The answer to this question is simple. Yes, your solicitor should have a copy of your survey report. Some solicitors may ask for a copy as a matter of course but many do not. Your solicitor is not likely to have visited the property you plan to buy but your surveyor will probably have spent several hours carrying out an inspection before preparing the survey report.
It is likely that there will be items in the report which will need the input of your solicitor including:
- Checking whether any extensions to the property (including loft conversions) have Local Authority approvals (Planning Permission, Building Regulation approval and Listed Building consent where appropriate). Your surveyor is likely to note any recent extensions which your solicitor may not otherwise be aware of.
- During the course of the survey your surveyor is likely to note any works which appear to have been carried out recently which would have required Building Regulation approval. Your solicitor should check whether Building Regulation approval has been obtained for any alterations to the property or any other works controlled under Building Regulations including formation of new openings in a wall, works to the drainage installation, etc. Also, if cavity wall insulation has been installed then this will be noted by your surveyor and your solicitor should obtain the installation documentation to confirm that this has been carried out satisfactorily.
- If any parts of the property trespass, ie, gutters, satellite dishes, trees, opening windows along a boundary, etc, then your solicitor can provide advice before you commit to purchase the property. Similarly, if any parts of a neighbour’s property trespass then advice can be obtained prior to purchase.
- Confirming ownership and responsibility of boundaries.
- Confirming ownership and responsibility for drain runs.
- If you are buying a flat then your solicitor will need to check the lease and confirm your responsibilities for repairs and maintenance, including external and communal areas.
Your solicitor may be happy with a digital copy of the report rather than a hard copy. This can easily be forwarded by email so can be read and acted upon a day earlier than a hard copy would be received by post.
So, even if a property looks to be in a good order, it is worth having a survey in the event there are issues which need to be checked by your solicitor.