Terms of Engagement
Our business is built around a strong emphasis on delivering a professional service that adds value for our clients through an experienced caring team. We charge a one half fee if an appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. All reports are emailed in pdf format and we require our fee 24 hours in advance allowing a no bias approach. Our reports are defect orientated and will not describe matters that will not affect the value of the property.
1. The report is provided for the sole use of the named client and is confidential to the client and his professional advisers. The Surveyor accepts responsibility to the client alone for the stated purposes of the report which will be prepared, with the skill, care and diligence reasonably to be expected of a competent Surveyor, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted to any person other than the client himself. Any such person relies upon the report at entirely their own risk. The report does not use an RICS branded template or format.
2. Neither the whole nor any part of the document or any reference thereto may be included in any published document circular or statement nor published in any way without the Surveyor’s written approval of the form and the context in which it may appear.
3. Inaccessible flat roofs over 3 metres (10 feet) above ground will not be inspected unless they can be viewed from a higher window. Unless the overall roof exterior shows signs of sagging/dishing or other visual failure the surveyor will not be liable for faults incurred by faulty design/construction. Lofts can only be fully inspected if not impeded by stored items and are safely boarded to comply with Sec 3 HASAWA 1974. Other areas will be risk assessed on the day and may be precluded if hazardous to inspect. Valuation reports will only consider major issues seen from ground level without the use of ladders. Whilst the surveyor carries a torch adequate lighting is required to fully inspect a premises so please let the Vendors know beforehand.
4. In making the report, the following assumptions will be made by the Surveyor (and these are therefore matters for which no responsibility can be accepted by the Surveyor) ;
I. That no deleterious material was used in the construction of the property or has since been incorporated (including high alumina cement concrete, calcium chloride additive and asbestos)
II. That the property is not subject to any unusual or especially onerous restrictions, encumbrances or outgoings and that good title can be shown;
III. That the property and its value are unaffected by any matters which would be revealed by a local search or replies to the usual enquiries, or by any statutory notice and that neither the property nor its condition, not its use, nor its intended use is or will be unlawful;
IV. that inspection of those parts which have not been inspected would neither reveal material defects nor cause the surveyor to alter the advice given in the report materially.
5. The surveyor will provide his opinion of the state of repair and condition of the property specified. The surveyor will not provide a market value of the property nor a fire reinstatement valuation unless expressly agreed prior to carrying out the survey.
6.The surveyor will not be responsible for arranging the testing of appliances or services (water, electricity, gas, oil, drainage, plumbing, hot water and central heating installations) unless specifically agreed. In regard to the services the surveyor is not an expert; comments made regarding the service installations are intended as general comments only. Only by inspection and testing by an engineer appropriately qualified in the relevant discipline can the condition of the services and their compliance with current regulations be confirmed.
7.If the service installations are disconnected, switched off or drained down at the time of inspection they will not be connected, switched on or charged with water for the purposes of the inspection unless previously arranged and undertaken by an appropriately qualified engineer of operative commissioned by the owner of the property or the client.
8. It is possible that the report will suggest further investigation works to be carried out by a specialist firm, e.g. structural engineer, timber specialist, damp specialist, drainage engineer or electrical engineer. On no account will liability be accepted if a purchaser proceeds without obtaining and acting upon the relevant further advice.
9. No geological or ground/soil surveys will be carried either via maps or trial holes, no environmental survey will be carried out re Flooding or Radon although these can be arranged separately by specialists. Whilst we do look for Insect / Fungal / Plant infestation these items are specifically precluded as they can be hidden within the superstructure or ground and should be investigated separately.
10.The survey report will not purport to express an opinion about or to advise upon the condition of uninspected parts and should not be taken as making any implied representation or statements about such parts. Up front fees are not held in a RICS regulated clients account.
11.The surveyor will carry out such work with the skill, care and diligence reasonably to be expected of a competent Surveyor, bearing in mind the limitation of the inspection. Fitted or fixed carpets will not be lifted or cupboards emptied or heavy furniture moved unless specifically requested or agreed.
12.The surveyor will inspect as much of the surface area as is practicable and will lift loose floorboards and trap doors where accessible but he will be under no obligation to raise fixed floorboards or to inspect those areas of the Property that are covered, unexposed or are not reasonably accessible.
13.Except where the contrary is stated parts of the structure and the woodwork which are covered, unexposed or inaccessible will not be inspected. Within roof spaces where access is possible, the surveyor will be under no obligation to report on the condition of the roof and ceiling timbers which are covered by insulation or similar materials or when stored household effects significantly restrict or obstruct inspection.
14.Without specific written instructions, the Surveyor will not report on the condition of out buildings including garages separate to the house, swimming pools, ponds, watercourses and special apparatus. Whilst a cursory inspection of the boundary will take place no structural appraisal will be made unless specified.
15.Where the Property being inspected is a flat or part of a larger building, the inspection will be restricted to that flat or part. Other parts of the building will only be inspected at the Surveyors discretion or where there is visual evidence that they may involve the owner of the subject Property in substantial maintenance costs.
16.The report shall provide information as to the overall condition of the Property in relation to the quality of the structure and not as an inventory of every single defect which might insignificantly affect the ultimate value.
17. Regulations affecting all building types are subject to periodic, sometimes frequent, amendment. The subject property should not be expected to meet all current regulations unless it is new. As a general rule, the Regulations affecting buildings are not retrospective. The report will not list all contraventions of current regulations except where it is considered failure to comply with the Regulations has resulted in a risk to health, safety or structural stability.
18. All Leasehold properties will be valued on the basis that a long Lease is present namely 80 years and over.
19 Valuation reports do not utilize damp meters nor involve loft inspections. They are not able to comment on defects other than to say the property appeared on cursory inspection to be in good, reasonable or poor condition. All valuations are purely for clients or courts and not lenders.
20 Structural surveys do not comment upon damp / insect / fungal issues only commenting upon distortions / cracks etc.
21 Expert witness at court is a minimum of £1000 for Bournemouth or Southampton civil courts elsewhere by arrangement due to travelling / subsistence costs.
22 This firm operates a Complaints Handling Procedure and a copy of the this document is available upon request.