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RICS Homebuyer Report Fact Sheet

Aug 10, 2022

Thank you for clicking on today’s Property Surveying blog post.  In this week’s informative post we are going to be looking at pre-purchase surveys.

If you are purchasing a new property, whether that property be a flat or a house, prior to proceeding with the sale you will want to ensure that you have a surveyor fully inspect and assess the property. 

Generally speaking there are two detailed versions of pre-purchase surveys on the market.  These are both an RICS Homebuyer Report and a Full Building Survey

A full building survey is also commonly referred to as a full structural survey or a structural survey within the general public.

Pre-purchase surveys are an excellent way of you having a full understanding of exactly what you are purchasing into, the type of defects that exist and the likely costs it will take to remedy, rectify and make good those defects.

Through this week’s blog we are going to be taking a look at RICS Homebuyer Reports, which is also referred to and known as a Level 2 Survey by the RICS classifications. 

In particular, we are going to be looking at some typical RICS Homebuyer Report facts so that you are fully abreast and aware of these.

Condition Ratings

Condition ratings will appear in each and every RICS Homebuyer Report.  Condition ratings will set out the surveyor’s opinion on the defect that is being inspected, through a handy and easy to follow green to red condition rating system. 

Condition rating 1, CR1 or green. This means that the condition of the defect is in good repair and does not need any form of rectification or making good.

Condition rating 2, CR2 or amber.  This is a condition rating this is in need of repair, albeit the repair is not considered urgent. 

So long as the repair takes place in the normal manner, the area and item being inspection will likely be easily maintained in the normal manner. 

Condition rating 3, CR 3 or red.  This is the most severe condition rating that the RICS’ systems can give. 

It effectively means that the item being inspected is in a state of disrepair and needs serious or urgent attention.

If you see this on your report, we would advise that careful considerations are given so that you are fully abreast of the issues at hand. 

Damp Tests

Damp tests are taken as part of the RICS Homebuyer Report, the tests themselves will see the surveyor probe the perimeter of the property at both ground and upper levels, often with multiple low, mid and high level readings during the course of the damp test itself.

The Protimeter itself while calibrated for timber, is a surveyor’s go to tool when it comes to inspecting and identifying damp.

Much like the RICS’ condition rating systems the damp meter also works off a traffic light system, green being dry, amber being moist, red being wet.

In many cases if a damp meter does detect damp within the property the surveyor will often go on to advise how it can be overcome and addressed in order to avoid concern and further issue.

Intrusive Tests

We are often asked, here at Stokemont, whether intrusive tests are undertaken, such as removing screws, drilling into walls, or other destructive means.

Unfortunately, it is beyond the scope of a pre-purchase survey for the inspecting surveyor t undertake these forms of tests.

First and foremost, it would mean that a property would be susceptible and liable to forms of damage and issue as a result of the surveyor’s inspection, which would not be fair or reasonable on the seller.

Secondly, it is unlikely that these types of test can be done effectively during the site inspection as there is often usually installations and obstacles preventing such detailed inspection.

Furniture

Furniture is one of the few things that surveyors are unable to move or adjust during the course of their inspection. 

Generally speaking, so long as the item of furniture that needs to be moved is lightweight or easy for a surveyor to move on their own, in most cases the surveyor will indeed attempt removal in any effort to best assist with the inspection yourself.

However, whereby the area being inspected is obscured or behind a large piece of furniture, such as a sofa, table, chest of drawers or free standing wardrobe, the surveyor is unlikely to attempt to move this form of furniture, as they could not only do damage to themselves, they could also do damage to the furniture.

Therefore, that tends to be beyond the scope of a pre-purchase survey.

Manhole Covers

Within a surveyor’s tools and arsenal of equipment, they will have manhole keys and drain cover keys with them. 

Where possible, they will also lift and inspect manholes and the chambers beneath. 

However, it is worth noting that in many cases manhole covers can be heavy, or recessed types, being covered with paving slabs.

If this is indeed the case then it is unlikely that the surveyor is going to be able to safely inspect this chamber on their own, and in many cases the chamber will be too heavy for one person to lift.

Roofs and Other High Areas

Generally speaking, RICS surveyors will have a 3.7m ladder with them during the course of the inspection, or at the very least they will have easy access to that ladder should they need it. 

That being so, in some cases the use of ladders can be dangerous and precarious and therefore there may be some areas whereby the surveyor is unable to inspect certain areas from a health and safety perspective. 

A good example of this would be a flat roof at high level.  This would not only be dangerous but could also be a health and safety risk and therefore it is unlikely the surveyor would attempt to inspect areas such as that.

RICS Homebuyer Reports are a fantastic tool for pre-purchasers to fully understand what they are buying into. 

If you would like to discuss your RICS Homebuyer Report or pre-purchase survey report requirements with our team of qualified and experienced RICS surveyors.  Please feel free to give us a call today, and our experienced surveyors will be more than happy to assist and advise you and get you booked in to complete one of our extensive pre-purchase surveys.

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