Croyland Building Surveyors

Residential and commercial property surveyors

Contact us on 01223 955611

Call us on 01223 955611

Building Surveys, what you need to know...

Croyland Building Surveyors are pleased to provide these introductory guides to specific surveying topics. We find that they give our clients a good understanding of the potential issues that may arise in properties of all descriptions. These guides also serve as an introduction to the work which we are able to undertake.

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Do I Need One?

  • If you’re buying a building, or taking the lease of a building, you are taking on a significant liability.

What Are My Options?

  • Everyone, even hard-bitten surveyors, can be carried away by the excitement of getting a new place. Its easy to fall in love and to overlook the odd detail that probably won’t matter and, well, we’ll sort it out somehow.
  • No-one should EVER buy or rent a property without getting someone else to look at it with them. Even if it’s just a friend’s, listen to another point of view. It could be the best pint you ever bought.

Someone Else’s Valuation?

  • If you’re borrowing money on a loan or mortgage, the lender will want to know that their money is secure. They will usually want a valuation report and expect you to pay for it, one way or another. You are entitled to see what it says, but the report is for your lender and not for you. The lender’s interests are probably not the same as yours. They will care about being able to sell easily and to get their money out. They won’t care whether it suits your business or your family, how much it will cost to run, whether you can alter it, or whether it needs repairs. The principal purpose is valuation and this is tricky at the best of times, so fees are significant.

A Proper Survey?

  • The valuation surveyor might offer an upgraded service to include a Home Buyer’s Report or a full Building Survey Report. A full Building Survey Report ought to be just that – a complete and thorough inspection and report on the building. It is a bespoke service and it can cover whatever you want. It should obviously cover chimney pots to drains but it can be tailored to include advice on alterations, conservation, outbuildings, communications, swimming pools, and any other areas of interest. Some features might be beyond the expertise of the surveyor and might have to be referred to a specialist.
  • A Home Buyer’s Report is an abbreviated “off the peg” report designed by the RICS to suit the majority of home buyers. The report requires a full inspection but with standard exclusions, and the report format is kept short and simple. This saves time and therefore money. It is not intended to be used on older properties, larger properties, or anything out of the ordinary. It is not suitable for commercial property.

What About My Business?

  • Surveys on commercial properties are geared to different customer priorities. The obligations imposed by leases are particularly important. A tenant will usually be required to keep the building in repair, but might also have to reinstate improvements or alterations. This is a field known as “dilapidations” and it is not where you should venture without professional advice. The property might look smartly fitted out, but if you have to remove all the partitions, reconfigure all the lights and air-conditioning, and replace all the carpets at the end of the lease, that could amount to a hefty bill – especially with the landlord’s costs on top.
  • Commercial occupiers also have responsibilities under employment and H&S legislation so your surveyor needs to be up to date.

Aren’t Survey Reports Just Full of Disclaimers?

  • This is true up to a point. Anything you buy these days comes with pages of warnings, exclusion clauses, and statements of the blindingly obvious. This is generally because the suppliers don’t know who you are or what you intend to do with the product. The suppliers (or probably their insurers) try to plug as many loopholes as they can think of.
  • On top of this, any service sold as a commodity will be driven by costs. The cheapest staff will be pushed to do as much as possible. This will get a basic service with a standardised approach but, to provide this, the supplier has to exclude all the things that are not being done.
  • It has been said that any surveyor can only see 7% of any building. The rest is concealed, buried, or out of reach. Such statistics are usually made up, but the point is that there is much beneath the surface. It takes skill, training and experience to recognise symptoms, to know what to look for in different circumstances, and to follow these to a useful conclusion.

How Can I Get My Money’s Worth?

  • Firstly, talk to your surveyor and establish a sensible and clear brief.
  • Secondly, get your surveyor to include a detailed list of defects with estimated costs. This will support any negotiations that might be necessary, and allow you to budget properly.
  • Thirdly, whether residential or commercial, it is rare for occupiers to move into a building without needing to make some modifications. If your surveyor knows what you have in mind, the report can include useful advice on feasibility and cost.
  • Don’t overlook the advantages of having the surveyor as project manager for subsequent building works or fitting out. A firm that does both areas of work will have learnt from both, and will give better value as a result.
  • 153 St Neots Rd

  • Hardwick

  • Cambridge

  • CB23 7QJ

  • Registered Office

  • 4th Floor

  • 4 Tabernacle Street

  • London

  • EC2A 4LU

  • Registered in England and Wales

  • Registration number 7459659