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Old 13-12-2012, 13:02   #16
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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Old 13-12-2012, 13:07   #17
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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David, one can't just cancel payments in the US. Or rather, one can, but then one is likely to wind up receiving a lawsuit and possible criminal charges. Unless there was a written contract with the surveyor promising non-disclosure, stopping or canceling payment could be an expensive mistake.

Our laws are set up to protect tradesmen as well as their customers.

There's a difference between ethics and legalities.
Stop the payment. The person likely to be liable here is the surveyor, who, without authorization, conveyed his client's information to an agent for an adverse party, e.g. the seller's broker. If the surveyor were a lawyer he would be guilty of malpractice.
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Old 13-12-2012, 13:15   #18
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

I would consult local laws and, if permitted, NOT pay the surveyor.

Very strange behaviour, much as it may be legal under some systems.

Frankly, I would imagine the surveyor and the broker may be in cahoots.

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Old 13-12-2012, 13:21   #19
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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Originally Posted by LostAtSea2011 View Post
Why is the surveyor showing the selling broker the survey in the first place...I have always been under the impression that I own the survey and nobody sees it but me. Even worse is that I haven't even seen it yet. WTF !!
Good question, have you asked him?
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Old 13-12-2012, 13:44   #20
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

I would cancel the deal. I would also tell the surveyor that you think he is in breach of contract by spilling the beans. Making deals on a boat is like playing poker sometimes in regards to pricing. The surveyor in this case was the dealer and gave you 5 cards face up for all to see. No longer can you say..."Based on the survey, I want to offer $XYZ.
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Old 13-12-2012, 13:53   #21
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

Even if the seller and seller's broker have seen the survey it doesn't stop one from negotiating based on it.

If I was a seller and a buyer said the "survey says X and because of that I want Y" the first I would ask is to see the survey!
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Old 13-12-2012, 14:57   #22
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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How did "jaasun71" answer the question originally put to "LostAtSea2011"?
Maybe they are together

Thou how about redirecting the bil to the broker
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Old 13-12-2012, 16:08   #23
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

When I was a Surveyor in California in the early 80's we would ONLY send the survey to the person who paid for it. If a brokerage contacted us to perform the survey FOR a client, and the client was the one who was to pay for our services, we ONLY sent it to the client - never the broker. But if the broker ordered the survey and paid for it, then the survey went to the broker.

Many times a broker would get a copy of our survey on a boat and use it as a sales pitch. Numerous times we found that the broker had done "cut and paste" to our survey and had removed anything negative that we had found or changed the valuation of the boat.

I highly suggest you contact the Surveyor's governing body (NAMS etc) and report him. I also suggest you contact the brokerage firms governing body (if they belong to one) or Better Business Bureau and report them.

However, if the broker contacted the Surveyor for you (which doesn't seem to be the case from what you have said) then the broker is on the hook for paying for the survey. It is then their property to do with as they like (no cut and paste though!)

Same thing if a Bank orders a survey on the boat - they must pay the bill if they ordered it. I had one case where this happened and the Bank refused to pay us. I called the Banking Enforcement division (this was in California) and they made one phone call to the bank and we had payment the next day.

As people suggested, if you have not received the survey but the broker has, stop payment of the check/charge card if at all possible. It is a "fraudulent charge" and banks will usually stop or refund your payment. If you can't stop payment then you may have to take him to small claims court, but this is a straight forward case - just a pain to deal with for you.

Also, walk away from the deal. I wouldn't deal with either the brokerage or the surveyor. Neither are performing to normally accepted business practices.
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Old 13-12-2012, 19:26   #24
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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Originally Posted by LostAtSea2011 View Post
I am in the process of purchasing another boat and just had the survey done. I live in another state from where the boat is located and have been waiting for the past few days for the survey results . Today the selling broker calls me and tells me he has seen the survey and everything looks good. Why is the surveyor showing the selling broker the survey in the first place...I have always been under the impression that I own the survey and nobody sees it but me. Even worse is that I haven't even seen it yet. WTF !!
Lots of knee-jerk emotional comments thus far but nothing substantive.

Something is missing here. Other than pride, what injury or damages have you suffered? You may, like most do, have assumed you would get first look at the document but apparently you did not although you didn't state specifically if the broker had a hard copy document.

If you were so concerned about the propriety of the document, did you state that to the surveyor at any time or just made an assumption?

What harm has it caused you?

What bearing does this have on the purchase process given no major issues were identified?
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Old 13-12-2012, 19:31   #25
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

I sell houses for a living. The person who pays for the h inspection gets the report.
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Old 13-12-2012, 19:33   #26
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Lots of knee-jerk emotional comments thus far but nothing substantive.

Something is missing here. Other than pride, what injury or damages have you suffered? You may, like most do, have assumed you would get first look at the document but apparently you did not although you didn't state specifically if the broker had a hard copy document.

If you were so concerned about the propriety of the document, did you state that to the surveyor at any time or just made an assumption?

What harm has it caused you?

What bearing does this have on the purchase process given no major issues were identified?

I do not survey small vessels, but I can say that any survey is the sole property of whomever pays for it. The survey is not the property of the surveyor. Really it's a lot like pirating movies or stealing cable.
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Old 13-12-2012, 20:01   #27
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Lots of knee-jerk emotional comments thus far but nothing substantive.

Something is missing here. Other than pride, what injury or damages have you suffered? You may, like most do, have assumed you would get first look at the document but apparently you did not although you didn't state specifically if the broker had a hard copy document.

If you were so concerned about the propriety of the document, did you state that to the surveyor at any time or just made an assumption?

What harm has it caused you?

What bearing does this have on the purchase process given no major issues were identified?
Most purchase agreements are contingent upon buyer acceptance of the survey.
The buyer may not wish to disclose the reasons for backing out of the deal. The buyer purchased the survey. He may wish to bargain whole or partial cost of the survey, even if the deal goes south. If I were the seller or broker and the boat for sale did not have a current survey, it would have value to me to have one in hand. Especially one I did not pay for.
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Old 13-12-2012, 20:03   #28
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

In response to S/V Illusion's comments, I'm of the opinion that the prospective buyer has lost a heap of leverage he might have had if the surveyor had only sent a copy of the survey to his client LostAtSea who states that he had the survey done.
If the sellers' broker paid for the survey, he owns it and can share whatever he wants to with a prospective buyer. If he has knowledge of specific deficiencies turned up by the surveyor and then fails to disclose those deficiencies to a buyer, the selling broker could find himself in a heap of do-do, at least in CA. Each state might look at this situation a bit differently, I'll bet. I've been involved with a number of marine sales in CA and brokers don't want any record of deficiencies that can be traced to them being aware of and not disclosing to buyers. I guess there is a body of case law surrounding this issue.
I would only engage a surveyor who I knew had an impecable record and considerable familiarity with vessels similar to the one I was looking at. If I'm paying then the survey is mine, exclusively, and belongs to no one else. Phil
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Old 13-12-2012, 23:03   #29
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Re: Unethical Surveyor ?

I'm a Certified Residential Appraiser. The Surveyor is also an "Appraiser" (they provide an "opinion of value" as part of the survey). We are both bound by USPAP, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP does not just apply to Real Estate, it applies, nationwide, to all appraisal practices). He/she clearly violated USPAP. Here is the pertinent part of USPAP, and you CAN file a complaint against him/her if he/she is a member of the ACMS:

Confidentiality section of Ethics Rule 2010-11 USPAP

An appraiser must not disclose: (1) confidential information; or (2) assignment results to anyone other than:

- The client
- Persons specifically authorized by the client
- State appraiser regulatory agencies
- Third parties as may be authorized by due process of law
- A duly authorized professional peer review committe except when such disclosure to a committe would violate applicable law or regulation
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Old 14-12-2012, 04:52   #30
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I've never had good dealings with surveyors. While this spent surprise me at all. Let is know what happens and get another survey
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