The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has recently published research showing that more than 20% of buyers who did not have a survey on their properties find themselves saddled with a property they would not have bought if they had known its true condition. Of course, the RICS has an axe to grind but they do make a good point. It seems incredible that so many people are prepared to make the largest investment of their lives without understanding the true condition of the property they are buying. The survey covered just over 1,000 buyers across the UK. Nearly all of them agreed that it was important to have a survey but nearly one third failed to obtain one.

If you buy a property without a proper survey you are risking all kinds of trouble and future expense. Some issues like subsidence and potential flooding might make it difficult or even impossible to obtain comprehensive insurance. Landlord insurance clients often buy properties in a bad state of repair in order to renovate them and place them on the lettings market. As landlords, the safety of our tenants is paramount. If we are buying a house with a view to letting it out we need to know how much expense will be involved; will the gas boiler need replacing and will the electrics need upgrading for example?

The RICS point out that many homeowners who did not take out a home survey are left with an average of £5,750 in repair bills and a property they regret buying. Even worse, if they fail to have the repairs carried out they may find it difficult to sell the property.

There are now three levels of RICS survey. Firstly a Condition Report, secondly a HomeBuyer Report and lastly a Building Survey. For all the news from the surveying profession visit www.rics.org

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