London Based Chartered Surveyors

Property Surveys in London

People often confuse the valuation report undertaken by the lender’s surveyor with a survey. Most mortgage valuations consist of a twenty minute inspection and a report that, at best, will give you a few lines of general advice. It is amazing that so many buyers choose to rely upon such a limited report before buying what is normally their most valuable asset.

If you are in the process of buying a property the two main types of residential survey are The RICS Homebuyer Report or a Full Building Survey.

RICS Homebuyer Report

Designed by the RICS as a cost effective method of minimising risk the Homebuyer Report is designed to provide buyers with enough information to make a reasoned and informed decision on whether to proceed with their purchase.

The report covers the building inside and outside, the services and the site and includes specific sections on all the main elements including roofs, walls, floors and joinery. Each element is given a condition rating for easy reference:

  • Condition rating 1 (green): No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
  • Condition rating 2 (amber): Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.
  • Condition rating 3 (red): Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.

Property related risks including movement, dampness and timber defects are also given their own section. In addition the report contains both a current market value and the cost of re-instatement for insurance purposes.

We are always happy to provide additional services beyond the scope of the standard package, such as a specification for future works, which may be useful when sourcing a builder to undertake repairs.

Building Survey

Previously known as a Full Structural Survey, the Full Building Survey is a very detailed report. We will examine closely the structure and condition of the building and undertake a surface examination of the services.

Some restrictions may still exist to prevent complete inspection (such as fitted floor coverings, limited roof access), but within these limitations, the survey will be complete.

A building survey does not normally include a valuation although it can be included if required.

We often undertake Building Surveys on behalf of existing leaseholders and Freehold companies who require advice on the condition of their building and assistance in prioritising works and planning maintenance.

Specific Defect Report

If there is a particular defect with a property that requires further investigation this will be the most suitable type of report.

A Specific Defect Report is written to a similar level of detail as a Building Survey, it includes a detailed analysis of the problem, a specification for the repair, including estimated repair costs, and details of at least 2 suitable contractors that we’ve recommended in the past and on whom we have received positive feedback.

We offer the service as a standalone report or as a follow-up to an RICS Homebuyer Report. Armed with our report a buyer can renegotiate with confidence and later pass the report on to their builders to ensure that the repair is executed to a good standard.

If you would like further information on any of these surveys do not hesitate to contact us on 020 7183 2578 or by e-mail.

Sample Reports

To help you decide which type of report best suits your needs you can browse through these samples.


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"Thanks for the report - really really helpful. It emphasises how important it is to get a good survey done!"

Mr DR Stoke Newington N16
"Thank you so much for all your assistance with these awards – we sincerely appreciate how quickly they have been finalised. ."

Mr JC Barnet EN4
"I have received the hard copy as well as this electronic one of the Homebuyer Report and I must say I am very satisfied with the work done. Thank you!"

RH Hendon NW4
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