RICS Home Survey Level 2
(HomeBuyer Survey) and Report

What is a RICS Home Survey
Level 2 (HomeBuyer Survey)?

You should choose this report if you need more extensive information whilst buying or selling a conventional house, flat or bungalow, built from common building materials and in reasonable condition.

The focus is on assessing the general condition of the main elements of a property. This intermediate level of service includes a more extensive visual inspection of the building, its services and grounds, but still without tests.

Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces, basements and cellars). The report objectively describes the condition of the different elements and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems.

What is a RICS Home Survey
Level 2 with Valuation
(HomeBuyer Survey and Valuation)?

This is as for the RICS Home Survey Level 2 above, but also includes:

  • the Surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘market value’ of the property​

  • an insurance reinstatement figure for the property

  • a list of problems that the Surveyor considers may affect the value of the property.

Brick Houses

Common issues found during a RICS Home Survey Level 2 (HomeBuyer Survey)

  • Detecting damp

Damp is one of the most common house survey problems that is found. Penetrating damp is caused when water gets into a house from the outside, from leaky roofs or rising damp, for example. In many cases, however, damp is caused by condensation and poor ventilation inside the property. Dampness can also cause wet rot, found both externally and internally, and dry rot is usually found in cellars and basements. If damp is detected, your survey should reveal the cause of the damp so you understand what needs to be repaired and how.

  • Roof problems

It is often found that inadequate insulation and ventilation in roof spaces and blocked and overflowing gutters are the two of the most frequent issues. Your survey should include inspection of the roof, chimneys and high level surfaces. From the inside, roof spaces and roof structures should be checked, where accessible. Condition ratings can help you gauge the severity of any house survey roof problems detected.

  • Lack of test certification

It’s important to check the safety of electrics inside a property, and these should be tested every ten years.  No electric test certification is a common house survey problem. While a survey will not check the condition of the electrics, ensure that you have an Electrical Installation Condition Report done to make sure your new home is safe.

Not having a Boiler Test Certificate is a problem we find time and again in home surveys. Boilers need to be tested every year. Vendors should be able to provide a Gas Safety Record showing a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer has checked all appliances and pipework.

  • No smoke or carbon monoxide alarms

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential for safety in every residential property. However, not all property owners are diligent in installing them. A Home Survey Level 2 will identify if either are missing, so keep an eye out for this.

  • No building regulation approval for extensions and alterations

Your vendor should have approved documents for any extension or alteration work they have carried out that needed to be compliant with Building Regulations. It is possible to obtain retrospective building control approval, known as ‘regularisation’. You may wish to request this from the current owner or renegotiate the price of the property to account for this.

  • Are cracks a serious problem in house surveys?

Home buyers understandably get nervous about any external or internal cracks in the property they want to buy. We often get asked about this. Not all cracks are serious and a survey will reveal whether they are a major problem. The underlying issue causing the cracking will often be identified as part of the Home Survey Level 2.

Aerial View of a Houses

In Professional Practice since 2007

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