Home Condition Reports
The Home Condition Report has been developed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to provide a succinct overview of a residential property. It is designed for a surveyor to carry out a relatively short, surface-level inspection of a building and highlight any areas of significant concern in their report.
Unlike a Building Survey, a Home Condition Report will not include the cause of defects or advice about how they might be resolved. Should a structural problem be discovered, a separate, specific report is recommended for a thorough investigation.
At HardingBond we have conducted Condition Reports for numerous clients across Sussex, Kent and London. Based on years of experience, we recommend these surveys to a wide range of properties, providing they have been built after the 1960s and haven't been substantially altered, extended or allowed to fall into disrepair.
If you are buying a home that seems to be in a good state of repair, a Condition Report is ideal for raising any concerns before you exchange contracts. Even those buying a new-build home can enjoy the peace of mind from a survey coming back with the all-clear.
In older buildings, or those that have undergone significant renovation, we would expect to find a number of defects which would not be sufficiently covered by the scope of a Condition Report. These would be more suited to a comprehensive Building Survey.
If you aren’t sure which survey you require, please get in touch and we would be happy to help. Our friendly team can go through the property details and provide a free quote for the service or services that is most appropriate.
What does a Home Condition Report entail?
A Condition Report is produced by a RICS-certified surveyor, and contains a ‘overview’ of the property on the date of inspection. It will detail the construction and condition of the building, defects that need urgent attention or pose a serious hazard, and any features which need further investigation as a priority.
During the survey, the surveyor will inspect the interior and exterior of the building, including the roof space (viewed from the access hatch), and any visible utility systems. A Condition Report is a visual assessment only, and therefore doesn’t involve the surveyor moving floor coverings, wall hangings or inaccessible areas. The roofline and chimney will only be inspected from ground-level.
The report is presented using a traffic light system to indicate the severity of any issues found, and if an area of the property cannot be sufficiently inspected, the surveyor should make a note of this.
As an example of a Condition Report, here’s a summary of an inspection we carried out on a 1960s, 2-bedroom semi-detached home in Ashford, Kent (you can read the full report here).
Our report determined that much of the building was in good repair: the chimney and flues were in good working order, the replacement u.p.v.c. windows and doors were holding up well, and most of the property’s observable utility services were in place as expected.
However, there were a number of concerns raised about the roofline, such as a gap between the chimney flashings and roof tiles (potentially causing a leak in future. It was also noted that, following the installation of cavity wall insulation, the pointing applied to the underside of the gable-end roof was beginning to perish. The concrete rainwater goods were also noticed to be in poor condition, and the potential presence of asbestos-containing materials was observed in the ceilings and floors.
The full report demonstrates the degree of detail provided by a Condition Report, and gives you an idea of what to expect when buying a property of this age. Many items on the list may have been observed by the buyer prior to the survey, but there are several major defects listed in the report that may encourage them to negotiate their offer or reconsider their purchase.
David Harding recently carried out a building survey for me on a residential property. As a construction barrister I see many expert reports. The report which David wrote for me far surpassed the majority of reports I see. It was thorough, clear and easy to follow. I was particular impressed by the fact that points for consideration by my Conveyancing solicitor were set out in a list and also by the fact that David had grappled with all of the problems (such as damp and infestation) rather than recommending further reports by additional experts, as is so frequently the case nowadays. I would definitely use David again and would have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone.
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