The new RICS Home Survey Standard
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has introduced a new Home Survey Standard that aims to bring greater clarity, consistency and transparency to the UK’s property market. Its new professional statement sets out the mandatory requirements for all RICS registered surveyors. The New Home Survey Standard aims to provide more protection and peace of mind to home buyers, property owners and sellers by helping them to understand the importance and benefits of commissioning a home survey and what it will include. It will be the sole standard for home surveys in the UK, replacing all previous home condition survey levels.
It came into effect on 1 March.
A transition period for the new style home survey reports will run until 31 August 2021. Before this date, both old and new formats of home survey reports will be accepted. From 1 September 2021, only home survey reports which adhere to the new standard can be used.
GB Home Surveys will be using the new standard, and will stop using the old-style reports, 5 April 2021.
About the new Home Survey Standard
The new Home Survey Standard aims to simplify the market for consumers, to help them make an informed choice about the level of home survey they need and what it will cover. It has introduced a new tiered system of home surveys to replace what used to be known as homebuyer reports and building surveys. Consumers can simply select the survey level that meets their needs and is most appropriate for the property in question.
The new home survey reports are called:
Home Survey Level One
A Home Survey Level One is the least comprehensive home survey of the three being offered under the new standard. The survey includes a visual inspection of the property, but no testing of the building’s fabric or services will be undertaken, and it won’t include any advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance. It is better suited for conventionally built, modern dwellings in satisfactory condition. While GB Home Surveys doesn’t offer a Home Survey Level One, we do offer valuations by a RICS registered surveyor to give you a better idea of how much a property is worth, which can help you to negotiate the right price with the seller.
Home Survey Level Two
A Home Survey Level Two, which used to be called a Homebuyer Report, will focus on assessing the general condition of a property’s main elements. It is an intermediate level report, which will include a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and grounds than a Home Survey Level One, but still without tests.
Concealed areas usually opened or used by occupants – such as roof spaces, basements or cellars – can be inspected where it is safe to do so. The report will objectively describe the condition of different elements of the property and provide an assessment of the relative importance of any defects or problems.
It will also include advice about repairs and ongoing maintenance issues.
This survey level is suitable for a broader range of conventionally built properties but may not be ideal for complex or extensively extended or altered buildings, unique or older historic properties, or buildings in a neglected state.
A Home Survey Level Two is available with or without a valuation.
Home Survey Level Three
A Home Survey Level Three is intended to provide a professional opinion on a property’s condition based on a detailed assessment. It used to be known as a Building Survey. This survey is more extensive than a Home Survey Level Two and includes a detailed visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds.
Again, concealed areas will be inspected where it’s safe to do so, and while services are still not tested, they will be observed in regular operation. A Home Survey Level Three will objectively describe the form of construction and materials used for different parts of the property and highlight the relative importance of any defects or problems. It will describe the identifiable risks of any potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected, propose the most probable causes, outline the scope of any remedial works and explain the likely consequences of non-repair.
It will also make general recommendations about the priority and timescale for such work and indicate estimated costs. This level of service will suit any domestic property in any condition. Like a Home Survey Level Two, it is available with or without a valuation.
Let us help
While the new Home Survey Standard may seem confusing at first glance, GB Home Surveys can help you understand the changes, why they are happening and recommend the right home survey for your needs. Our service is thorough, convenient and hassle-free. It will provide you with all the information you need to make the right choices.
We’re an independent, RICS regulated chartered surveyors and have been providing trusted services for almost 30 years. Our surveyors are all RICS members, and RICS registered valuers and have vast local expertise and knowledge, so you can be sure you’re getting the best advice to help you buy a home with confidence.
For a free initial consultation and a no-obligation quote, give our friendly team a call today to discuss your requirements.