That and why we should all just default on our repayments, claim absolute ownership of our properties and take the law into our own hands when the cops turn up.
Instead, I decided to write a post on why surveyors and valuers are total jobsworths. I’m sure there are plenty of decent surveyors out there but the one I came across last year was one serious box-ticker.
It started with a tree.
I live in a 250-year old cottage with a large tree quite close to it. In between the house and the tree is an old well. If you drop a stone into the well you’ll hear a splash because the well is above a water table.
Anyway, last year we remortgaged and the prospective lender asked (understandably) for a valuation of our home. I wouldn’t take my word for it so why should they?
Later that week the surveyor turned up. I wasn’t there but my wife was and she knew instantly we had a jobsworth on our hands. You just know.
A few days later we discovered that the surveyor’s report to the lender had said that the large ‘ash’ tree situated close to our home could potentially be a threat due to its proximity. Understandably, the lender asked me to get proof that the tree’s roots weren’t going to destroy my house anytime soon.
So I got a tree surgeon round. He started by advising me that the tree wasn’t an ash but a horse chestnut. He also said the surveyor must have been a total prat because the horse chestnut would have no need to go off in search of water under my house because it’s parked right next to a goddam well.
Unfortunately, the tree surgeon didn’t have the insurance required to support a report that would satisfy the lender, so referred me onto an arboroculturalist. I didn’t know arboroculturalists even existed but I sensed they might be expensive. I was right.
The arboroculturalist turned up, laughed, said the surveyor must have been borderline stupid and wrote a report saying that the tree is as happy as Larry being sat next to the water table and lives in perfect equilibrium with the house.
In his report, he stated: “I am not aware of, and did not see, any tree-related defects with the house.” Face to face, the arborowhatever simply said the surveyor ticked the ‘red alert – tree’ box because he was “covering his own arse”.
Thing is, that example of arse covering cost me the best part of a monkey and I thought I’d use this blog post to get it off my chest.
I imagine brokers have to deal with box-ticking jobsworths like this day in, day out.
I feel for you, I really do.
Dominic Hiatt is director of Just In Time PR