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Building Survey Terms of Engagement
a) The following sets out the contractual terms upon which the Surveyor will
advise the Client by means of a written report as to his or her opinion of
the visible condition and state of repair of the Property.
b) The individual carrying out the inspection and providing advice will be a
c) The Surveyor will use all of the care and skill to be reasonably expected of
an appropriately experienced chartered Surveyor.
2) Content of the Report
In accordance with these terms the Surveyor will report upon:
a) The main aspects of the Property including assessing the site/location, the
design, structural framework, fabric and services;
b) The grounds, boundaries and environmental aspects considered to affect
c) Any requirements for further investigation arising from the inspection.
3) Delivery of the Report
a) The Report is to be delivered by the date agreed (2-3 days following the
inspection) or at such later date as is reasonable in the circumstances .
b) The Surveyor will send the Report to the Client's address (or other agreed
address) by first-class post for the sole use of the Client. The Client agrees
to keep the report confidential disclosing its contents only to the Client's
professional advisers. In particular (but without limit) the Client must not
disclose the whole or any part of the report to any person (other than a
professional adviser) who may intend to rely upon it for the purpose of
4) Payment of fees
a) The Client will pay the Agreed Fee of £750.00 before publication of the report.
Unless otherwise expressly agreed the Surveyor while preparing the report will
a) the Property (if for sale) is offered with vacant possession;
b) the Property is connected to mains services with appropriate rights on a
basis that is known and acceptable to the Client; and
c) access to the Property is as of right upon terms known and acceptable to
6) Scope of the inspection
i) The Surveyor will consider his or her advice carefully but is not
required to advise on any matter the significance of which in relation
to the Property is not apparent at the time of inspection from the
ii) The Surveyor will inspect diligently but is not required to undertake
any action which would risk damage to the Property or injury to himor
iii) The Surveyor will not undertake any structural or other calculations.
The Surveyor will inspect as much of the internal and external surface area of
the building as is practicable but will not inspect those areas which are
covered, unexposed or not reasonably accessible from within the site, or
adjacent public areas.
The Surveyor is not required to move any obstruction to inspection including,
but not limited to, furniture and floor coverings.
The Surveyor will lift accessible sample loose floorboards and trap doors, if
any, which are not covered by heavy furniture, ply or hardboard, fitted
carpets or other fixed floor coverings. The Surveyor will not attempt to cut or
lift fixed floorboards without express permission of the owner.
d) Fixed covers or housings
The Surveyor will not attempt to remove securely fixed covers or housings
without the express permission of the owner.
The Surveyor will inspect the roof spaces if there are available hatches which
are not more than three metres above the adjacent floor or ground. Where
no reasonable access is available, the roof spaces will not be inspected.
Similarly, outer surfaces of the roof or adjacent areas will be inspected using
binoculars, but will be excluded if they cannot be seen.
f) Boundaries, grounds and outbuildings
The inspection will include boundaries, grounds and permanent outbuildings
but will not include constructions or equipment with a specific leisure purpose
including, without limit, swimming pools or tennis courts.
The Surveyor will carry out a visual inspection of the service installations
where accessible. Drainage inspection covers will be lifted where they are
accessible and it is safe and practicable to do so. No tests of the service
installations will be carried out, although general overall comments will be
made where possible and practicable. The Surveyor will report if it is
considered that tests are advisable.
h) Areas not inspected
The Surveyor will identify any areas which would normally be inspected but which he or
she was unable to inspect.
i) Flats or maisonettes
Unless otherwise agreed, the Surveyor will inspect only the subject flat and garage (if
any), the related internal and external common parts and the structure of the building or
particular block in which the subject flat is situated. Other flats will not be inspected.
The Surveyor will state in the report the limits of access and/or visibility in relation to
the common parts and structure. The Surveyor will state whether he or she has seen a
copy of the lease and, if not, the assumptions as to preparing obligations on which he or
she is working.
j) Environmental and other issues
i) Particular noise and disturbance affecting the Property will only be noted if it
is significant at the time of the inspection or if specific investigation has been
agreed between the Surveyor and the Client and confirmed in writing.
ii) The Surveyor will report on any obvious health and safety hazards to the extent that
they are apparent from elements of the Property considered as part of the
7) Hazardous materials
a) Unless otherwise expressly stated in the report, the Surveyor will assume that no
deleterious or hazardous materials or techniques have been used in the construction
of the Property. However, the Surveyor will advise in the report if, in his or her view,
there is a likelihood that deleterious material has been used in the construction or
specific inquiries should be made or tests should be carried out by a specialist.
b) Subject to clause 6b the Surveyor, based upon a limited visual inspection, will note
and advise upon the presence of lead water supply pipes and asbestos.
c) The Surveyor will advise in the report if the Property is in an area where, based on
information published by the National Radiological Protection Board, there is a risk of
radon. In such cases the Surveyor will advise that tests should be carried out to
establish the radon level.
d) The Surveyor will advise if there are transformer stations or overhead power lines
which might give rise to an electromagnetic field, either over the subject Property or
visible immediately adjacent to the Property. The Surveyor is not required to assess
any possible effect on health or to report on any underground cables.
8) Ground conditions
The Surveyor will not be required to comment upon the possible existence of noxious
substances, landfill or mineral extraction, or other forms of contamination.
9) Consents, approvals and searches
a) The Surveyor will be entitled to assume that the Property is not subject to any
unusual or onerous restrictions, obligations or covenants which apply to the Property
or affect the reasonable enjoyment of the Property.
b) The Surveyor will be entitled to assume that all planning, building regulations and
other consents required in relation to the Property have been obtained. The Surveyor
will not verify whether such consents have been obtained. Any enquiries should be
made by the Client or the Client's legal advisers. Drawings and specifications will not
be inspected by the Surveyor unless otherwise previously agreed.
c) The Surveyor will be entitled to assume that the Property is unaffected by any
matters which would be revealed by a Local Search and replies to the usual enquiries,
or by a Statutory Notice, and that neither the Property, nor its condition, its use or its
intended use, is or will be unlawful.
10) Additional services
The Surveyor will provide, for an additional fee, such additional services as may be specified
in the Specific Terms or are agreed between the Surveyor and the Client and confirmed by
the Surveyor in writing.
11) Insurance rebuilding cost assessment
The Surveyor will provide an insurance rebuilding cost assessment only if this is agreed at
the time of taking instructions. Building insurance cost assessments will be calculated using
the current edition of the BCIS Guide to House Rebuilding Costs.
12) Definition of Market Value
The estimated amount for which a property should exchange on the date of valuation
between a willing buyer and a willing seller in an arm's-length transaction after proper
marketing wherein the parties had each acted knowledgeably, prudently and without
a) Unless expressly provided, no term in the agreement between the Surveyor and the
Client is enforceable under the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 by any
person other than the Surveyor or the Client.
b) Where the Client has instructed the Surveyor to make investigations which cause
damage to the Property on the basis that the Client has obtained the owner's
consent, the Client will indemnify the Surveyor against any loss or costs arising.
c) Dispute resolution.In the event that the Client has a complaint regarding the
standard of service he or she has received, a formal complaint handling procedure
will be followed. A copy of the Surveyor's complaint handling procedure is available
upon request. Using the Surveyor's complaints handling procedure will not affect the
Client's legal rights.
d) The Client may only rely upon the Surveyor's advice and report for purposes
described in the Particulars or communicated to the Surveyor in writing prior to the
agreement of the Fee and if the Client wishes to rely upon such advice and report for
any other purpose he or she may only do so with the written consent of the
These Terms and Conditions are based on the model Terms and Conditions of Engagement
contained in the RICS guidance note ‘Building Surveys of Residential Property.
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