RICS Survey Level 2
Survey level two specific terms and conditions
General description of level two service
This level of service is designed for people (who may be buyers, sellers and owners) who want a professional opinion of the property at an economic price. The focus is on assessing the general condition of the main parts of a property. The inspection is not exhaustive, and no tests are undertaken. There is, therefore, a risk that certain defects may not be found that would have been uncovered if testing and/or a more substantial inspection had been undertaken. You must accept this risk.
This level of service suits a broad range of conventionally built properties although it is unlikely to suit:
• complex buildings, for example, those that have been extensively extended and altered
• some unique and older historic properties
• those in a poor condition; or
• properties where you plan to carry out extensive repair and refurbishment work.
Where I am concerned about a hidden problem or defect, I will identify these and what action you should take. This may often be further investigations.
The level two inspection
The extent of an inspection will depend on a range of specific circumstances (including health and safety considerations). The following points may help you distinguish this from inspections at other levels of service.
I will attempt to open a sample of the windows. For example, this might include one on each side of the dwelling and one of each different type of window where there is a variety.
I will carry out an inspection of roof space that is not more than three metres above floor level using a ladder if it is safe and reasonable to do so. I will not remove secured access panels and/or lift insulation material, stored goods or other contents. I will enter the roof space and visually inspect the roof structure if it is safe and reasonable to do so, with particular attention paid to those parts vulnerable to deterioration and damage. In these places, I will use a moisture resistance meter where I consider it to be appropriate.
In recent years, the lofts of many homes have been insulated with thick layers of thermal insulation. Usually, it is not safe to move across this material and this may restrict what I can look at in the roof space.
I will closely inspect the surfaces of exposed floors but I will not lift carpets, floor coverings or floorboards, or move furniture. Where floors have unfixed access hatches or floorboards, where appropriate, I will look in any spaces below the floor by an inverted ‘head and shoulder’ inspection only. I will not enter the sub-floor area.
Furniture and occupiers’ possessions
I will not move furniture or possessions.
Services (for example, heating and hot and cold water)
I will not test the service installations or appliances in any way but I will lift the inspection chamber covers over the drains where it is safe and possible to do so.
I will advise you when further tests and inspections are required if the owner/occupier does not provide me with evidence the services have been installed and/or maintained properly.
I will visually inspect the garden/grounds during a general walk around, and, where necessary and appropriate, from adjoining public property. I will include such external features as retaining walls, gardens, drives, paths, terraces, patios, steps, hard-standings, dropped kerbs, gates, trees, boundary walls, fences, non-permanent outbuildings, rights of way, and so on. Where I think the condition of these features may affect your purchase decision, I will describe these problems thoroughly. Examples include retaining walls in danger of collapsing, deeply sunken paths or driveways, dilapidated boundary walls or fences, and so on.
I will inspect the inside and outside of all permanent outbuildings not attached to the main dwelling.
This includes garages, summer houses, substantial greenhouses, follies and leisure buildings, but not the leisure facilities inside, for example swimming pools, saunas, fitness gyms, and so on.
Other issues will typically include listed building/conservation areas matters and unauthorised development
(including sustainable drainage, safety issues, invasive species, automatic gates, and so on).
I will use a ladder to inspect a roof that is not visible from a window or another part of the building that is not more than three metres above ground level if it is safe and reasonable to do so.
The level two report
For each part of the building, my report will:
• describe it in sufficient detail so it can be properly identified
• describe its condition and explain my judgment
• provide a clear and concise expression of my professional assessment of each part. To achieve this, I will use a condition rating system (or explain the alternative methodology). This will be explained in the report
• include comments where I think the building will need more frequent and/or more costly maintenance and repairs than would normally be expected
•broadly outline the scope of the likely remedial work and what needs to be done by whom and by when.
• concisely explain the implications of not addressing the identified problems.
The report will also make it clear that you should obtain any further advice and quotations I recommend before you enter into a legal commitment to buy the property.