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RICS Home Survey Standard

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Mike Ashton

5th Aug 2021 (Last updated on 14th Dec 2021) 2 minute read

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has introduced a new Home Survey Standard to promote transparency and consistency throughout the buying and selling process.

Buyers will be able to choose which level of survey they need depending on the property type and requirements. The survey levels and new names are Home Survey Level 1, Home Survey Level 2 and Home Survey Level 3.

By introducing the new survey standards, not only will communication be improved between buyer and surveyor, but people will be able to easily identify which survey they need.

In this guide, we take a detailed look at why the new Home Survey Standard is important, when it comes into effect and what exactly has changed.

This article will cover the following:
  1. When Will Home Survey Standards be Implemented?
  2. Why are the New Home Survey Standards being Introduced?
  3. What Has Changed?
  4. Home Survey Level 1
  5. Home Survey Level 2
  6. Home Survey Level 3
  7. Learn More About Surveying

When Will Home Survey Standards be Implemented?

RICS Home Survey Standard came into effect in March 2021, with the transition period being implemented until 31 August 2021.

Between March and August, both current and the new home survey reports will be accepted to give surveyors additional time to prepare for the changeover.

From 1st September 2021, only the new home survey reports will be accepted.

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Why are the New Home Survey Standards being Introduced?

The new Home Survey Standard was introduced to benefit both surveyors and movers to highlight findings from the survey in a clear and concise way. The aim is to be transparent to buyers and help them understand the different types of survey available.

Some benefits of Home Survey Standard include:

  • Help buyers identify which survey they need
  • Clear and easy to read report structure
  • Use of the traffic light condition rating system
  • New names of the survey to be consistent
  • Use of simplified language
  • Use of a single set of standards

    What Has Changed?

    Along with the new versions of the Home Survey reports, RICS has introduced new software and supporting materials to help consistency between surveyors. Below are the well-known survey types along with what they will be solely known as from 1st September 2021.

    Current Survey TitleNew Home Standard Survey Title

    Condition Report

    Home Survey Level 1

    HomeBuyer Report

    Home Survey Level 2

    Building Survey

    Home Survey Level 3

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    Home Survey Level 1

    Previously known as the Condition Report, the Home Survey Level 1 is a surface-level inspection of a property that highlights defects and damage. It’s the least in-depth survey and therefore the cheapest, but it’s most suited to newer properties that were typically built less than 5 years ago.

    Home Survey Level 2

    Often called the HomeBuyer Report, the Home Survey Level 2 is the new official name from September 1st. The Home Survey Level 2 is the most common survey type and is suited for properties that were built less than 50 years ago that remain in a good condition.

    Home Survey Level 3

    Known as the Building Survey and previously Full Structural Survey, the Home Survey Level 3 is the most comprehensive survey available and will take a detailed look at the property’s structure and condition. Ideal for older properties that were built using unique or uncommon materials or properties that have had or plan to have renovation work done.

    Learn More About Surveying

    This has been part of our guide to surveying. Next, we take a look at how to find the right surveyor for you and what to look out for. To learn more read how do I find a surveyor.

    Martha Lott

    Written by Martha Lott

    Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

    Mike Ashton

    Reviewed by Mike Ashton

    Director, Cambridge Building Surveyors

    With over 20 years of experience in the property surveying industry, Mike Ashton is now the director at Cambridge Building Surveyors.