The rules under which Chartered Surveyors work are very strict and Surveyors are not officially allowed to tell vendors whether a defect is present or not. This is, in part at least, due to the fact that the vendor has not paid for such advice and the surveyor could be opening themselves up to litigation action from the vendor if they mention something, but neglect to mention something else. Additionally it would be unfair for a Surveyor to tell the vendor about possible defects found on the survey before they have actually told their client. But there's more. For instance imagine a Surveyor's client wants to pretend the Surveyor said more than they actually did (not something the Surveyor would countenance I'm sure) which is the purchaser's prerogative should they choose to do so, then it would be wrong for the Surveyor to undermine that negotiation tactic by informing the vendor that there are no defects. There's still more. The Surveyor most likely has never met or worked for their client before. As such how do they know what that client would consider serious? For instance a chap once said he was going to walk away from a £700,000 house because it had a couple of missing roof tiles, whilst another client wasn't too bothered about the fact there were large cracks in the building and movement may well be ongoing. The point being that the Surveyor is not able to judge and should not preempt what their client may or may not consider serious. As such it is the unwise Surveyor who states that there are no defects or otherwise informs a vendor before he/she informs their client.
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