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Terms and Conditions

PART 1: STANDARD TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT 

The Scheme The Home Condition Report (“the Scheme”) which is described in Part 2 of these Terms (“the Description”) applies unless an addition to the Scheme is agreed in writing before the inspection.

The Report will be prepared by the Chartered Surveyor who carried out the property inspection and will describe various aspects of the property as defined by the headings of the report with the comment being general and not specific.

The Fee The client agrees to pay the fee and any other charges.

Before the Inspection The client will inform the Surveyor of any particular concerns he or she may have about the property, such as plans for extension or suitability of the property for any particular purpose.

Environmental Issues Unless a specific request is made for information on items for which no heading is given within the report (i.e. contaminated land etc), such issues will neither be investigated nor referred to. The Surveyor is not providing an environmental assessment and therefore has not researched the presence (or possible consequences) of contamination by any harmful substances including dangerous or invasive species and weeds. However, if a problem is suspected in this area, advice will be given on what action should be taken.

PART 2: DESCRIPTION OF THE HOME CONDITION REPORT 

The Home Condition Report is for the use of the client in connection with the proposed purchase or sale of the property. The report may not be relied upon by anyone other than the party to whom it is addressed and the surveyor accepts no responsibility whatsoever to any other person. A surveyor will consider extending liability to a third party, normally a purchaser, on payment of an administrative fee, whereupon a fresh copy of the report, addressed to that party will be provided.

In all circumstances, the report can only be relied upon by the party to whom it is addressed, or their professional advisors or their lenders.

When a report is prepared for a seller, specifically for the purpose of providing information to prospective purchasers, it will be an objective report upon the condition of the property as the surveyor finds it at the date of inspection.

If, therefore, a defect is identified in the report and a seller wishes to remedy that defect, the surveyor will be entitled to amend his report if he considers this appropriate, only after examining estimates and receipted accounts and upon reinspection of the property to confirm that the works have been carried out.

EXTENT OF INSPECTION AND REPORT 

External: The Surveyor will inspect and report upon the external fabric in accordance with the headings contained under section 3 of the pro forma report. Inspection of any part of the building will only be made where the Surveyor considers this to be reasonable, safe and able to be executed without difficulty.

All of this is subject to limitations which might be imposed upon the Surveyor by site boundaries and other restrictions. Accordingly the report will cover all that part of the property which is visible whilst standing at ground level within the boundaries of the site and adjacent public/communal areas and whilst standing at the various floor levels. In accessing aspects of the property above ground level this will be restricted to no more than the 3 metre safety height of the Surveyor’s ladder.

Parts of the property, which cannot be seen, will not be reported upon and this will be stated. If the Surveyor suspects that a defect may exist within an unexposed area and which could have a material effect upon the value, he may recommend further investigation by specialist contractors. In appropriate circumstances it may be recommended that this investigation is executed prior to submitting an offer to purchase.

Internal: Inside the property the Surveyor will gain access to as many aspects as possible and this will include opening of unsecured trap-doors to underfloor areas and roof spaces where these can be readily identified and accessed in what the Surveyor considers to be a safe and reasonable manner. Roof hatches in excess of 3 metres (10 feet) from floor level will not be entered. Roof space insulation material will not be moved.

If any part of the property cannot be reached, inspected and commented upon, this will be stated.

The Surveyor will be under no obligation to move furniture, lift fitted carpets, empty stored items or clothing from wardrobes cupboards etc., but if he suspects that in particular circumstances such obstructions may conceal a defect, he will draw this to attention.

A moisture-detecting meter will be used in selected positions.

It will be further assumed by the surveyor that the property will not be affected by onerous restrictions which could only be revealed by a local search and examination of any register. It is also assumed that properties will be subject to outright ownership unless otherwise stated.

It will be assumed that newly constructed property will have an N.H.B.C. registration, Architects Certificate or similar Certification.

Services: Surveyors are not equipped or qualified to test the services and thus no comments can be interpreted as implying that the design installation and function of the services are in accordance/compliance with regulations, safety and efficiency expectations. However, comment is made where if there is cause to suspect significant defects or shortcomings with the installations. The drains are not tested and drain covers will not, in normal circumstances, be lifted.

Flats, Maisonettes, Conversions: The external inspection will be to the exterior of the subject flat and of the remainder of the building such as to enable a general comment to be made upon its general state of repair based on the assumption that repair costs will be shared. Where appropriate the surveyor may advise that the client should arrange for further inspection of communal parts if this is considered necessary.

Leisure Facilities: Swimming pools, tennis courts, temporary outbuildings are specifically excluded from the scope of the report.

General: If information is obtained in respect of the existence of guarantees this will be stated as also will be the source of that information. The Surveyor will identify only alterations which he considers are of a recent significant nature and likely to have an effect upon the value of the property. The Surveyor will not be expected to make any detailed inquiries in respect of Planning matters. In the course of his report the Surveyor will draw attention to communal aspects of flats and will comment upon shared driveways etc., but only to the extent where these may have an effect upon value.

Asbestos: All property may contain asbestos in one or more of its components or fittings. It is impossible to identify without a test. It is beyond the scope of this inspection to test for asbestos and future occupants should be advised that if they have any concerns then they should ask for a specialist to undertake appropriate tests.

Complaints: We confirm that we operate a complaints handling procedure, which is available to you on request in the unlikely event of a dispute.

Interpretation: Throughout the Report the following terms will be used to give an overall opinion of the state of repair and condition of the property.

a] “Satisfactory” - considered to be in an acceptable state of repair and condition with no significant or urgent repairs or works required or anticipated taking into account the age, type and general quality of the property. 

b] “Routine” - considered to be in acceptable state and condition. Some routine repair works or maintenance considered to be normal taking into account age, type and general quality of the property. 

c] “Significant” defects are those considered to be of a type that might typically be taken into account by a prudent purchaser under normal market conditions when agreeing a purchase price for the property. 

d] “Urgent” defects are those considered to be an actual or developing threat to the fabric of the building/or to a/service installation or to personal safety and which require prompt action or further investigation in order to prevent the problem from escalating.

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