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Scope of inspection: Home Survey Level Two

Scope of inspection: Home Survey Level Two

This document provides content on the scope of inspection for a level two 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 Home Survey Standard 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 two survey is designed for clients (buyers, vendors and owners) seeking a professional and objective report on the condition of the main elements of a property. It will not contain any detailed advice on repairs.

This intermediate level of service includes a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services, and grounds. This level of service suits a broader range of conventionally built properties, although the age and type will depend on the knowledge and experience of the RICS member.

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 two for different elements of a property.

Examples of different elements inspected for Level two

Windows

Survey level

Description

Level two

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 two, the RICS member will include one on each elevation and one of each different type of window where there is a variety.

Roof space

Survey level

Description

Level two

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 two, the RICS member will enter the roof space and visually inspect the roof structure with attention paid to those parts vulnerable to deterioration and damage.

Floors

Survey level

Description

Level two

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 assess floors for excessive deflection by a ‘heel-drop’ test. Where floors have unfixed access hatches/panels or floorboards, the RICS member will inspect subfloor areas by an inverted ‘head and shoulders’ inspection where appropriate and it is safe to do so.

Inspection chambers and underground drainage

Survey level

Description

Level two

The RICS member will lift accessible inspection chamber covers to drains or septic tanks and visually inspect them, where safe to do so and without causing damage, and visually inspect the chamber (s)

 

Other services

Survey level

Description

Level two

The RICS member does not perform or comment on design calculations or test the service installations or appliances in any way.   For a level two inspection, the RICS member will visually inspect all parts of the different service systems that can be seen within the normal course of the inspection.

Grounds

Survey level

Description

Level two

RICS member 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 level two inspection, the RICS member will perform a thorough inspection of the grounds, noting any limitations.

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 two report does include some advice on repairs or ongoing maintenance.

The RICS Home Survey Level Two 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