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Beviss and Beckingsale
Mark Ollier

Do I Need A Survey?

Posted by Mark Ollier on June 6th 2012 in All , COMMERCIAL PROPERTY , MOVING HOUSE .

Do I need a survey?
Your home is probably the most expensive and important purchase you will every make and so it is important to ensure that the building is sound.  The price of a survey could save a huge amount of expense and will also give you peace of mind.
If you are purchasing with the aid of a mortgage a survey or valuation will be needed. If you are not then other choices are available and are explained below.

What is a mortgage or Lender’s valuation survey?
You pay for this but it is for the benefit of the Lender.   They can vary from a “drive by” valuation to a more in depth inspection.  The Valuer is only concerned with problems that might affect the protection of the Lender to ensure that, if the Lender needs to repossess the property, it will be able to recoup any mortgage advance secured on the property.   Any problems with the property will not necessarily be reported to you and will not necessarily appear in the valuation report.   If the Valuer misses a major structural defect, and you are not made aware of it, you will have no cause of action against the Valuer.   We therefore urge our Clients to commission an independent survey for their own protection and peace of mind.

What type of private survey do I need?
Depending on the nature of the property we would suggest three different types of survey:-

Home Buyers Report

  • Suitable for conventional properties in a reasonable condition, and built within the last 150 years.
  • It is written in a standard format set out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
  • It gives an opinion about energy efficiency using an easy to read traffic light system
  • It rates the condition of all permanent structures included in the property
  • It highlights important matters that could have a bearing on the property’s value
  • It includes a valuation
  • It enables you to negotiate with the Seller of the property on price
  • You should be able to discuss the results with the Surveyor

RICS condition report
This was introduced into 2011 and is a cheaper version of the Home Buyer Report and does not include a valuation. 

Building Survey

  • This is a full structural survey and provides a detailed report on the property’s structure and condition
  • It goes into further details on a  Home Buyer Report and can be adapted to suit particular requirements
  • There is no standard format
  • Can be applied to any age of property but it is  perhaps particularly important for dilapidated properties, those that have been extensively altered and those which might be subject to particular planning requirements – for example Listed Buildings.
  • It is very useful if you plan to renovate or convert the property
  • Includes advice for future maintenance
  • Does not necessarily include a valuation unless you request one from a Surveyor

Please contact a member of our property Team for more advice.