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Scope of inspection: Home Survey Level One

Scope of inspection: Home Survey Level One

This document provides content on the scope of inspection for a level one inspection in accordance with the RICS Home survey standard 1st edition professional statement.

RICS members must ensure their service is clearly ‘benchmarked’ against one of the defined levels included in the latest edition of the Home Survey Standard.

Appendix A and B in the RICS Home Survey Standard 1st edition Professional Statement highlight a number of different elements in a typical property where the differences between the inspection levels are illustrated and provides critical benchmarks around which an RICS member’s service can be built.

The level one survey is designed for clients (buyers, vendors and owners) seeking a professional and objective report on the condition of the property at an economic price. It includes a visual inspection that is less extensive than survey level two and survey level three. No tests of the building fabric or services are undertaken.

This level of survey is designed as a very basic overview of the condition of the property. It will not contain any detailed advice on repairs. This level of service is better suited to conventionally built, modern dwellings in satisfactory condition.

If more detailed advice and guidance are required, the client should consider upgrading to a survey level two or three and should discuss this with their surveyor ahead of the service being undertaken.

It is important that clients fully understand the key differences in the levels of inspection and report provided and discuss any concerns with their surveyor.

The following tables give a brief illustration of what scope of inspection might be included at level one for different elements of a property.

Examples of different elements inspected for Level One

Windows

Survey level

Description

Level one

Inspection includes opening of windows only where permission has been given, any keys/ locks are available, and it is safe to do so. Where the inspection of windows is restricted, the RICS member must inform the client.

For level one, as a minimum include at least one on each elevation.

Roof space

Survey level

Description

Level one

For all levels of inspection, the RICS member will carry out an inspection of roof space that is not more than three metres above floor level, using a ladder it is safe and reasonable to do so. When inspecting the roof space for level one, the RICS member will not remove secured access panels and/or lift insulation material, stored goods or other contents. The RICS member will visually inspect the parts of the roof structure and other features that can be seen from the access hatch.

Floors

Survey level

Description

Level one

The RICS member will inspect the surfaces of exposed floors but will not lift carpets, floor coverings or floorboards, or move furniture. The RICS member will not lift hatches or carry out an ‘inverted head and shoulders’ inspection. The RICS member will assess floors for excessive deflection by a ‘heel-drop’ test.

Inspection chambers and underground drainage

Survey level

Description

Level one

The RICS member will not lift inspection chamber covers to drains or septic tanks.

 

Other services

Survey level

Description

Level one

The RICS member does not perform or comment on design calculations or test the service installations or appliances in any way.   In a level one inspection, the RICS member will visually inspect an identified sample of the parts of the different service systems that can be seen.

Grounds

Survey level

Description

Level one

RICS members will carry out a visual inspection of the grounds from within the boundaries of the subject property and where necessary, from adjoining public property. In a level one inspections, RICS members will carry out a cursory inspection of the grounds during a general walk around. The assessment should include external features relevant to the instruction and requests from the client. The inspection should also include the inside and outside of all permanent outbuildings not attached to the main dwelling, where access is possible, relevant to the instruction and client requests.

RICS members will also use appropriate methods and equipment to inspect a roof that is not visible from a window or another part of the building, and that is not more than three metres above ground level if it is safe and reasonable to do so.

The report

The nature and content of the report will vary between the different levels of service and subject property. (see Section 4 of the Home Survey Standard).

A Home Survey Level one report does not include advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance.

The RICS Home Survey Level One report, description of service and associated documents can be found here.

Other supporting materials:

RICS members and/or regulated firms may refer to the following supporting materials as part of their services. Many organisations also have their own policies and procedures to deliver the service.

Health & Safety

Vendor liaison

Equipment checklist

Terms of engagement: Regardless of the level of service, refer to Appendix D of the Home Survey Standard and to the Terms of Engagement guidance