By Terence Willey, Terence Willey & Co.
Some people may be unaware that there exists a representative body for Independent Specialist Residential Surveyors who are the Industry’s leading specialists for reporting on the condition of residential properties on behalf of home buyers.
They are called The Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA), and are dedicated to helping and assisting in the residential house purchase process and in helping consumers in England and Wales at the time they are making one of the biggest investments in their lives.
The RSPA is currently working on helping home buyers by offering three survey products which are unique to the market, mainly as follows:
A Home Condition Survey (HCS) is suitable for all types of property and includes a full inspection and comprehensive report.
A Building Survey (often referred to as a Full or Structural Survey) is the highest level of non-invasive survey that Surveyors usually carry out during the home-buying process. It is suitable for all properties but is often more suitable for older or more unusual properties or those where there are suspected problems. As far as the Isle of Wight is concerned, such a survey would be particularly significant in areas of the Island where blue slipper clay is prevalent.
The unique RPSA Mi Buy to Let Survey which has been designed to protect a Landlord’s investment and to deliver decent homes for their tenants. The Homes Fitness for Habitation (Bill) introduced in 2019 requires Landlords to ensure their homes are fit for habitation at the beginning of a tenancy and throughout. Serious fines have been introduced for infringement of regulations and can exceed £30,000, so it is essential for Landlords to ensure when letting a property, that it is well maintained, and safe and such a survey therefore is of considerable value. Such survey also includes features of the home condition such as a review of the 29 potential hazards listed under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System which is used by Local Authorities in prosecuting Landlords in the private rented sector. Also a Decent and Safe Homes Report which highlights health and safety deficiencies allowing you to put them right before you get a complaint and cross-referencing with health and safety issues with relevant descriptions of property condition, all complied by a Specialist Residential Surveyor who has undergone specific training to deliver these unique reports.
In conclusion therefore, if you are buying or letting a property, then think very carefully about having a report designed for you and not for the benefit of a Lender on which you have no redress or who you are able to source for the purposes of negotiating a reduction in the purchase price should an issue be revealed.