7H Chartered Surveyors provide 3 types of survey for house buyers called Level 1, 2 or 3 Surveys. These survey reports replace the previous RICS Condition Report, Homebuyer Report and Building Survey which will all be phased out in June 2020. The new reports will provide greater detail and clarity to clients following extensive market research.
Level 1 Survey
Suitable for flats, terraced or smaller modern houses of standard construction in satisfactory condition. This level of service is for clients who are seeking a professional opinion at an economic price. It is, therefore, less comprehensive than a Level 2 or 3 service. Replaces the Condition Report.
Level 2 Survey
Suitable for detached post-war houses, 19th century or later terraced/semi houses of standard construction and those with minimal levels of alteration or extension in satisfactory condition. This level of service is for clients who are seeking a professional opinion at an economic price. It is, therefore, less comprehensive than a Level 3 service. The focus is on assessing the general condition of the main elements of a property. Replaces the Homebuyer Report.
Level 3 Survey
Suitable for larger houses, unique construction and Listed Buildings or those significantly altered and extended. This level of service is for clients who are seeking a professional opinion based on a detailed assessment of the property. Replaces the current Building Survey and will include more detailed background information on the area and environment.
We have a wide range of experience from large London townhouses to medieval hall houses and everything in between. We have provided advice as far afield as Australia and New Zealand.
Buying a house or other property to live or work in is the biggest financial commitment most people make in their lifetime; however, up to 75% of buyers do not commission an independent building survey or inspection. A building survey will almost certainly draw your attention to defects that you didn’t know existed or the seriousness of which you may not have appreciated. They enable you to make an informed and considered decision and in nearly all cases, to renegotiate your purchase price, usually saving thousands of pounds on that purchase price.
Identified defects may require considerable immediate or future expenditure, or in the extreme make a property virtually impossible to sell. A modest investment in a Building Survey or Building Assessment is money well spent in protecting your biggest asset.
More about the 3 RICS Survey Levels
Our Terms & Conditions, available on request, describe each survey in full detail.
Level 1 Survey
This level of service includes a visual inspection that is less extensive than for the other survey levels. No tests of the building fabric or services are undertaken. The report describes the condition of the building, its services and the grounds. It highlights relevant legal issues and any obvious risks to the building, people or grounds. The report is succinct and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects and problems. Where the surveyor is unable to reach a conclusion with reasonable confidence, a recommendation for further investigation should be made.
A survey level one report does not include advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance and this, combined with the less extensive inspection, usually means it is better suited to conventionally built, modern dwellings in satisfactory condition. It will not suit older or complex properties, or those in a neglected condition.
Level 2 Survey
This intermediate level of service includes an extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and grounds, but still without tests. Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces, basements and cellars). The report describes the condition of the different elements and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. At this level, although it is concise, the report does include advice about repairs and any ongoing maintenance issues. Where the surveyor is unable to reach a conclusion with reasonable confidence, a recommendation for further investigations should be made.
This level of service suits a broader range of conventionally built properties, although the age and type will depend on the knowledge and experience of the Surveyor. This level of service is unlikely to suit:
Level 3 Survey
The service consists of a detailed visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds and is more extensive than a survey level two. Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces, basements and cellars). Although the services are not tested, they are observed in normal operation – in other words, they are switched on or off and/or operated where the occupier has given permission and it is safe to do so.
The report describes the form of construction and materials used for different parts of the property. It describes the condition and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. Additionally, it:
- Describes the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected
- proposes the most probable cause(s) of the defects based on the inspection
- outlines the likely scope of any appropriate remedial work and explain the likely consequences of non-repair
- makes general recommendations in respect of the priority and likely timescale for necessary work and
- gives an indication of likely costs.