Conveyancing blog: What property survey do I need?


March 10, 2016 | By Sarah Cookson |

March 10, 2016 | By Sarah Cookson |

When buying a new home it is a good idea to arrange a survey of the property, whether it is required by a mortgage lender or not. By having a survey done you can ensure that you have everything you need to make an informed decision.

A survey, also known as a valuation, is carried out by a surveyor who will inspect the property and then provide a report as to its condition. They will also provide confirmation as to the correct value of the property.

A survey must be carried out on behalf of the mortgage lender where anyone is getting a mortgage. There are 3 ‘levels’ of surveys that can be undertaken:

1. Valuation for mortgage purposes. This is purely for the protection of the mortgage lender and is not very detailed. It should not be relied upon by the purchaser.

2. Homebuyers Survey. This is a more in-depth survey that a purchaser can have carried out, regardless of whether they are obtaining mortgage finance. The report provides detailed information about the property and its condition, together with a statement of the value of the property.

3. Structural Engineers Report. This is will be carried out in circumstances where the surveyor who had undertaken the initial survey of the property believes that it is not structurally safe.

If a person is obtaining a mortgage when buying a property, a valuation for mortgage purposes must always be undertaken. However, as mentioned above, a buyer cannot rely on this report due to the lack of detail, and therefore we would always recommend that a homebuyer’s survey is carried out in addition.

Where the purchase is not reliant on a mortgage and the buyer is buying ‘for cash’ it is always advisable to have a homebuyer’s survey carried out. Not only does the report provide detail about the condition of the property but also confirms the value of the property.


Our Conveyancing team is accredited by the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme so you can be assured that you will receive a high standard of service and client care. Contact us today for a no obligation quote, call 0800 138 0458.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice, and the law may have changed since this article was published. Readers should not act on the basis of the information included and should take appropriate professional advice on their own particular circumstances.

Sarah Cookson

Sarah is a solicitor and director of Switalskis with responsibility for our conveyancing department across all of our offices. She has worked in conveyancing since 1999, qualifying as a solicitor in 2004. Sarah's profile

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