Article 5 - Conflicting reports – What do you do? Who do you believe?
The receipt of conflicting reports from different companies about the same property is likely to leave you confused. This article explores what you might do in these circumstances.
It is not unusual to receive conflicting reports and opinions from different companies about the same alleged problems in the same property. Some for example may detect damp in a few walls whilst others will detect it in many more – some may find decay or an infestation in a floor and others do not mention it. Very often this is down to the experience of the surveyors concerned - so who do you believe?
Even when the need for similar work is identified some companies allow for the re-fixing of skirting boards yet others do not. Some quote for re-plastering whilst others do not. Some undertake timber renewals when it is necessary but others require you to organise this before they arrive on site etc. etc. Trying to make comparisons about something that you are not familiar with is very difficult.
You hope and believe that each contractor will find and quote for the same work but alas this is seldom the situation. Because each company’s specification of work is down to the experience of the surveyor and their individual investigative and diagnostic skills huge variances will sometimes occur making comparison very difficult.
So how is this situation to be avoided? You could get each company back to justify their findings and quote for the bit the other company included but this is time and hassle. A more trouble free solution is to engage the services of a suitably qualified and experienced independent surveyor, such as Peter. An independent surveyor should inspect the property and if requested draw up a specification for work that they find and consider to be necessary. This specification should then be put out to tender to three contractors and the tender submissions should then be vetted by the independent surveyor. Each company will then be quoting for identical work.
It is fully acknowledged and appreciated that independent surveyors are not infallible and anyone for example inspecting an occupied property is faced with difficulties and obstructions. An independent surveyor however should have no vested interest in the amount, extent or price of any work that may be detected and considered necessary. Unlike surveyors employed by contractors an independent surveyor is immune from the pressure to find and justify work in order to keep their company’s work force busy. Some companies may feel uncomfortable that I am pointing this out but that is the reality of the situation.
Naturally you will have to pay for the services of an independent surveyor as this is how they earn their living. Unfortunately there is still considerable reluctance by a large proportion of the public to pay for an independent surveyor who in very many cases actually saves money by preventing unnecessary work from being undertaken. There is still a preference by the general public to rely on the so called speculative ‘free survey’ offered by many contractors who are basically surveying a property hoping to find and justify work however tenuous it may be.
See Article 8 below for a real situation a lady was presented with!
For more information about Peter’s independent survey service click here.