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Why Get a Survey?

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

You really should think of a building survey. Morgan & Clarke recognise that in this ever complex world, both depth of specialisation and the application of the latest (time saving) technology are essential. That is why we have teamed up with a trusted firm of Chartered Building Surveyors James Slater & Co. So you have found a property that you love and you have negotiated a deal? Excellent! Your next step should be to have a survey of the property…but why? A Building Survey is a detailed inspection by a qualified Surveyor (normally a chartered member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). The inspection will provide you with a detailed report covering building style and age, Listed status if relevant, access information and will highlight any issues you will need to investigate further. Alongside assessing the state of the property at the time of the survey, the report can also cover any potentially costly repairs or maintenance work that needs to be carried out in the coming years, including a suggested budget. In short, getting a survey can save you a lot of time, money and heartbreak should something be wrong. A survey will outline any structural issues, repairs and alterations that will need to be made. These will range from minor upkeep to major issues which may affect the future value of the property. Some of these are just the usual wear and tear expected when owning a house, but something such as a poorly altered load-bearing wall may need for further investigation and you may have to renegotiate or think again. With leasehold purchase, there could well be a schedule of dilapidations already issued by the Landlord. Not always the case and even if there is such a schedule you will need the comfort that all works have been attended to and that the works were satisfactorily carried out. If you are buying a more modern, straightforward property the James Slater & Co Major Defects Report might be sufficient (our version of the RICS Level 2: Homebuyer Report.) This will give a brief description of the property, outline any defects of a serious nature, and provide additional advice on repairs and maintenance along with an overall opinion on the property’s condition. This report to provide you with peace of mind and expert advice. However, as is often the case with pubs and other hospitality premises, the property you are buying might be more complex, historic or Listed. In those cases we strongly recommend a Full Building Survey (RICS Level 3). Experienced specialist Chartered Surveyors will assess the condition of your property, advise on unique design attributes and help you navigate the complex Listed Building system as you may need Consent for any repairs and alterations which you might want to do once you take ownership. A Full Building Survey will provide you with ongoing maintenance advice and is the most considered report that we offer. Each of the Building Surveys are bespoke, written for each individual property and client and we will highlight areas for further investigation along with future considerations. A survey is optional but highly recommended. Given that leasing or buying a property can cost considerable personal sums of money, unexpected repairs on top of this can quickly use up the budget you have set aside for improvements or decoration. The cost of a survey is but a small price to pay and could save you tens of thousands in the long run. The property is going to be integral to your business, so being properly informed about what the purchase entails is paramount. If you would like to know more about how we can assist further and anything else linked to your next move, please feel free to contact us on either 020 8103 3904 or by email on We will be issuing other advice notes in the coming weeks that highlight areas of concern which have cropped up over the last few cases we have handled.


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