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What is a Building Survey?

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Unlike a mortgage valuation, an RICS Homebuyer’s Report or Condition Report, a Building Survey is usually commissioned by a landowner or buyer in order to further investigate the structural condition and/or defects in a building.

A Condition Report or Homebuyer’s Report, the former of which includes elements of a Condition Report, will summarise a property’s general condition. A Structural Report or Building Survey will identify and report on the condition of the property and go into more detail to identify specific faults.

A structural report is usually undertaken by a Chartered Building Surveyor or Engineer, rather than a Chartered Valuation Surveyor, although the former may also specialise in Building Reports.

A Structural or Building Survey is sometimes commissioned after receipt of a critical Homebuyers or Condition Report. It will not usually include a valuation of the premises. Bear this in mind when commissioning reports for a lender and consider asking the surveyor to provide a valuation at the same time. Make sure any valuer has the relevant qualifications before instructing them to proceed.

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