Surveys are carried out for a variety of reasons: pre-acquisition for owner occupation; acquisition of leasehold interests; for identification of building defects, planned maintenance and the like.
A mortgage valuation is NOT a survey. A mortgage valuation is usually carried out by a surveyor who has been appointed by the lender/mortgagee in to order confirm that the property represents reasonable security against the money they are lending. They should not be relied on to confirm the property is in good order.
Acquisition (Building & Structural) Surveys:
Our professional institution, RICS, has identified four levels of residential pre acquisition survey, called, level 1, 2, 3 and 4. All except Level 1 are suitable for due diligence. The surveys, in summary are as follows:
- Level 1 is for purchasers who want a walk through inspection at minimal cost, possibly before bidding at auction or similar needs. We provide a basic assessment of the structure and fabric, identifying major issues. We spend about half an hour walking round and follow it up with a brief summary of findings.
- Level 2 is the budget level survey. The Homebuyers survey is in this category, but we do not provide these because we believe they are not sufficiently focused on defects and do not allow discussion on an issue.
As a consequence of this we have developed our own version, called the Johnson Gillies Lite Survey. They are suitable for simple properties no older than 75 years, where the purchaser only wants minimal information and narrative. Our reports do not include a valuation but we can provide a reinstatement figure for insurances purposes.
- Level 3 is the RICS Building Survey. It is a more comprehensive Homebuyers type report with much more depth. It can be used for properties up to about 150 years of age and simple forms of domestic construction. It provides a detailed assessment of the current patent defects and considers the statutory compliance, structure, fabric, services, fixtures and fittings of the property on a format similar to the Homebuyers report.
- Level 4 is the full building condition survey and is a bespoke inspection and report covering all aspects we can discover. It is the basis of our full due diligence reports and is suitable for all classes of property but is best for higher value buildings generally over £1m, and any complex forms of construction.
Our service on all these is to turn around a report up to 7 working days after inspection.
We also provide a similar service for commercial clients. Surveys on retail, restaurant and licences for premises, offices and warehouses forms a substantial part of our work and needs a specific approach for tailoring the report to the client’s needs.
We also carry out dilapidations assessments, and Party Wall appointments.
Prime Residential (JG Prime)
Prime Property Due Diligence Report: This is a form of investigation and report where a very detailed investigation and report is required. It often involves investigation into legal and statutory issues, specialist examination of complex services, swimming pools and audiovisual systems. It is generally for high value properties.
Commercial Property Surveys (JG Commercial)
These surveys are for industrial, retail, warehousing and office buildings. We also have considerable specialist experience in restaurants and licensed properties.
- Industrial warehouses
- Retail warehouses
- Retail shops
- Shopping centres
- Licences premises
Defects Analysis: Inspection and analysis of the structure and fabric of the property with advice on methods of repair. This form of survey can be used for a variety of reasons including provision of Expert Reports for presenting evidence.
Any of the above surveys may need liaison with other specialists for detailed investigation of specialist services e.g. air conditioning, underground drainage etc.