Flat Survey | Advice for Buying a London Flat

What do Surveyors check in a Flat?

When surveying a London flat, a Chartered Surveyor examines various aspects to assess the condition of the property and identify potential issues. The process typically includes:

  1. Structural Integrity: Checking the flat’s foundations, walls, and ceilings for signs of structural damage such as cracks, dampness, or subsidence.
  2. Roof and Loft: Inspect the roof (if accessible) for any signs of damage, leaks, or missing tiles, as well as the condition of the loft space.
  3. Dampness and Insulation: Identify any damp issues, including rising dampness, penetrating dampness, or condensation, and assess the quality of insulation.
  4. Plumbing and Electrical Systems: Examining the condition of plumbing systems, including pipes, drainage, and water pressure.
  5. Windows and Doors: Inspect the condition and functionality of windows and doors, ensuring they are secure, properly sealed, and energy-efficient.
  6. Heating and Ventilation: Evaluating the state of heating systems, such as boilers and radiators, and checking ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms to prevent mould.
  7. Fixtures and Fittings: Review the condition of built-in fixtures and fittings and any additional features specific to the flat.
  8. Common Areas and External Factors: If applicable, assess the state of communal areas, external walls, and roofing, as well as any potential issues related to the surrounding environment or local infrastructure.

The surveyor compiles these findings into a detailed report, highlighting any significant defects, maintenance recommendations, and potential future issues to ensure the buyer makes an informed decision.

Do I need a House Survey on a Leasehold Flat?

For several reasons, getting a house survey on a leasehold flat is generally considered worthwhile. While the leasehold arrangement means you don’t own the property outright, you still need to be aware of the flat's condition and any potential issues that could affect your investment and living conditions.

  1. Identifying Structural Issues: A survey can uncover hidden structural problems such as dampness, subsidence, or faulty plumbing and electrical systems. These issues can be costly to repair and could affect your decision to proceed with the purchase.

  2. Assessing Maintenance Needs: Understanding the current state of the flat helps you anticipate future maintenance and repair costs. This is particularly important for leasehold properties, where the maintenance of common areas and exterior walls can involve shared costs among leaseholders.

  3. Evaluating the Lease: A survey might also provide insights into the terms of the lease, including the length of the lease, service charges, and any restrictions or obligations you need to be aware of. This information can influence the property's value and your decision to buy.

  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that the flat has been professionally assessed can provide peace of mind, ensuring there are no surprises after purchase. It also strengthens your position when negotiating the purchase price or requesting repairs before completion.

  5. Financial Implications: If significant issues are found, you might use this information to renegotiate the purchase price or require the current owner to fix the problems. This can save you money and hassle in the long run.

In summary, a house survey report on a leasehold flat is a valuable step in the buying process. It provides crucial information about the property's condition, potential future expenses, and lease terms. This helps ensure you make an informed decision and avoid costly surprises.

Flat Survey, Harding Chartered Surveyors

How much does a Flat Survey Cost?

The cost of a flat survey can vary depending on the type and thoroughness required. A Homebuyers Survey, suitable for most conventional flats in reasonable condition, typically starts from around £700. This survey provides a detailed report on the property's condition, highlighting significant defects and potential issues.

A Level 3 Building Survey, also known as a full structural survey, is recommended for more comprehensive insight. This is ideal for older or more complex properties and offers an in-depth examination of the flat's condition, including detailed advice on defects, repairs, and maintenance. The cost for a Level 3 Building Survey generally starts from £800.

These starting prices can vary based on factors such as the size and location of the flat, the surveyor's expertise, and the complexity of the survey. Obtaining quotes from several qualified surveyors ensures you get the best value for your money. Investing in a professional survey can save you from unexpected repair costs and provide peace of mind when purchasing a flat.

Flat Survey, Harding Chartered Surveyors
Flat Survey, Harding Chartered Surveyors

Flat Survey Quotation

Types of RICS Home Survey

RICS Level 2 - Home Survey

An RICS Level 2 Survey, also known as a HomeBuyer Report, is a type of survey conducted by a qualified surveyor from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). It provides a detailed assessment of a property's condition, suitable for conventional properties in reasonable conditions. The survey includes a visual inspection, highlighting significant defects and potential problems affecting the property's value. It also offers guidance on maintenance and repairs, summarises risks, and provides a valuation.

In contrast, an RICS Level 3 Survey, or Building Survey, is more comprehensive and detailed, suitable for older or more complex properties. It includes thoroughly examining all accessible areas and detailed advice on defects, repairs, and maintenance.

RICS Level 3 - Home Survey

An RICS Level 3 Survey, also known as a Building Survey, is the most comprehensive property survey offered by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This survey is ideal for older, more prominent, or non-standard properties and those in a dilapidated condition. Conducted by a qualified surveyor, it includes a thorough examination of all accessible areas, providing detailed information on the property's condition. The survey identifies significant defects and potential issues and advises on necessary repairs and maintenance.

How do you find a Surveyor for a Flat Survey?

Harding Chartered Surveyors are experienced RICS Surveyors who provide comprehensive surveys tailored to your needs for getting a flat survey. They offer both Homebuyers Surveys and Level 3 Building Surveys, ensuring you receive detailed and accurate information about the flat you are considering purchasing.

Recent Reviews from Harding Chartered Surveyors

Flat Survey, Harding Chartered Surveyors
Based on 123 reviews
We used Hardings to compile an independent expert witness report for some poor workmanship we had completed at our home. Their report helped us win our case and reclaim our costs.The report was concise, succinct and detailed - providing everything we needed to win our claim.
I have used Harding Chartered Surveyors service for a new build snagging survey. The report was thorough and detailed beyond expectations. The communication with the surveyor was excellent and the end-to-end process was very easy and efficient. I would definitely use them again and recommend to a friend.
The team at Harding Chartered Surveyors were fantastic to work with. Kate helped us identify the work we needed and arranged a surveyor to visit our property. Throughout, she was clear about timescales, costs, and next steps. Our surveyor, Scott Ingham, was thorough and helpful, speaking with us by phone immediately following the survey about the largest areas of concern (which, thankfully, were not major!). The report that was produced was easy to read and helped us understand what areas of the property might need work with approximate timelines and costs. All of the work happened on time, and there were no surprises in the process. Everyone was friendly, professional, and helpful. I highly recommend!!
I highly recommend Hardings. All communication and interactions with them was high professional. Alaa dealt with my survey. He approached it with a high level and depth of knowledge, he was honest and considerate giving balanced advice. Throughout he was a pleasure to deal with.I also dealt with Kate making the arrangements. She was also prompt, professional and polite . Harding’s came highly recommended to me. My experience would endorse that they are a family run business with integrity and professionalism at their core.
Carried out a structural defect report and was very satisfied by the service provided. Millbrook Housing Association
We are very pleased with the service you have provided and would certainly recommend you in future .
Very positive experience. We hired Harding Surveyors to carry out a building survey on a commercial property to be leased from the council. They did a great job and we went back to them again to carry out a schedule of condition report, prior to us moving in. Very helpful, friendly, good communication, and reasonable price. Would recommend.
Dependable and timely - would recommend
Harding Chartered Surveyors have provided very efficient and professional services with their valuation for Probate purposes. Very good communications at the outset when inquiring about their services with prompt response, as well as addressing questions after their report was sent to me.I also found their fees reasonable compared to other quotes. Highly recommended
The report is excellent and was provided promptly. All aspects of the service were handled efficiently and professionally. Many thanks to Charles and the team.
Seamless experience. Very swift and well organised with a thorough survey completed and report returned within less than a week of booking!
Cannot recommend enough. Communication has been excellent throughout the entire process, very accommodating and fast turnaround. Everyone I have spoken to has been so helpful and kind, to make a difficult process much easier.
Excellent and professional services by Mr. Ali. I am indeed very pleased. I will recommend to my friends and others who wants to avail the services of Harding Chartered Surveyors.
Great fast and easy to book. Great price and most of all great staff.
Great experience dealing with Alaa, very helpful and informative, going above and beyond at any opportunity. Thanks!
Flat Survey, Harding Chartered Surveyors