Buying a property is generally regarded as the largest single investment that most people make. On buying a car, would you hand over your money without seeing a MOT? So why take a bigger risk on your future home?


Surveys are a 'health check' for buildings and can save you money. If the survey goes well, you will have re-assurance and peace of mind. At worst, if there are serious problems, you can re-negotiate the price to reflect the cost of repairs, or you may even decide to withdraw.


RICS Condition Report


Affordable and concise, this new format report is highly suitable for houses, flats and bungalows of conventional construction up to 150 years old and apparently in reasonable condition. The construction is described briefly, and the defects are grouped according to how serious or urgent they are. Items for further investigation, and risks to people or the building, are noted. However the report does not describe remedial work or give recommendations.

RICS Homebuyer Report


Covers a similar range of property, is only slightly more expensive, and can also include a valuation and reinstatement cost to help avoid under or over-insurance. It is also a summary report, designed to highlight defects and problems which are urgent or major and thus have an effect on the value of the property. The main aim is to help you make an informed judgment on whether or not to proceed with the purchase by alerting you to any serious defects and to assess whether or not the property is a reasonable purchase at the agreed price.

RICS Building Survey

The building survey is more comprehensive and contains technical information on construction and the range of defects seen. It is best for Listed Buildings and properties that are older, constructed in an unusual way, or properties that have been substantially altered or which you plan to extend or alter. You pay more for this report due to the detail and time that is required, and you get recommendations for dealing with problems noted (This service is not typically suitible for flats).



If you have specific worries or concerns about the property, talk them through with your Surveyor first. We will be happy help you decide on which type of survey is right for you, and in the case of a Building Survey the report format and content can be adapted to your needs.




You can download the RICS consumer guide here:



Always remember that a valuation is not a survey, more guidance is available here:



A video to help you choose the right survey can be seen here:


A video showing that your valuation report may not be enough can be seen here:







Other residential or commercial property surveys

Schedule of Condition

As the name implies, a Schedule records the condition of the property, often in words and photographs. Party Wall Agreements and Awards contain a Schedule of Condition, and with a new lease on commercial property the incoming tenant should negotiate with the landlord for a Schedule of Condition to be attached to the Lease; this reduces the tenant's liability for repairs at the end of the lease.


Maintenance plans

Ideal if you have responsibility for a block of flats and you need to plan for phased repairs and renewals, to enable the cost to be spread over a period of years. A maintenance plan highlights major items which can then be costed and allocated a time frame. This type of inspection and report is commonly requested by Managing agents.



Valuations are carried out for Solicitors, Housing Associations, Accountants and private clients. Consult us to discuss.


Chartered Surveyors
  • Residential mortgages

  • Independent valuations for prospective purchasers  

  • Leasehold Reform Act

  • Company accounting purposes

  • Matrimonial

  • Taxation

  • Valuations for shared ownership properties

  • Right to Buy         

  • Retrospective valuations for property litigation purposes


Why choose Housemartins Chartered Surveyors?

Housemartins is an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors with many years experience in Sussex. Housemartins is regulated by the RICS and adheres to a strict code of conduct. Clients are protected by a formal complaints handling procedure.


So what to do next?


This is the easy part! All you have to do is contact us for a quotation on price. We can normally carry out the survey within a few days of receiving instructions.


We look forward to hearing from you



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