can choose from three types of survey approved by the RICS:
- Condition Report
- HomeBuyer Report
- Building Survey
If a buyer didn’t get the type of survey they'd asked for, there’s a chance you might have made an administrative mistake. But HomeBuyer reports are much more detailed than basic valuation reports – and we may decide the buyer knew they'd got the wrong type of report.
Ownership of the report
It's important for us to work out whether the report is owned by you. A survey issued by you and bearing your name and corporate logo, doesn’t automatically make you responsible.
We also need to look at:
- the format of any report the buyer saw – for example was it on your headed paper with your logo
- whether it was signed off by an independent surveyor
- what was said about responsibility for preparing the report
- if the buyer had direct contact with the surveyor and what the surveyor said
Putting things right
If we decide something’s gone wrong, and that you’re responsible, we’ll work out how to compensate the customer fairly.
We might ask you to:
- reorganise and pay for a new survey
- contribute towards repair works if a survey didn’t report building defects that should have been mentioned
- compensate your customer for any trouble or upset you’ve caused them, if you’ve treated them unfairly
'The valuation was too low, and now I can't get the mortgage I need'
‘My bank carried out the wrong kind of survey.'
Search our decisions database for complaints involving valuation reports and survey issues.