Why Have a Survey?
A property purchase is usually the largest personal transaction that most of us ever make. Ensuring that the property is safe and sound is therefore vital. It is too late after you have moved in to find out that you have problems such as rotten floorboards, damp problems that have been hidden, leaks in the roof, or drains that do not work.
Very often a property can look fine on the surface especially if it has been occupied but a qualified Surveyor is trained to seek out the hidden issues that could cost you a fortune to rectify.
Our Chartered Surveyors offer a rapid survey and valuation service for all types of property. We write our reports in plain English without jargon and with any necessary technical terms clearly explained. We offer three levels of service.
RICS Condition Report
This shows the condition of the property, offers guidance to legal advisers and highlights any urgent defects. Typically the lowest priced of the surveys, it is aimed at conventional properties and newer homes built from common building materials and in reasonable condition. It does not include a valuation but we are able to provide this as a separate extra service.
RICS Homebuyer Report
We recommend that you choose this report if you would like more extensive and detailed information on a property. Like a Condition Report, it focuses on the condition of the property and sets out traffic light ratings regarding the condition of different parts of the building, identifying defects that are serious and require immediate attention, defects that need work but are not serious or urgent and any risks that may present a danger.
It also covers other matters that your legal advisers need to know about like guarantees and planning and building control issues. The RICS Homebuyer report also includes a more extensive inspection, our professional opinion on the market value, where requested, and an insurance reinstatement figure. The report typically includes a list of problems that may affect the value of the property, advice on repairs, ongoing maintenance and any issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions. It will also advise upon legal issues before you sign a contract and includes information on the location and local environment.
RICS Building Survey
This is essential for larger or older properties or if you are planning major works. This is the most comprehensive report and provides you with an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance. It will also provide a description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws as well as an outline of repair options and likely consequences of inactivity. Estimated costs of repairs may also be included as an option.
We believe our fees are very competitive for the quality of service and expertise we provide. Fees for surveys and valuations do vary depending on the age, scale and purchase price of the property you are hoping to buy so always contact us for an individual quotation.
For Property Owners
Party Wall Agreements
If either you or your neighbour intend to carry out building works on the boundary or the wall between you both, you may need a Party Wall Agreement. This is governed by the Party Wall etc. Act of 1996 which requires people to follow a set of procedures if they intend to carry out certain types of work.
Common examples include inserting steel beams into a party wall shared with a neighbour as part of a loft conversion or excavating to form new foundations for an extension within a certain distance of a neighbouring property.
Generally speaking the person carrying out the works would like to be able to do so without obstruction and their neighbours would like to be sure that if any damage is caused to their property as a result of the works, it can be identified and made good at no cost to them.
The purpose of the Act is to help to achieve this balance. If works by a neighbour were to affect your property, for example, if cracks appear in your wall, then you will need proof of the condition of your property prior to the commencement of works showing that cracks were not originally there. For this reason you need a surveyor to prepare a detailed document which is called a Party Wall Award and includes a record of the condition of the property before works starts.
Whether it is you or your neighbour who is planning on carrying out works we are here to help. We are experienced in all aspects of Party Wall legislation and the procedures to follow including serving the necessary legal notices, preparing Party Wall Awards and liaising between the parties during the works themselves.