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When is a RICS Condition Report (Level 1) the best choice?

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A property purchase should always be a considered decision, regardless of whether you’re thinking of investing in a small city flat or a rambling country mansion. Depending on the type of property you are hoping to buy, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommends taking out one of three home surveys: RICS Condition Report (Level 1), RICS HomeBuyer Report or RICS Building Survey (Level 3).

What does the RICS Condition Report (Level 1) provide?

Of the three, the RICS Condition Report (Level 1) is the least expensive option. As a ‘Level 1’ survey, its purpose is to provide a clear, concise snapshot picture of the building’s condition on the date of inspection. The surveyor will conduct a basic visual, non-invasive inspection of the inside and outside of the property, including any outbuildings and areas of shared use.

Using a simple traffic light colour-coding system, observations on the construction of the building are designed to be made in buyer-friendly plain English. The report will highlight any serious defects that need urgent attention, and any areas of further investigation. In addition to outlining the key risks associated with the property’s condition, there’s also a summary of other matters such as building guarantees, planning and building control issues for your legal advisers. More specific advice or a market valuation of the property, however, are beyond the scope of this report.

Who should get a RICS Condition Report (Level 1)?

RICS Condition Reports (Level 1) are aimed at conventional new-build homes, or newer properties that are less than 5 years old. The structure should generally appear to be in good condition, have a traceable maintenance record and no obvious defects.

Conversely, if you are considering the purchase of a home that is older than 5 years, a building that has noticeable issues or that has been renovated since its original construction, a RICS Condition Report (Level 1) is not for you. Nor is this type of survey suitable for a property that has been build with unusual materials, or in an unconventional manner.

What to do next?

If you are not sure which is the best survey for your property, don’t rush into a decision that you may later regret, or shy away from commissioning an independent survey altogether. Instead, we would recommend that you familiarise yourself with the different surveys available here or watch our handy video:

Of course, the Cosey Homes team is always on hand with professional guidance and advice to help you make the best decision. Contact us for a friendly chat to discuss your requirements, or obtain an instant online survey quote here.


Our friendly and helpful team are happy to talk you through your options. Contact us by phone at 01744 412 700 and e-mail at

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UK Wide Chartered Surveyors
UK Wide Chartered Surveyors
Cosey Homes offer the full range RICS home surveys from Level 1 - 3 with national coverage provided by our experienced local property surveying team.
DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each property has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.