Home Surveys Jargon-buster

Common home surveying words and phrases

At GB Home Surveys, we always try to create our home survey reports and give out advice in plain English, so it is easy to understand. However, there are some surveying terms, words or phrases we use which may have you reaching for the dictionary. So, in a bid to keep things simple, here is a handy home surveys jargonbuster featuring some of the most common words and phrases you might hear.


Acquisition Survey
A building or structural s
urvey carried out before buying the freehold or leasehold of a property. 

Break Clause
A clause used in 
tenancy agreements that give tenants or the landlord the right to bring a lease to an end midway way through the agreed term. 

Building Cost Information Services
A d
atabase used to determine budget costs. 

Building Survey
A full survey of the property, including its construction and 
structural condition. 

Condition Survey
Similar to an acquisition survey, but used where the property is not for sale, but the owners
 want a valuation, assess its condition, or discover if any repair works are need. 

Defect Diagnosis
Sometimes used to 
defindefectto the property, including their cause and recommended repairs. 

Energy Performance Certificate

Market Valuation (MV)

An assessment of the price a property should achieve on the open market. 

Party Wall
A shared wall or structure built on
 – or adjacent to – one of the property’s boundaries. 

Programme of Planned Maintenance 
A schedule of recommended maintenance for a property, including budget costs
, to help keep it in good repair. 

Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

Structural Survey
Survey looking at the structural elements of the property and its structural condition.

Vendor Survey
A survey report prepared on behalf of the person selling the property, to
 help speed-up or streamline the selling process. 



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