Frequently Asked Questions

To help you we have listed some of the common questions that our clients ask. However, if you have any further questions, please contact us so we can help.

What surveys are available to me and how do I choose the one best for my needs?

This depends on the property in question and the reasons for conducting a survey. If you are purchasing a modern style home we would suggest a HomeBuyers Report, however, if you are buying an older property or a listed building or perhaps considering extensive refurbishment we would suggest a Building Survey. At RSWE we provide both and for your peace of mind, we also provide additional services to help with any issues which may not be covered by a HomeBuyers Report or a Building Survey. It is advisable to contact us to discuss your needs and ensure you get the best possible advice.

What’s the difference between a HomeBuyers Report and a Building Survey?

A HomeBuyers report is normally all that is needed for the majority of modern style properties and those in generally good condition, conversely a Building Survey is recommended for properties over 50 years old, large buildings, listed buildings and those in disrepair or to be renovated. The latter is a much more detailed inspection and report.

Why do I need a survey – they are costly?

Considering the price levels now seen across the Country, a survey is recommended on all properties although there are different levels of survey available. If you are borrowing money to purchase a property, lenders will insist on a valuation to assess the suitability of the property for lending against. This valuation is not strictly for you but is rather for the lenders benefit. If you buy a property and go ahead with the purchase without having engaged your own surveyor to appraise you of the condition of the property you are putting yourself at risk of not being aware of defects which could end up being expensive to rectify later. Some issues such as subsidence or risk of flooding can also harm potential to re-sell the property at a later date, so it is essential that you are aware if there is an underlying issue that you are not aware of. In what is for most people the single largest financial transactions of their lives it pays to be well informed before committing.

How long does a report take to produce?

We aim to provide a rapid turnaround with all the information you require clearly documented. We always do our best to complete our reports as soon as possible following our onsite inspection. Please let us know of any urgent deadlines beforehand so we can ensure we can meet your timetable. We always put our clients first so we always contact you shortly after our inspection to have a brief chat to discuss our findings so you know of the next steps to take before the final report is sent to you. We would always recommend waiting for the final written report before incurring any further expenses or making any legal commitments.

What are my Surveyor’s Qualifications?

Our Senior Surveyor Darren Eva is a full Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS) with qualifications in Surveying Practice and Home Inspection as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Building Surveying.

Does the survey include roof space?

We will always try to enter the roof space if there is suitable and safe access, our surveyor will inspect the roof space as agreed within our Terms & Conditions. If for whatever reason this is not possible, we will ensure that you are made aware of this.

Does the survey include damp?

Yes, our surveyor will check for damp using a moisture meter. If significant damp is detected then we would recommend a Damp Specialist to inspect the problem and report on their findings.

What happens with areas of the property that cannot be seen?

Some parts of the property will be hidden by fixtures and fittings or furniture for example. Your report will detail any areas unable to be seen with suggestion as to whether or not further investigation is needed. Where elements such as foundations are not visible we look for evidence to suggest failure or risk of failure.

If I need further inspection will the surveyor tell me?

Yes, where necessary we may recommend that further reports or estimates are obtained from other professionals, e.g., a damp specialist, drainage specialist, structural engineer etc. We will only suggest this if we discover evidence of a problem or suspect a problem. Further investigation will be needed to determine the extent of any issue and the associated costs of rectifying the problem.

Can I have my report emailed to me?

Absolutely, we much prefer to email your report to you, its quicker, doesn’t get lost in the post and is better for the environment. Reports are sent as read only pdf’s so there is no special software to download.

My Estate Agent has asked for a copy of my report, should I give it to them?

Our report is prepared for you and your legal and financial advisors and is therefore confidential. We would suggest only sharing information in part rather than passing over the entire document.

Can we purchase a survey on a property we are interested in that was prepared by you for another client?

No, each client’s report is confidential so we cannot do this without written permission. However we may be able to offer a discount for a re-survey of the same property.

I’ve been told not to let my lease fall below 80 years, why is this?

The shorter the lease, the more expensive it is to renew and the harder it is to sell the property. A flat with a long lease is always worth more than a flat with a short lease. For leases of 100 years plus don’t worry about extending your lease however if you have 80 to 85 years remaining you should extend your lease to avoid “marriage fees.” These are an extra fee payable when you extend. For those with less than 70 years remaining you should extend as soon as possible as you will find it difficult to sell your property because buyers cannot easily obtain a mortgage on a short lease. However, lease extension below 70 years is an expensive process. This is a complex area of valuation so we recommend that you Call us to discuss your lease extension needs so we can advise you accordingly.