Terms & Conditions
RESIDENTIAL BUILDING SURVEY TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
I. TERMS AND CONDITIONS
This document 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.
The individual carrying out the inspection and providing advice will be a chartered surveyor.
The Surveyor will use all of the care and skill to be reasonably expected of an appropriately experienced chartered surveyor.
It is important to consider the report as a whole rather than to take reports on individual defects out of context. A comment will be made as to whether defects are typical for the age and construction of the property.
This report has been prepared solely for the benefit of the named client in connection with the proposed purchase of the named property. No liability is accepted to third parties whatsoever. This report should not be disclosed in whole or in part to any other parties without the express consent of the surveyor.
2. Content of the Report
In accordance with these terms the Surveyor will report upon:
The main aspects of the Property include assessing the site/location, the design, structural framework, fabric and services.
The grounds, boundaries and other aspects are considered to affect the property.
Any requirement for further investigation arising from the inspection.
3. Payment of fees
The Client will pay the agreed Fee, any Additional Fees, any VAT and any agreed disbursements prior to the release of the Report.
The client will be liable for interest on any late payment at the rate of 8%pa above the Bank of England base rate at the date of the relevant fee account.
In the event that we are frustrated in our attempts to carry out our inspection, due to matters beyond our control, an abortive fee of 50% of the agreed fee will be charged. If a survey is cancelled for reasons beyond our control within 48 hours of the inspection, an abortive fee of 50% of the agreed fee will be charged.
In some instances where specialist subcontractors work alongside Surrey Surveyors Ltd fees may be levied by Surrey Surveyors on behalf of the sub-contractor in the interests of simplicity. However, the contractual relationship remains between the sub-contractor and the client directly. Surrey Surveyors accept no responsibility for the content of reports or advice provided by a third-party subcontractor whether paid by Surrey Surveyors or directly by the client.
All fees shall be paid prior to the release of the report.
Unless otherwise expressly agreed the Surveyor while preparing the Report will assume that:
the property (if for sale) is offered with vacant possession and we assume no encumbrances to the title, restrictive covenants etc
the Property is connected to mains services with appropriate rights on a basis that is known and acceptable to the Client or such other system as notified by the vendors or their agents and;
access to the property is as of right upon terms known and acceptable to the client.
the surveyor will rely on details of the property supplied by the client, vendor or vendor’s selling agent as appropriate. Any such information stated in the report should be verified by your solicitors.
that all statutory consents are in place for the property in its current form and use.
5. Scope of the inspection
The report provides a general overview of the property and the most significant points are described in Section F. It is, however, essential that the whole report is read and considered in detail prior to a binding commitment to purchase and that all works and further investigations are conducted and priced by competent contractors so that you are fully aware of the overall commitment and liabilities that you will be undertaking in purchasing the property.
All hidden, unexposed and inaccessible areas have not been inspected and we cannot give comment as to their condition, although attention will be drawn to their presence as appropriate and it is assumed that these areas are free from significant defects. A comment will be given as to whether further investigation should be carried out prior to purchase by independent competent contractors or appropriate specialists if deemed appropriate.
Each room has been inspected were visible in detail and damp meter readings have been taken where possible and where felt appropriate without moving heavy furniture or personal possessions. Most properties have fully-fitted floor coverings such as carpet, lino sheet and floor tiling which would restrict examination of the sub-floor and associated structure. Comments will be made with regard to any visible defects such as excessive springiness, sagging or deflection. It is, however, impossible to comment upon the precise condition of the sub-floor without opening up the associated area and recommendations may be made in the report if this is considered appropriate.
The property may be occupied and furnished at the time of the inspection. Furniture, stored articles and personal possessions will not be moved and this ultimately may restrict access for inspection. Furthermore, access to roof spaces is often restricted and boarding, stored goods and loft insulation further restrict inspection of these areas.
Weather conditions at the time of the inspection may well affect the surveyor’s ability to make a thorough assessment of the property. For example, if it is not raining it is not possible to comment upon the precise function of the rainwater goods, roof junctions and flashings. Often intense sunlight can obscure defects.
The surveyor will not use ladders to inspect surfaces more than 3 metres above ground level, although binoculars will be used from ground level in order to inspect higher areas. Attention will be drawn to any areas that warrant further inspection from close quarters with the use of scaffolding etc.
Roof surfaces above 3 metres will be inspected with the aid of binoculars from publicly accessible land and the subject premises or from other parts of the building where accessible such as windows and skylights. There will inevitably be some areas that are not visible and we will, therefore, be unable to comment with regard to these areas.
The Surveyor will consider his 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 the inspection from the inspection itself or not specifically requested by the client to report thereon.
The Surveyor will inspect diligently but will not undertake any action which would risk damage to the Property or injury to himself. In no event shall the surveyor be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, incidental, direct, indirect, special and consequential damages, damages for loss of business profits, business interruption, loss of business information, or other pecuniary loss) arising out of the use of the surveyor's services.
The Surveyor will not undertake any structural or other calculations.
The Surveyor will not attempt to remove securely fixed covers of housings without the express permission of the owner.
The Surveyor will inspect the roof spaces if there are available hatches that 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.
The inspection will include boundaries, grounds and permanent outbuildings but will not include constructions or equipment with a specific leisure purpose, without limit, swimming pools or tennis courts. We will not carry out checking for invasive species such as Japanese Knot Weed and the like. This is a highly specialist area and if you remained concerned we recommend you instruct an independent expert to carry out this inspection for you prior to entering into a legally binding commitment to purchase.
Inspection of the service installations is limited to visible areas only and no inspection will be made of any hidden or inaccessible sections. General comment as to apparent condition only is made and no tests or specialist investigations etc. have been undertaken nor are we able to verify the system complies entirely with current-day legislation or works correctly in accordance with its designed purpose. The Surveyor will report if it is considered that tests are advisable.
Surveyors are not qualified to comment upon the condition of certain specific items such as gas and electrical installations. In the event that no electrical test certification is available dated within the last 10-year period, the electrical installation should be tested by an NICEIC registered contractor prior to entering into a legal commitment to purchase. Furthermore, if a gas installation has not been tested by a Gas Safe registered engineer within the past 12 months, a gas safety check should be carried out and the boiler system checked and serviced prior to entering into a legal commitment to purchase.
(c) Flats or maisonettes
Unless otherwise agreed, the Surveyor will inspect only the subject flat and garage (if any) and will comment in general terms with regard to 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 has seen a copy of the lease and, if not, the assumptions as to repairing obligations on which he is working.
(d) Environmental and other issues
Particular noise and disturbance affecting the Property will only be noted if it is significant or evident at the time of the inspection or if a specific investigation has been agreed between the Surveyor and the Client and confirmed in writing.
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 inspection. Surrey Surveyors will not report on the presence or absence of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed and the like.
This report assumes that your solicitor will obtain an environmental assessment relating to the property covering matters such as Radon gas, flooding, landfill, subsidence, mining and historic uses and any hazardous ground conditions and pollution.
6. Hazardous Materials
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 view, there is the likelihood that deleterious material has been used in the construction and specific enquiries should be made or tests carried out by a specialist.
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.
The possible effects of electromagnetic fields have been the subject of media coverage. The Health Protection Agency (HPA), an independent body with responsibility for advising on electromagnetic fields, has advised that, following studies, there may be a risk, in specified circumstances, to the health of certain categories of people. Public perception may, therefore, affect the marketability and future value of the property. Further, and detailed, technical information can be obtained from the HPA, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards at Chilton, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 ORO or at GOV.UK.
No asbestos testing will be undertaken.
7. Ground conditions
The Surveyor will not comment upon the possible existence of noxious substances, landfill or mineral extraction, or other forms of contamination (see point 5(d) above).
8. Consents, Approvals and Searches
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.
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 previously agreed. No formal enquiries have been made of statutory local authorities to verify information relating to planning permission, Building Regulation control or the Water Board etc. as we assume that your solicitors will carry out these enquiries as part of standard pre-contract enquiries.
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.
9. 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. Such additional services can include any pre-agreed additional services including the provision of a Market Valuation otherwise a valuation is not included and an insurance rebuild cost assessment.
In some instances where specialist subcontractors work alongside Surrey Surveyors fees may be levied by Surrey Surveyors on behalf of the sub-contractor in the interests of simplicity. However, the contractual relationship remains between the sub-contractor and the client directly. Surrey Surveyors accept no responsibility for the content of reports or advice provided by a third-party subcontractor whether paid by Surrey Surveyorsor directly by the client.
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.
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 cost arising.
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 complaints handling procedure is available upon request. Using the Surveyor’s complaints handling procedure will not affect the Clients legal rights.
The Client may only rely upon the Surveyor’s advice and Report in connection with the purchase of the named property and if the client wishes to rely upon such advice and Report for any other purposes he or she may only do so with the written consent of the Surveyor. Any valuation advice is provided as a guide only and is specifically excluded from banking matters particularly security for lending purposes.
Guidance on the cost of works or repairs given in the report is indicative only. Purchasers should obtain three competitive quotes for all necessary works prior to entering into a legally binding commitment to purchase.
As part of your pre-contract enquiries, your solicitor should clarify the existence of warranties, guarantees, service histories and other paperwork relating to works at the property, installations and appliances. Copies of these should be requested from the vendors’ solicitors and you should ensure that, where appropriate, the benefit of these is assigned to you as the new owner.
You should instruct your legal advisers to confirm whether the property has a leasehold or freehold title. Furthermore, you should request that your solicitors fully explain the difference between these two forms of tenure, particularly with regard to the obligations under the lease which ultimately can be enforced by the superior landlord.
The contract to provide services is between the Client and Surrey Surveyors Ltd only. The client shall not have any recourse against any individual under any circumstances.