Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
Can you tell me what sort of survey it was. Was it a homebuyer's survey or a full structural survey? What defects were missed, when did the defects become apparent and how much have repairs cost?
We specifically asked for a " peace of mind " survey not wishing to be involved with disruption and workmen ( we are 67 years old ). We did NOT ask for a valuation survey.
he first problem noticed was a slight droop on the small pitched roof over the garage. It was found that the end supporting gallows bracket was collapsing and cardboard had been packed in the gap and glossed to mask the problem. Then the garage flat roof behind the façade leaked and was found to be a complete botch job.In refelting the roof it was found that the external garage wall brickwork was crumbling and had to be replaced.His disclaimer says he only surveyed from ground level - his choice, - but it is a bungalow !! Total cost of work circa £ 3500.
The question is whether he has acted negligently bearing in mind the terms of his survey contract with you. How long after the survey did the problems become apparent. Was the survey limited to visual inspections or did he carry out any investigative work? If restricted to a visual only inspection were the problems you highlight visible (or were there visible signs that might have given rise to concerns and required further investigation). If the problems were deliberately bodged and hidden then it might be that any action would be against the vendors.
IT might be that a good place to start would be with the RICS complaints service which can be found in this link. http://www.rics.org/uk/regulation/complaints/