It has been several months now since the RICS new Home Survey Standards came into effect (1st March 2021). Many purchasers are still not aware of these new standards which were introduced to provide a clearer framework for residential pre-purchase surveys and the standards and minimum expectations required, as set out by the RICS for RICS members and regulated firms to follow.
These standards provide a benchmark and ‘best practice’ for surveyors to follow but also mean the consumer can more easily understand the different levels of survey/report and what each will typically entail.
This framework now provides the option of a Level 1 Home Survey, a Level 2 Home Survey or a Level 3 Home Survey with the Level 2 Home Survey also having the option to be inclusive or exclusive of a Valuation/Building Reinstatement Cost.
These new options now supersede the well-known previous surveys commonly known as a ‘HomeBuyers Survey’ and ‘Building Survey’ and all three Home Survey reports now follow a consistent traffic light condition rating system applied to the relevant sections within the reports. Of course, each of these levels of Home Survey vary in terms of the requirements and standards for the inspection itself as well as the information provided within the report. The level of Home Survey opted for may depend on the consumer/client’s requirements to some degree however, guidance should be provided to the consumer in relation to which Level(s) of survey may be appropriate depending on the age of the property, its construction, condition, whether the property has been amended or altered significantly since it’s original construction and all other relevant factors. The RICS have also released a leaflet “Helping you choose the right survey” which also helps to outline to consumers the differences between a Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 Home Survey. This leaflet and further information in respect of the new Home Survey standards can be found on the RICS website – https://www.rics.org/uk/upholding-professional-standards/sector-standards/building-surveying/home-surveys/