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Spec: Property mismeasurement to be the next PPI scandal

Property mismeasurement and overvaluation will be the next PPI mis-selling scandal, property measurement solution Spec has argued.

It has found that property measurement in the UK capital is so inaccurate that properties have been mis-sold by an average of £33,800. This means the financial impact has reached £119bn in London.

James D Marshall, founder and chief executive of Spec, said: “It’s incredible that the biggest consumer scandal in this country has been routinely ignored by both government and regulators.

“Given the importance of property size, standardising the way homes are measured should be a key focus for both the industry and consumers alike.

“Consumers are being routinely misled across the industry. We know that measurements are undertaken by photographers with neither the necessary training nor the required equipment.

“These measurements are then included in property reports and promoted on property listing sites on a price per sq ft basis, despite admitting in their fine print that the figure indicated should not be used for valuation purposes.

“This means that customers are purchasing properties based on incorrect measurement data, which then impacts EPC ratings, stamp duty and ultimately the cost of purchasing, owning and running a home.”

The majority (90%) of residents considered size of the property to be important when it came to purchasing a home and 90% considered the accuracy of the information provided by estate agents to be important.

Some 92% believed that property agents should be required by law to provide accurate measurements.

A further 45% said that they would expect compensation for moving into a property with an inaccurately measured floor plan.

Both surveyors and estate agents rejected Spec’s claim that property mismeasurement and overvaluation will be the next PPI mis-selling scandal.

Arwel Griffith, managing partner at Robert Sterling Surveyors, said: “I think the statement is probably made by someone who wants to sell something or has something to gain. Valuations aren’t led in residential cases by size alone, nor is measurement the only determinant in commercial valuations.

“So, the statement isn’t made by someone who properly understands valuation methodology and is probably someone who would think I am tall and thin if there was money in it for them!”

Dominic Toller, founder and managing director of estate agent referral service Agent Online, said: “The Consumer Protection Regulation dictate the consumer must not be misled so as the estate agent you are required to provide accurate information.

“They are not allowed to mislead customers. I’m not aware of property mismeasurement being a massive problem out there.

“We outsource measurements for floor plans to professionals that do it for a living and we always encourage buyers to view properties.

“I think this is possibly scaremongering. I’m not sure measuring the size of rooms is the biggest issue that exists.”

 

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