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Just Another Stressor In The Homebuying Process

, , , , , | Working | August 30, 2021

In Scotland, if you are selling your house, you are required to pay to have it surveyed yourself. However, the sellers are only obligated to get the most basic survey. When I was buying my first house, I decided to pay for an enhanced survey myself. I did not have any idea how badly this would confuse my mortgage company.

First of all, they kept misfiling the letters and evidence I submitted in support of my mortgage. Then, they entered my phone number incorrectly in their system, and despite phoning them and updating it repeatedly, they didn’t change it so I didn’t get notified that things were missing.

This led to the survey I instructed becoming outdated, so I was informed that I needed to get a new one. I spoke with the surveyor, who told me that they had had problems with my lender accepting updated reports before and to double-check with them that they would definitely accept the updated report. So, dutifully, I did this and explained that I would be paying for a refresh of the survey they already had. I asked if we could confirm that this would be acceptable. The agent I spoke with was very confused about why I asked; of course, it would be fine. I’m sure you can see where this is now going.

£200 and two weeks later, I received a letter telling me that the report was unacceptable because it was completed by the same surveyor who provided the initial report — a complete conflict of interest, apparently. I submitted a complaint and had this conversation with the mortgage company agent.

Agent: “I’ve reviewed your case and I don’t think we’re at fault.”

Me: “How can you possibly say that? I specifically phoned you to confirm that this survey would be acceptable before I instructed it and your underwriter told me it would be. Now you’re telling me that I need to pay another £200 to get someone else to do it.”

Agent: “Ah, well, I’ve listened to the call, and you didn’t specifically ask if it was okay to use the same company again.”

Me: “Maybe not in those words, but I mentioned them by name. you must have heard that. Surely your underwriter should have spoken up if using the same company was a problem? Frankly, I think you should pay for the survey.”

Agent: “I see we’ve already paid you £100 compensation due to the delay in processing your application. Frankly, I wouldn’t have given that to you and I think you’ve already received more compensation than you should have. If you want to pursue this further, then please submit a further written complaint, but we will not pay for the survey and I see nothing further for us to discuss.”

Me: “This is outrageous and I absolutely will be following this up.”

I hung up and called the surveyor to tell them the bad news. They were actually so apologetic about their role in the confusion that they fully refunded me for the survey and helped put me in contact with another business who sorted it out for me very quickly for the original sum agreed. I was amazed that it all got sorted out in the end, no thanks to my mortgage company!

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