Industry calls for improved surveyor procedures

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

With Home Information Packs (HIPs) to become live June 2007, brokers and lenders have called for an overhaul of the surveying system to promote quality control and a higher standard of advice.

John Heron, managing director at Paragon Mortgages, has called on lenders to discuss how they can improve surveyor standards and announced that with the implementation of HIPs the role of the surveyor will be even more crucial in house transactions.

He said: “Discussions have started with a number of lenders about the quality of surveyors and we think that more lenders should have an in-house team to ensure quality control.

“I am aware valuation standards are not as good as they could be and lenders, brokers and surveyors need to work together to give more concise, reliable information,” he added.

Although not calling for specific action, Heron asked for a greater control

and reliability of the advice given by surveyors, a move welcomed by Sarah Gwilt, mortgage adviser at Dickson Lishman Prince.

She argued that the quality of surveyors reaches both extremes. She said: “I think it’s a great idea to look at surveyor standards. Some surveyors are excellent while the service of others is dire; although they all supposedly have their service standards.”

John Heron also expressed his shock that Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs) had so far been ignored by lenders despite many of Paragon’s buy-to-let clients admitting a strong interest in the proposal.

“25 per cent of our customers are definitely interested in SIPPs and will be taking advantage of them while a further 25 per cent have said they will be looking into what it can do for them. Even if the final figure of who commits their properties to SIPPs is closer to 10 per cent this could still generate a huge income,” he said.

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