We have 2 home reports one is 2012 another was done in September 2014 just before sale. They both identical and signed by the same person. In the section 'rot, dump and infestation' - it says
Extensive damp and timber treatments have been carried out to the subject property. Any available reports and guarantees to be obtained and laid safely with the Title Deeds. category for repairs - 1
Once we spotted signs of woodworms - and started to look around the house - we discovered that it is a long term problem and many holes were just patched and painted over. Also some woodworm holes on stair case are so obvious and professional shall noticed such things, especially if he is doing a survey.
Our solicitor, although informed us that he is going to request these documents, never provided these document to us. As it stated in home report - cellar, loft was not inspected - no explanation why. Nothing of these has made our solicitor suspicious. While we trusted our solicitor experience and knowledge we have bought big problem now.
Hope I have answered your question.
Thank you for your response. I am still in the very beginning of my own investigation on this issue and it can be incorrect but what I already have discovered tells me that potentially seller cannot rely on caveat emptor in my case.
Of course you do not know the scale of the issue (it is VERY serious and potentially structural issue and the job to repair this will cost half of the price paid for the house if not more. As I can understand - caveat emptor will work in the following situations: in fully restored and only 2 years since being renovated house the water mains is still from led and we have to find resources to change this to proper piping; only 2 years old decking area will have to be fully repaired because of the way it was build (rain water was accumulated in the middle, no proper drainage). I can continue this list longer and we took this as a 'buyer beware'.
Here, I think we talking about:
1. Surveyor - for not making survey properly - cellar, attic were not observed, did not even ask what type of timber treatment was carried out.
2. Solicitor - 'duty of care' for their clients, they must ask for all information and ensure that information is provided. Being specialists they must to be able to notice 'gaps' in paperwork.
3. Seller has a 'duty to disclose latent defects (this is an exception to the 'caveat emptor'). If not our 'luck' we might not find this for next 5 years or so and then we could not prove anything. Seller also has a duty of care as he got to restore to its original beauty listed building and even possibly got a grant from Scottish Heritage society (to be checked) for renovation and restoration works.
Also the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 that is an EU legal instrument and applied within the EU (Scotland as part of the UK had to comply with these rules also, regardless its opinion on this). According to this Regulation seller MUST disclose all the information in regards ***** ***** product (immovable property is included) if this information can affect potential buyer's decision and affect the price of the product.
I really hope I am correct - otherwise family with 2 kids (2 years and 6 month) will be on a street (this is a reality). However, thank you for your response (at least I know what direction will be taken by the majority of solicitors and possibly courts). Thank you for your time, I will rate your answer as satisfactory, however, I would appreciate your comments (not mandatory so).