Misleading sq ft and sq m rate given by

estate agents in London purchase



Independent advice

We can provide independent help and advice with regard to building surveys, structural surveys, structural reports, independent valuations, property surveys, engineers reports, specific defects report, home buyers reports or any other property matters . Free phone 0800 298 5424.

Free phone 0800 298 5424

Disagreement between estate agents and mortgage lenders surveyors measurements

We were recently surprised to return to a property that we had carried out a building survey on. We say surprised because we had found no major problems when we carried out the survey which is always good news for everyone concerned but we were advised there was a major problem. Our first thought was that we had missed something but on having discussions with the client we discovered that there was a disagreement between the estate agents plans and dimensions for the property and what the mortgage lender surveyors had found and as neither could decide we were called in to be an adjudicator.


It may sound very simple measuring a building

It may sound very simple to measure a building and we would agree it is if the building is square and has no internal walls and these walls have no internal cupboards, en-suite bathrooms, etc.


Estate agents details generally have measurements

Over the years we have seen more and more estate agents put floor plans into their details and more and more estate agents advertise the size of rooms. This is all well and good unless you are after a specific area and you haven't read the specific caveats that most estate agents have to say that their areas are only approximate, not binding and don't form part of a legal contract. In this particular case they not only didn't form part of a legal contract, they affected the legal contract and the offer of a mortgage between the purchaser and the mortgage company.


How buildings are measured

As an estate agent or builder or letting agent you really can measure a building exactly as you want to as long as you understand the measurements that's all that matters in theory, although of course when estate agents try and sell a property and he is saying it is bigger than it is, or indeed smaller than it is, it can cause problems.


RICS Standards Methods of Measurement

This is why the Royal Insititute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) introduced standard methods of measurement. There are various conventions that have built up over the years that mean we measure in certain ways, for example typically a Chartered Surveyor measuring for a survey or a rebuild value will measure the external of the property apart from if it is a four storey flat when they have no option but to measure the internal. Even then they will add on the wall thickness to get the external measurement. Estate agents tend to focus more on the usable area inside a property as do letting agents, often giving measurements for the habitable rooms and the kitchen but not giving measurements for such places as the en-suite bathroom, the bathroom, the kitchen or an entrance lobby or hallway for example.


Different measurements from mortgage company and estate agents

Problems were noted when the valuer working for the mortgage companies measurements were different to the estate agents, in fact they were so different that the valuer's external areas were smaller than the estate agents internal areas. Without going into too much detail and naming names, the estate agents details were round about 90 sq m or 970 sq ft and the surveyor's external figures were around 70 sq m or 750 sq ft therefore we were called in to be an adjudicator.

Buying by sq m or by sq ft is always risky

We are well aware that in the property market such as in London and Manchester properties are bought and sold often on the sq m or sq ft. This system can work very well but it does have its downsides. One of these is a measurement of a space doesn't necessarily give you usable space and another is that a measurement of these spaces doesn't necessarily mean it has been done accurately!


What's happened to estate agents measuring properties

In years gone by when estate agents took on a property they would often also measure it. There would be an ownership within that firm of the measurements and there would be someone within that firm that you could talk to who regularly took measurements of properties and also knew the areas. What tends to happen now is that many of the larger estate agents have contracted out putting together details on a property. This includes photos and floor plans and with the floor plans also the dimensions which of course can be very important when you are buying on a sq m basis or a sq ft basis.

This also means that the estate agent can blame another party when the dimensions are wrong. We do feel that estate agents should check any dimensions that they are using to sell the property by and shouldn't intentionally mislead or intentionally have procedures in place that means that they can mislead. When we showed the estate agent the wrong measurements all we got, as well as a sigh of disbelief, was that they would talk to their manager about the company that had carried out the work. However this wasn't of much help to our client who had already committed to a mortgage based upon a certain square meterage that the mortgage company now wouldn't lend on as the meterage was less.


Estate Agents taking responsibility

In our opinion the amount of caveats that the typical estate agent uses in addition to the present law which is Caveat emptor (buyer beware) means that an estate agent can pretty much get away with carrying out what can only be called sharp practice if not illegal practice in other circles. We will lead you to draw your own conclusions from our article.


We can email you examples of our building surveys

If you are thinking of buying a property and are interested in having a Structural Survey carried out or if you are trying to sell a property and would like a Pre-Sales Survey please call us on free phone 0800 298 5424. We would be more than happy to email you several examples of our tailor made reports so you can see for yourself the quality of our work.


All rights reserved by 1stAssociated.co.uk

All rights are reserved the contents of the website is not to be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the express written permission of www.1stAssociated.co.uk



building engineers

Home Buyers Reports Property Surveys - why we're the best. Engineers Reports
© Copyright 1stassociated.co.uk

1stassociated-logo-for-footer IVSA-badge IVSA-putting-client-first call-us-for-footer

We have thousands of free property articles to help you - or call us freephone on 0800 298 5424

We have been working in the property industry for many years and have been
providing free property articles for over ten years. All for free and to help you with buying your next property.

House and Home Surveys and Useful Information

All you need to know about Building Surveys

Building Control, what do they do?

Designers and Architects will they save me money or will they cost me money

Enviroment, Your Building and Garden Gnomes

Estate Agents help sell houses and work for the vendors

Have a Structural Survey to protect you against structural problems

Home improvements, builder problems and ideas for you on how to solve them

How a Surveyor values a property, Chartered Surveyors and Regulated Valuers

How Chartered Engineers and Building Engineers can help you

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

NHBC National House Building Council

Structural Surveys and How We Can Help You

Traditional and Non-Traditional Houses and Mortgage Problems

Valuations and how much is the building worth?

Whats the difference between a Chartered Building Surveyor, Chartered Surveyor and an Independent Surveyor

Useful property problem articles by Chartered Surveyors explaining building issues to avoid

External - Helpful information on building problems on the outside of the property

Chimney issues and problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Flat Roof Problems, how we can solve them

Foundations and Structures and Settlement and Subsidence and Underpinning

Pitched Roofs Problems and Solutions

Roof Problems

Wall Problems

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Internal - House problems we have investigated inside

All you ever need to know about floors

Asbestos in your home, what you need to know

Ceiling Cracks and Structural Problems

Condensation, Damp and Black Mould Problems

Cracking and Movement Problems and Surveying Solutions

Windows and Doors and Fascias and Soffits and Wet Rot and Dry Rot and other problems

Woodworm is it a problem or not? Is it active or not?

Services - Building help and advice on costly services

Drainage, what's underground can affect what's above ground

Heating; I just can't get my house warm enough or alternatively I just can't get my house cool enough

You can't mess around with the electric, you need an expert


Commercial Property Services

Building Terms Explained and Directories

Commercial Property Surveys

Commercial Structural Surveys

Leisure Facilites

Offices Large and Small

Shops and Retail

Warehouse and Industrial Buildings

Dilapidations Help and Advice What is a Dilapidations Notice?

A Beginner's Guide to Dilaps

Damp Mould and Condensation

Dampness Rising Damp Mould Black Mould Condensation

Dilapidations and Negotiations

Dilapidations Claim by a Landlord

Energy Saving what can I do?

Finance what is a Financial Adviser (We are not Financial Advisors)

Fire Risk and Help

Health and Safety Risks

Insurance how do I get the correct property insurance?

Landlords Surveying Advice

Property Investment how can I invest in property?

Property TV Reviews by an Independent Surveyor

Schedules of Condition Leasing a Commercial Property

Scotts Schedule and Section 18 Valuation

Tenants Surveying Advice

Weather how does weather affect my property?



Snow and Ice

Strong Winds

Reviews from clients on Commercial Building Surveys

Churches and Charities, helpful reviews from our clients

Industrial Buildings and Warehouses and what our clients say about us

Offices Large and Small, reviews and feedback from our clients

Pubs, Restaurants, Hotels and other Leisure facilities we have surveyed over the years

Shops and Retail, helpful reviews from our clients


First Time Buyers

Buying a Leasehold or Shared Freehold Home

Buying and Selling Houses for the experienced house and home purchaser

First Time Buyers how do I go about buying my first house and home?

Improve your property knowledge with our presentations on house, homes and commercial property

Building Surveys

Building Surveying Useful Information


Dilapidations Presentations in Detail

Final Year Building Surveying Exams for University Students or those that would like to know more

How old is your Building? Which era was it built in?

Party Walls

Surveyors and Design Tools

Disputes and Party Walls

Boundary Disputes

Building and Property Disputes

Party Wall Book Reviews

Party Walls Your Rights and Responsibilities

1stAssociated Surveyors Review for Structural Surveys and Building Surveys

Building Surveys, reviews and feedback from satisfied customers

Buy to let property clients, what they say about our structural surveys

Buying at auction, review of the survey

Buying bungalows and retirement properties and how our surveyors can help

Both at work / busy couples, how we can help and some 1stAssociated client reviews

Families with a young person flying the nest, reviews and feedback

First Time Buyers, what they say about us

Listed buildings, structural surveys

Older buildings, a review of buying an older house

Families with children looking for a new home, feedback and reviews

Buying a Non-Traditional Property

Residential Surveys

House and Home Surveys

Commercial Building Surveys

Commercial Surveys

1st Associated Surveyors Are Also Available in the Following Areas:

East Anglia and East

South and South East

West Country and South West


North and North East



London Markets

London Parks



Areas of Britain

1stAssociated Independent Expert Property Surveyors

Specialists in Home Buyers Reports, Building Surveys and Structural Surveys and Schedules of Condition

All Surveyors are Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors qualified and RICS regulated

and are Members of the Independent Surveyors and Valuers Association

Putting the Client First

We do not accept service of documents by email or fax