TERMS & CONDITIONS OF ENGAGEMENT FOR SURVEYS AND REPORTS on Houses and Apartments.
Subject to express agreement to the contrary and any agreed amendments/additions, the terms of my engagement to undertake the Building Survey are as follows:-
Based on an inspection as defined below, the Surveyor, will advise the Client by means of a Report as to his opinion of the visible condition and state of repair of the subject property. The Report does not include advice on value or a reinstatement cost assessment for insurance purposes.
2. The Inspection
(a) Accessibility and Voids
(i) The Surveyor will inspect as much of the surface area of the structure as is practicable.
(ii) Voids will be entered if there is reasonable means of access and sufficient space within the voids available. Unfixed hatches to roof and floor voids and screwed down hatches to concealed boilers, etc. will be opened where this can be done without causing damage or expenditure of expensive time. Hatches requiring an Allen key to access them will not be opened.
(iii) The property will be inspected from within its boundary and adjacent public land.
(iv) Exposure works to the building superstructure or below ground will not be carried out. No tests will be undertaken on cements and concretes used in the construction and it will therefore not be possible to confirm the presence or otherwise of high alumina cement, chlorides, sulphates, pyrite, or other deleterious materials.
(v) It is not possible to inspect those parts of the property which are covered, unexposed or inaccessible and it is therefore not possible to report that such parts are free from rot, woodworm or other defects.
(V1) Our comments and recommendations within the report will be based on a single inspection. No monitoring of cracks, damp areas or other faults will be possible. Without the benefit of an inspection of the property over time, it may not be possible to come to categorical conclusions in some instances. We will however indicate where further investigation or monitoring would be prudent.
The Surveyor will lift accessible sample loose floorboards, trap doors, if any, which are not covered by heavy furniture, stored contents, stored goods, laminate, timber board finishes, plywood, hardboard, tiles, fitted carpets or other floor coverings. The Surveyor will not attempt to raise any fixed floorboards without permission.
The Surveyor will inspect the roof voids if there are available suitable access hatches. The Surveyor will provide a ladder of sufficient height to gain access to a roof hatch or a single storey roof, not more than 3.0metres (10'0'') above the floor or adjacent ground. It might therefore not be possible to inspect roofs above this level, in such cases, pitched roofs will be inspected with the aid of binoculars. Close inspection of areas beyond this height for example, flat roofs to two storey buildings, dormer roof windows, chimney stacks, parapet walls and valleys can only be undertaken where reasonable/safe access exists. It would be possible to arrange for a more detailed inspection of these areas if safe access can be confirmed prior to the inspection. The Surveyor will follow the guidance given in "Surveying Safely" issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which incorporates guidance on the safe use of ladders and step ladders issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Roof voids will not be inspected if hatches are sealed or in such a position that they cannot be safely reached with a 3 metre (10'0'') ladder.
Roof voids will be entered where reasonably possible and general examination will be made, with the aid of a torch, to establish the overall condition. Detailed examination of each and every component will not be made although close inspection, where practicable, will be made of suspect areas. Insulation will not be lifted apart from relatively small sections to ascertain items such as the construction of the ceiling, the depth of ceiling joists, or, if reasonable access is available, to expose areas where suspected defects exist.
Flat roofs will only be walked upon if it is considered safe to gain access and no damage will be caused to the roof coverings.
(d) Chimney flues
General comment only. No detailed inspection of chimney flues or linings will be possible. Neither will it be possible to determine the performance of flues or open fires.
(e) Boundaries, Grounds and Outbuildings
The inspection will include boundary walls, retaining walls, fencing, paving, driveways, grounds and outbuildings.
General comments only will be given on the construction and condition of such parts unless a more detailed inspection is specifically requested by the Client.
Outbuildings will include structures of a substantial nature such as garages; however, insubstantial structures such as timber garden sheds will not be included.
Specialist leisure facilities, including swimming pools and tennis courts, will not be inspected.
The Surveyor will carry out a visual inspection of the service installations where accessible. Manhole/Armstrong junction covers will be lifted where accessible and practicable. No tests, other than operation of taps and WC's, where possible, will be applied unless previously agreed. Service installations including gas, electric, water and drainage will not be tested.
The Surveyor will report if, as a result of the inspection, the Surveyor considers that tests are advisable and, if considered necessary, an inspection and report by a specialist should be obtained.
Comment will not be given on whether the service installations comply with current regulations.
Boilers will not be activated without the vendor's permission. The central heating installation will be visually inspected; testing will not be carried out.
(g) Areas Not Inspected
The Surveyor will identify any areas which should be inspected but where it is not possible to do so, the Surveyor will indicate where it is considered that access should be obtained or formed and, furthermore, will advise on possible or probable defects based on evidence from what could be seen.
My acceptance of an instruction to inspect and report upon an apartment is solely dependent upon my judgement as a Chartered Surveyor whether the specific property is considered, by me, to be suitable for a Building Survey. Generally, apartments are considered to be unsuitable for this service and primarily due to shared liabilities and costs for the repair and maintenance of largely uninspected areas. There is potential for significant financial expenditure to remedy defects affecting unseen elements of an uninspected structure(s) and development.
Unless otherwise agreed, the Surveyor will inspect only the subject apartment and the related internal and external common parts and the visible part of the structure of the building in which the subject apartment is situated. Other apartments will not be inspected. The Surveyor will state in the Report any restrictions on accessibility to the common parts or visibility of the structure. The Client is reminded that, particularly in the case of large blocks, the object of the inspection is to give guidance on the general standard of construction and maintenance, pointing out those items which will require attention within, say, the next decade and not to list those minor points which would normally be taken care of in the course of routine maintenance. (Many apartments form part of large developments consisting of several blocks. In such cases the Surveyor will be inspecting only the one block in which the apartment is situated).
(i) In carrying out the inspection, the Surveyor will follow the guidance in "Surveying Safely" issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors..
3. Deleterious and Hazardous Materials
(a) Unless otherwise expressly stated in the Report, the Surveyor will assume that no deleterious or hazardous materials including pyrite have been used in the construction of the property. (b) Lead water supply pipes and asbestos will be noted, and advice given, if these materials can be seen but it must be appreciated that such materials are often only visible after opening up which cannot be carried out at the risk of causing damage - see paragraph 2(a).
(c) The Surveyor will advise in the Report if the property is in an area where, based on information published by the National Radiological Protection Board, there is a risk of radon. In such cases the Surveyor will advise that tests should be carried out to establish the radon level.
(d) The Surveyor will advise if there are transformer stations or overhead power lines which might give rise to an electro-magnetic field, either over the subject property or visible immediately adjacent to the property, but the Surveyor cannot assess any possible effect on health. For obvious reasons, the Surveyor cannot report on any underground cables.
(e) Properties of non-traditional construction will be identified where possible and will be stated in the Report, together with comments on known defects.
(a) The Surveyor will not comment upon the existence of contamination as this can only be established by appropriate specialists. Where, from local knowledge or the inspection, it is considered that contamination might be a problem, the Surveyor will advise as to the importance of obtaining a report from an appropriate specialist.
(b) No environmental study or geotechnical study is included in the survey.
5. Consents, Approvals and Searches
(a) The Surveyor will assume that the property is not subject to any unusual or especially onerous restrictions or covenants which apply to the structure or affect the reasonable enjoyment of the property.
(b) The Surveyor will assume that Planning Permissions, Building Regulations, and other consents required have been obtained. In the cases of new buildings, and alterations and extensions which require statutory consents or approvals, the Surveyor will not verify whether such consents have been obtained. Any enquiries should be made by the Client or the Client's Legal Adviser(s). Drawings and specifications will not be inspected by the Surveyor.
(c) The Surveyor will assume that the property is unaffected by any matters which would be revealed by a Local Search and replies to the usual enquiries or by a Statutory Notice, and that neither the property, nor its condition, its use, or its intended use, is, or will be, unlawful.
6. Further Investigations
The Client should ensure that, where the Surveyor recommends that further investigations, reports from specialist contractors or estimates for repairs are required, these are obtained prior to legal commitment to purchase.
7. Fees and Expenses
The Fee has been based on the description given and the right is reserved to amend this should the property be found to be substantially different to that envisaged. Similarly, should instructions for a building survey be varied by the Client, additional fees may be payable at the Surveyor's discretion.
The Client will pay the Surveyor the agreed fee for the Report and any expressly agreed disbursements in addition.
8. Restrictions on Disclosure
The Report is for the sole use of the named Client and is confidential to the Client and Client's professional advisers. Any other persons rely on the Report at their own risk.
The Report must not be reproduced in whole or parts without prior written consent.
In the absence of any notification from you to the contrary, I will proceed with the provision of the survey in accordance with the standard Terms and Conditions of Engagement.