Over the past few weeks, you may have noticed a change in the standard terms for HomeBuyers and Building Surveys. Since the transition into the new standards began, there have been several changes announced to the standard services. If you have not been following the latest updates or are simply unfamiliar with the surveying industry, the difference between the two products may be unclear. That is why the team here at WHS, have put together the following article. To explain the key differences between the Home Survey Standards (HSS) Level 2 and Level 3 which were recently introduced by RICS
HSS Level 2 Survey
Firstly, the HSS Level 2 survey comprises of a report that will draw attention to any problems or flaws with the home. More specifically, it will focus on any findings that should be raised with the relevant legal advisor.
It is suitable for property that first the following description:
- Well-maintained properties
- Conventional Homes/flats or bungalows (that use common building materials)
A Level 2 survey utilises one of three Condition Ratings to assess the severity of the issue as well as necessity of repairs.
This primarily covers any structural issues on both the interior and exterior elements of the property, but specifically includes:
- Roof Inspection (paying particular attention to any potential damage or decay) from ground level, with binoculars
- Exposed surfaces and floors (unfixed hatches/panels or floorboards)
- Any accessible chambers (visual inspection only)
- Windows (one per elevation & one of each different type)
In addition to these elements the Level 2 survey will also feature five images.
HSS Level 3 Survey
Unlike the Level 2 surveys, the Level 3 reports can be adapted to suit the specific needs of the recipient. For example, the surveyor will pay special attention to any items that are of particular interest to the client and potentially alter the content of the reports accordingly (if relevant/applicable to the structure).
A Level 3 inspection is recommended for property that fits the following description:
- Older (pre-war) homes
- Unconventional homes which have experienced significant changes or require major works
What’s more, by evaluating the cause of any defects present in the home and estimating the need for repairs, the Level 3 survey offers the most detailed insight into the condition of a property. This includes the following elements:
- Roof Inspection (the Surveyor will identify the type and thickness of ceiling, lifting small corners if necessary)
- Exposed surfaces and floors (the Surveyors will lift any loose or unfitted carpet/floor coverings if possible)
- Any accessible chambers (observing the standard operation of drains in day-to-day life)
- Windows (if practical, the Surveyor will open all windows in the property)
Due to the highly detailed nature of the report, the Level 3 inspections can take up to three hours to complete (depending on the size and nature of the property in question).
If you require either a HSS Survey Level 2 or Level 3 and require independent advice on your best course of action, please do not hesitate to contact our helpful and friendly sales team.
Simply drop us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or get an instant quote here.
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