Home Survey Standard

RICS draft professional statement - Home Survey Standard

Glossary

Accessible

Part of a property that can be easily reached, exposed or entered without undue effort.

Caveats

A statement that limits an opinion expressed in the inspection report.

Chancellery matters

This is an historic financial liability imposed on landowners to fund repairs to medieval churches. Although few homeowners have to pay this charge, it can affect the sale and purchase of property.

Client or consumer

The party who has commissioned the service.

Competent persons schemes

Introduced by the government in 2002, they allow members of a properly registered scheme to self-certify that their work complies with the building regulations as an alternative to submitting an application to the local authority in the usual way.

Complex properties

Homes that consist of many different and connected parts. Typical examples include properties that have been extensively altered and extended and/or are built using several different distinct construction methods.

Condition

The state of a building (or part of it) with regard to its appearance, quality or working order.

Conventional properties

Homes designed and built using construction methods that are considered normal and/or ordinary for that region.

Deleterious material

Part of a building that can have a harmful effect on human health. Examples include asbestos fibres and lead in paint or the water supply.

Historic building

building or structure that is valued because of its historic, archaeological, architectural or artistic interest.

Home Report Scotland

Comprises a property questionnaire and a 'Single Survey'. These requirements are as a result of provisions contained in Part 3 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and associated regulations.

Indemnity insurance policies for non-compliance

Insurance policies taken out by buyers where there is no evidence that part or all of the property has the appropriate planning and building regulation permissions.

Inspection

A careful examination of the inside and outside of the residential property and all permanent outbuildings to establish their condition.

Japanese knotweed

A weed that spreads rapidly. It produces bamboo-like stems from deep underground roots that can grow to over 2.1m, suppressing all other plant growth.

Leasehold properties

A property that is 'owned' for a fixed period of time. There will be a legal agreement with the landlord (sometimes known as the freeholder) called a lease. This states how many years the property will be owned by the buyer. Ownership of the property returns to the landlord when the lease comes to an end.

Levels of service

These identify the nature and extent of the different components of the contract, including the inspection and report.

Limitations

A phrase or clause used in a report and/or contract that seeks to limit the liability of the person who created the report. 

Locality

The neighbourhood, district and/or region in which the subject property is located.

Modern methods of construction

A method of building a residential property that uses a variety of new and innovative building techniques and materials. In some cases, whole parts of the residential property can be made in a factory and transported to the building site.

Older properties

A residential building that was constructed using traditional building materials and techniques.

Overall opinion

Part of the service report that expresses the RICS member's view of the main positive and negative features of the property and highlights areas of concern.

Referral fee

An amount of money that is paid by one organisation to another for being recommended to a customer.

Regulations

A rule or directive made and maintained by a local, regional or national authority. Typical examples would include building regulations, planning permission and water supply regulations.

Repairing covenants

Usually an annual sum paid to the landlord/freeholder that goes towards the repair and maintenance of shared facilities (for example, shared gardens, hallways and lifts).

Residential property survey

This comprises an inspection, report and advice of the condition of residential property.

RICS member

A professional person who is a member of RICS and is monitored and regulated by them. There are three different levels of membership: a Fellow (FRICS), a Member (MRICS) and an Associate member (AssocRICS). All three can carry out home surveys on residential property as long as they have the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience.

RICS regulated firm

Those firms that have signed up to the RICS Rules of Conduct and are regulated and monitored by RICS to ensure that they meet professional standards.

Single Survey Scotland

An objective report containing an assessment of the physical condition of a house, a valuation and an energy report.

Software package

A term used to describe a set of computer-based software that fulfils a particular function. A typical example would be a computer-based inspection and reporting package used by some residential surveyors.