Late last year it was announced that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is to introduce a new set of guidelines for residential property purchases, known as the RICS Home Survey Standard. The new RICS Home Survey Standard brings together the views of cross-industry stakeholders, Chartered Surveyors and consumers and is based on the result of an industry and consumer consultation from April 2019.
Originally intended to come into effect in June 2020, the implementation was deferred to 1st December 2020 following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Part of the reason for redeveloping the guidelines in this area is that it was felt that there has long been confusion amongst residential property owners as to the different types of survey and what each entails.
In response to this, perhaps the most significant change will be the way in which different levels of survey are to be named. “Level 1’, Level 2, and Level 3” surveys will become the way of referring to residential surveys, with “Level 3” being the most in-depth survey. All RICS member firms in England will need to adopt these new naming standards by June.
The new standards will provide a minimum basic standard for each level of survey, therefore simplifying the choice of survey for home buyers. As well as providing greater clarity, it is hoped that the new standards will also provide greater reassurance to clients that their needs are being met.
Aside from clarifying the types of survey available, one of the key advantages for clients of the changes is the notion of choosing the Surveyor who they believe will provide the best service for their needs. Rather than having to try and decipher the type of survey required, the new Standard should make the process of choosing a survey easier, instead shifting the focus onto making the right choice of surveying firm.
Outside of the minimum standards for each level, Surveyors are able to add services to the minimum standards to set themselves apart and show value to consumers.
Here at Lea Hough, we welcome the introduction of the new RICS Home Survey Standard. Although we are always already keen to help clients decide which survey is the most suitable for them, we hope that the new Standard will make it easier for residential clients to make not only the right choice of survey, but also the right choice of surveyor. Being Chartered is not simply a status badge, it’s something that each and every firm and Surveyor that hold the title has worked hard to achieve.
It is therefore hoped that the new Standard will help to raise the profile of the important role that Chartered Surveyors have in the process of moving house, also promoting and enforcing the highest standards held by RICS members in the residential sector.
We will be making changes to the way we refer to residential property surveys over the coming months in line with the new RICS Standard.
In the meantime, to speak to our team about choosing the property survey that is right for you, please get in touch with us. A member of our team will be happy to discuss the survey options that are available.