Frequently Asked Questions



 

This really depends on the type of property you are buying. If, for example, you are buying a modern purpose-built flat, then a HomeBuyer Report would be more than sufficient. However, if you are buying a Victorian house that has been extended or altered, then a more detailed Building Survey would be necessary.

Learn more about our range of building surveys

Adding a market valuation to your survey can be a great way to ensure you are paying a fair price for your property. However, this may not always be necessary, especially if your bank will provide you with a copy of the mortgage valuation.

You may also require a valuation for other purposes such as:

Typically, a survey report will be available within 24-48 hours of our inspection. For valuations and lease extensions, please allow five working days. We will issue the report by email upon receipt of payment; however, hard copies are available upon request.

All our surveys and valuations are produced by experienced Chartered Surveyors. As members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, we must abide by strict ethical and technical guidelines. All our surveyors are experienced, have local knowledge in their practice areas and offer impartial, honest and independent advice.

The cost depends on the type of service you require. Our fees are based upon the size and purchase price/estimated value of the property.

You can obtain a free quote within a matter of minutes.

We will carry out a visual inspection and attempt to operate the services; i.e., firing up the heating, turning lights on and off, etc. However, we are not qualified electricians, gas engineers or plumbers and therefore we cannot undertake tests of the services.

We would always recommend instructing a qualified contractor to carry out a safety test, which can cost as little as £70 each. You can use Checkatrade to find qualified, local contractors.

Generally, in order to qualify for a lease extension under the 1993 Act, the lease must have been longer than 21 years when it was first granted and you must have owned the flat for more than two years. If you are buying a flat with a short lease, the current owner may be able to assign the lease extension during the sale.

There are other rules such as if the property is under a Shared Ownership lease, you must have staircased to 100% and the freeholders cannot be the Crown or National Trust.

You can find out whether you’re a qualifying tenant by contacting your solicitor or visiting LEASE.

As the lease term diminishes, the value of your property decreases. This process accelerates when the lease drops below 80 years. As the lease term diminishes, the premium payable for a lease extension rises.

You are also likely to find that properties with shorter leases are much more difficult to sell in the open market due to many lenders refusing to loan against them. This can lead to the sales process being drawn out and increases the potential of the sale falling through.

Many common building projects may come under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. These can generally fall into three areas:

  • Building along a boundary line
  • Building works directly affecting the party wall (such as removing chimney’s, cutting into the party wall, etc.)
  • Excavating within three or six metres of the neighbouring property

Learn more about the works which come under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996.

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact our Chartered Surveyors.