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Residential Surveys
The largest single financial commitment made by most people is to purchase a home. Obtaining independent advice as to its condition and value can help to ensure that you are happy with your decisions. The predominant issues are those associated with damp and structural movement, the consequences of which range between minor with little or no need for treatment; to severe and expensive repairs. Those clients buying as an investment may require a slightly different perspective. There are various types of reports that we can undertake to meet all of these needs:

Letter Form Report: This is not a survey but is an inspection with a professional eye to establish that the property passes the test on general condition and value, similar to what you would expect from a mortgage valuation report. This may be sufficient if buying a modern or new build home.

RICS Home Buyer Report: A concise form of report that is about 25 pages in length in a user friendly format. We inspect all accessible areas but do not lift carpets or undertake tests. It is designed as an intermediate type of report to identify significant defects or those requiring immediate attention. This is ideal for houses under 150 years of age and those that are of traditional construction. A valuation and insurance valuation are included also any legal issues are flagged. This type of report is ideal for those clients who want to know the main issues and concerns. Also if buying as an investment the report is a good tool for identifying the items that can or need to be done before first letting.
 Download RICS homebuyer report here 

Building Survey:
This is a bespoke report on the property. It is as full and detailed an inspection as can practicably be done from roof, walls, chimneys, joinery to ceilings floors, services and outbuildings. It also covers checking of drains, lifting floor boards (if there is potential access). Explanatory and maintenance notes together with supporting advice and costings are provided between the survey itself and exchange of contracts. The survey would normally incorporate photographs that highlight the main problems.

Shell Form Report: This is similar to a building survey but will limit the scope to cover the main structural elements to establish any major defects. It excludes fixtures, fittings and services. Suited to major refurbishment projects.

Valuations: These are required for many purposes; they must comply with The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Appraisal and Valuation Standard that are currently in their 6th Edition. They are usually a formal document that can be relied upon by your professional advisors. Typically reports cover: open market valuations of property generally, probate and other tax, pension schemes etc.

Expert Witness work is also undertaken where disputes arise such as financial loss due to negligence or for matrimonial or planning purposes.

Commercial surveys
Similar Building Surveys and valuations are prepared for business premises whether, industrial, office or retail. Schedules of Condition and Dilapidations are undertaken as an integral part of lease negotiations between landlord and tenant.

Choosing the right survey
This is a report that explains the different types of surveys, helping you choose the one best suited to your circumstances
 Download RICS Choosing between surveys here