Building (or Full Structural) Survey (‘BS’)
This survey should provide a detailed report based on a comprehensive inspection and examines all accessible parts of the property. It can be tailored to your needs, as agreed with the surveyor. The surveyor can be asked to have specific areas included, to cover any particular concerns about the building. It is generally used in the following types of purchase – when buying higher value properties, listed property, older properties (i.e. more than 40 years old), properties in need of repair, properties that have been altered or extended structurally, newer properties to be altered or extended, properties which are not of conventional brick and mortar construction or properties in proximity to features which might cause subsidence or other structural problems. Buyers need to bear in mind that the expense of such a survey could well be preferable to discovering that even more expensive structural repairs are needed once the purchase has been made.
Where the property is a flat or is structurally attached to neighbouring property, a full survey is desirable. The structural soundness of the property being bought is dependent on the soundness of the neighbouring property also, and the surveyor must therefore be instructed to inspect the adjoining property (if possible) as well as the property actually being purchased.
A Condition Report
This is designed to fill the gap between the lender’s mortgage valuation and the more costly types of survey outlined above. It should only to be used on properties of traditional construction and in reasonable condition. The inspection only covers the main building elements – walls, roof, floors etc – and makes comments regarding the services, but does not include any specialist inspections or testing. The report will flag up (using red and amber ‘traffic lights’) defects that are either serious and/ or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently, or that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. A green ‘traffic light’ will indicate where no repair is currently needed. It does not provide any comment as to the possible cause/s of the defects and will not offer any recommendations for repairs that may be required.
The report is not intended to give any advice beyond that which the other surveys do, nor does it include an opinion of valuation which is currently a standard part of the HBR service. The minimalist content of the report means that it can cost less than the HBR or BS, although the choice of which survey to have should not be down to cost alone.
For more information on surveys please contact Rebecca Stuart
This guide is not intended to be definitive or to act as a substitute for legal advice.
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