Why do I need a survey?
A survey will help you make a reasoned and informed decision.
Before you decide to commit yourself legally, you should seek the advice of a chartered surveyor who can advise you over:
- What is a reasonable price to pay for the property?
- Are there any serious or urgent defects or unusual risks with the property?
Arranging a survey is the simple, cost-effective way to be alerted to unpleasant – and perhaps expensive – surprises. In some cases, the surveyor’s report may allow you to renegotiate the price of the property.
What does a surveyor do?
You may think a survey simply involves a quick visit from a surveyor where they give the property a once over, but there’s more to it than that!
A competent surveyor will ensure you receive a professional and comprehensive report. They will thoroughly assess a property and answer any questions.
Prior research into the property is undertaken and will be combined with a surveyor’s experience and local knowledge to provide you with a true reflection of the property value.
Records checks will also be made and will vary by property. These may include the local geography, certifications, and for older properties a case history may also be applicable.
When should I contact a surveyor?
It is best to make contact at the earliest opportunity; that way we can discuss with you the right survey for your needs, the fee and give you some idea of our availability – much better than leaving it all to the eleventh hour!
Do I still need a survey if I already have a mortgage valuation report?
Even if you are looking for a mortgage and, as a result, may be paying for a mortgage valuation report, we still recommend that you arrange a survey by your own surveyor. Both the Consumers’ Association ‘Which?’ magazine and the Council of Mortgage Lenders give this advice.
The reason for this is that the mortgage valuation report is prepared for your lender – not for you, the borrower. It answers only the lender’s questions about whether the property offers suitable security for your loan. You cannot rely on it to answer the questions that concern your personal interests or to give you details of the condition of the property. Also, some lenders do not provide a copy of their mortgage valuation report.
Is a survey good value?
Houses cost a lot of money and are usually the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetime. There are three key areas of benefit from a professional survey:
Peace of mindBe assured that you aren’t in for any surprises with your new property.
Costs identifiedPotential costs with a property can be identified before it’s too late.
Money savedEvidence of problems can provide for negotiation on a property’s price.
What sort of survey?
We will be able to advise you which survey is most suitable for you. Criteria that might be relevant as to which service is appropriate:
Age of the propertyBuildings deteriorate over time as the materials used wear out.
Nature of the constructionProperties of non-standard construction such as thatches, period timber framed buildings or flat roofs can have particular maintenance problems.
Whether it's been extendedExtensions may be of substandard nature, lack building regulation approval, or may have different foundations.
It's size and valueLarge properties of significant value often justify the greater expenditure of a building survey.
LocationSoils in Hampshire vary. The chalks, sands and clays all have their own characteristics.
If it has historyHas the property been underpinned, had a fire or flood damage etc.?
RICS HomeBuyer ReportsIf you are buying a property, consider a homebuyer report.
Building SurveysIf you are buying an older or more unusual property, consider a building survey.
ValuationsRecommended for shared ownership, probate or matrimonial situations. A valuation report alone will not fully identify the condition of a property, so it is not recommended for buyers.
Party Wall Act
If you are going to build within 6 metres of a neighbour’s property you need to think about whether the Party Wall Act 1996 will apply and, if so, make sure you allow time to give the necessary notice.
We accept appointments from Building Owners and Adjoining Owners, including as appropriate, the serving and response to notices, preparation and agreement of schedules of condition and awards and the subsequent agreement of any remedial work needed.
We regularly assist parties who are contemplating, or who are engaged in, the litigation of property matters and accept instructions to prepare Single Joint Expert and Party Expert reports which comply with the Civil Procedure Rules.
Chris Clark has given expert evidence in the High Court and County Court.
Leasehold extension and enfranchisement
If you own a flat and there is only 80 years or so remaining on the lease you should consider either purchasing a 90 year extension to your lease or else collectively buying the freehold (enfranchisement) with others in your block. Or, you might be a freeholder who has been approached to sell. Either way we can give advice and calculate what the price should be. If you wish we can carry out negotiations for you.
Schedules of condition and dilapidations
A schedule of condition may be prepared to demonstrate the condition of commercial property at the commencement of a tenancy and to limit the tenant’s repairing liability.
A dilapidations schedule can be prepared during the tenancy, particularly if the present tenant is seeking the landlord’s consent to assign the lease, but it is more commonly prepared at the end of the lease to establish the condition of the building and the work needed to be done by the tenant to meet their obligations under the lease.
We can act for either a landlord or a tenant in these specialist areas.
Rent reviews and lease renewals
We have long experience in the negotiation of these matters, whether it be with principals or their agents.
We have many longstanding clients who return to us when their rent review is due or a lease expiry is impending because they know we will represent their interests vigorously but sensitively.
We offer a full commercial property management service including rent collection, periodic inspection, repairs specification and supervision and service charge administration.