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RICS Building Survey (Level 3)

Our Level 3 Building Survey Level 3 is a comprehensive and full structural survey.

If you choose to have a RICS Building Survey carried out, our local Cosey Homes RICS accredited building surveyors will assess the construction of the building and its structural integrity. Usually recommended for buildings over 70-80 years old, or with significant historical damage, our Building Survey (Level 3) will give you a greater explanation of any defects along with recommendations for remedial action.

We are always committed to giving our clients the best value possible and so we include additional helpful information where appropriate to ensure you get the most out of the service and our surveyors when choosing a full structural survey.

As with the HomeBuyer Report (Level 2), we will compile the Building Survey (Level 3) using our standard formatted template which is designed to be industry jargon-free and easy to follow. We use the RICS standard reporting traffic light system, thus enabling clients to easily understand areas of the property that need attention. You can download an example RICS Building Survey (Level 3) here.

Level 1 / Green: no action required
Level 2 / Amber: defects requiring attention and repair but not urgently
Level 3 / Red: serious defects requiring urgent attention and repair

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Which survey should I choose?

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How do you select the best survey for your needs?

The RICS endorses three types of property survey – Condition Report (Level 1), HomeBuyer Report (Level 2) and Building Survey (Level 3). Without expert advice it may be difficult to choose which is the best choice for your property needs. This is where independent Chartered Surveyors Cosey Homes can provide professional assistance and guidance to explain the various options available and help you make the right decision.

What’s the difference between a Level 2 and a Level 3 survey?

A RICS Building Survey (formerly known as a Full Structural Survey) is a Level 3 investigation and the most detailed survey we carry out. A RICS HomeBuyer Report is a mid-range Level 2 survey that is generally not recommended for older or larger properties or those with complex surveying issues. If you are looking for a detailed assessment of the condition of the property you are about to buy, and especially if the building has undergone or requires substantial renovations, a RICS Building Survey is the best option.

How long does a RICS Building Survey (Level 3) take?

There is no set time limit for a building survey (Level 3) inspection; it all depends on the type and size of the property and its condition. A full structural Building Survey (Level 3) is more in-depth than a HomeBuyers Survey (Level 2), so the timeframe tends to be longer. We typically allocate a three-hour time slot for a Building Survey (Level 3). We aim to deliver all our reports within 5 working days, from the date of the survey taking place.

Does a Building Survey (Level 3) check the roof space?

Our surveyors will do their best to inspect lofts and roof spaces wherever they are accessible. However, as the full structural survey is based on a non-intrusive visual inspection, it will not be possible to investigate spaces where there’s a layer of insulation on the joists and timbers are not visible.

Will a surveyor check for asbestos?

A Building Survey (Level 3) is not a specialist asbestos report although the surveyor may well make a comment, based on his professional experience and knowledge about the risk of asbestos and likelihood of a particular item containing asbestos. They may recommend that you undertake further investigation, sampling and testing to establish whether or not asbestos is present.

What to do if your Building Survey (Level 3) detects serious problems?

If the structural survey identifies serious defects in the property, the report will give you a cost estimate for remedying the problem. We would normally advise that further investigation is carried out to establish the extent of the damage. You may be able to use the information to try and renegotiate your purchase price, or you may even prefer to walk away from the purchase altogether.

How soon can you expect to receive the survey report?

After the site visit has taken place, we will aim to deliver your Building Survey report within 5 working days. Once the report has been completed and passed our quality control checks, you will receive your copy via email as a PDF document. If you also require a hardcopy to be posted to you, this can be arranged on request for an additional fee.

Should you share the survey report with a third party?

You are at liberty to share the survey report with anyone you wish. However, we would generally advise caution when passing on the report to anyone other than your solicitor since it contains information of a commercially sensitive nature. One of the key benefits of a property survey is that the findings can be used as a valuable tool to renegotiate the purchase price, with the report constituting evidence of defects provided by a credible independent expert.

How do you negotiate after a ‘bad’ survey?

If the survey has unearthed unexpected problems with the property, you are perfectly entitled to reduce your offer to cover the cost of remedying the defects. Inform the estate agent of the survey results and submit independent estimates from reputable contractors. You can then make a new offer that more accurately reflects the value of the property and renegotiate with the seller.