FINDING OUT MORE about the condition of a property will be easier for consumers thanks to new format home survey reports from today by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The new style reports will put concise information with images and layperson explanations in the hands of homeowners and buyers. The level of service and what a client can expect from each report will also be made clearer, so customers get the right survey for their property.
The COVID-19 pandemic makes property transactions more challenging but there is a surge in interest created by the temporary stamp duty holiday. So, it’s even more critical that consumers get all the upfront information needed – to make one of the biggest decisions when moving or renovating a home.
The new format used in the reports ensures all information is set out clearly for the reader. They include more imagery so any defective parts of a property are easily seen and can be fixed.
The restyled reports come into force alongside the New Home Survey Standard which has already started to be adopted by RICS chartered surveyors since last year. It introduces minimum requirements for property condition advice to be clear and jargon-free.
Four Home Survey Reports
There are four types of home survey report available:
- RICS Home Survey Level 1: Using a simple ‘traffic light’ rating focusing on the condition of the property by rating the different parts of the building and flagging up any areas that need attention, identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. Typically, the lowest priced of the surveys, it is aimed at conventional properties and newer homes.
- RICS Home Survey Level 2 (survey): This is most suitable for conventional properties which are in reasonable condition. The report gives you more detailed information on the condition, which includes advice about repairs or any ongoing maintenance issues.
- RICS Home Survey Level 2 (survey and valuation): The surveyor will complete the survey as above, however they will also include the surveyor’s professional opinion on the market value of the property.
- RICS Home Survey Level 3: Essential for larger or older properties or if you’re planning major works. The most comprehensive report provides you with an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition and includes advice on defects, repairs and maintenance options.
Ana Bajri, Senior Specialist for Property Standards at RICS, said: “A home survey is a vital part in making someone’s dream home theirs to own, as it provides a complete picture before contracts are signed. The revamped reports ensure all the information critical to this process is easy to navigate, clearly presented in plain English, while using more visual images, is factual and provides a balanced perspective of the condition of the property.
“Consumer feedback showed 40% of those who didn’t get a survey did not believe they needed one, with 28% of those dissatisfied believed the information didn’t meet their expectations, 23% reported the language of the information was unclear and 11% believed their survey didn’t accurately report the condition of the property. So RICS set out to address these issues with the new a new home survey standard for surveyors and revamped reports.