Home Survey Standard

RICS draft professional statement - Home Survey Standard

1 Introduction

1.1 Overview

RICS has been protecting standards and providing guidance for RICS members and RICS regulated firms in the residential sector for over 30 years. During this time, the scale of social, economic, political and technological change has been without precedent. This transformation is set to continue at an even greater pace.

To enable RICS members and regulated firms to adapt and innovate, RICS intends for this professional statement to provide a clear, flexible framework within which RICS members and RICS regulated firms can develop their own services the public can recognise and trust, that are consistent with the quality standards expected from RICS members and RICS regulated firms.

This professional statement sets out a series of concise mandatory requirements. These establish 'benchmarks' around which RICS members and RICS regulated firms can design and deliver services that meet their clients' needs in a changing environment. It also provides information that the public and their advisers will find useful.

The purpose of this professional statement is to:

  • establish a clear framework that will protect and maintain consistent quality standards for residential property survey services that RICS members and regulated firms provide
  • provide mandatory requirements for RICS members and regulated firms in the UK who deliver residential property surveys at all levels
  • replace and harmonise previous RICS publications relating to residential surveys, including:
  • Surveys of residential property (3rd edition) RICS guidance note
  • RICS Condition Report (1st edition) RICS practice note
  • RICS HomeBuyer Report - Survey (1st edition) RICS professional statement
  • RICS HomeBuyer Report - Survey & Valuation (5th edition) RICS professional statement and
  • RICS Building Survey (1st edition) RICS practice note.

This professional statement will form the basis of any assessment by RICS regulation of those RICS members and RICS regulated firms who deliver or are involved with residential property survey services.

1.2 Scope

This professional statement covers condition-based residential surveys at all service levels - see appendix A. The primary purpose of such surveys is to consider a property as a physical asset, although some additional matters may be included, such as:

  • environmental matters (for example, flooding, radon, former mining activity, neighbouring uses)
  • legal issues (for example guarantees, statutory approvals, rights of way and other easements) and
  • risks to the occupants.

Where RICS members or RICS regulated firms wish to incorporate a property valuation into their service, the valuation must be in accordance with RICS Valuation - Global Standards 2017 and RICS Valuation - Global Standards: UK national supplement 2018.

This professional statement provides:

  • the mandatory requirements to which all condition-based residential survey services offered by RICS members and RICS regulated firms must conform and
  • best practice that outlines how the mandatory requirements are met. This includes:
    • the process of confirming the scope and nature of the services to be provided
    • the typical levels of service to which this document applies
    • the nature of the pre-inspection preparation and research required
    • the inspection process associated with each level of service
    • report writing methodology
    • post-report client liaison and
    • service closure activities.

This professional statement considers each requirement in turn and provides information on the nature and extent of each level of service.

1.3 Residential surveys in Scotland

The home buying and selling process in Scotland is governed by a unique legal process. Consequently, certain elements of this professional statement do not apply to the Home Report.

Key variations are:

  • The Single Survey is a prescribed document in Scottish legislation and as such it cannot be varied.
  • Providing an explanation to clients on the choice of survey available is not applicable as the Single Survey is mandatory.
  • Pre- and post-survey client liaison is tightly governed in the Single Survey and restricted to clarification and amendment of matters of factual accuracy. No other client liaison is appropriate.
  • Risk to occupants does not form part of the mandatory Single Survey.

The current edition of RICS Property Inspection Technical Guidance for the Completion of Single Surveys assists members in producing Single Survey reports in accordance with the requirements of Scottish legislation. Reference to RICS guidance is clearly outlined in the document and departing from this professional statement pursuant to Scottish legislation takes precedence over all other requirements within this professional statement. However, this professional statement does apply to all other condition-based residential services offered by RICS members and RICS regulated firms in Scotland.

1.4 Effective date

This PS is effective three months after publication.