Kate has worked closely with RPSA to promote its Home Condition Survey and recently introduced Building Survey to ensure the product and service they provide is of real value to anyone buying a home who wants to know what is wrong with the fabric of the property, what they need to do to keep it well maintained and if they are likely to incur any major bills.
Kate and the chairman, Alan Milstein, regularly meet up via the LBC Property Hour to help give free advice on what to do when it comes to maintenance, structural issues, party wall and boundary disputes.
What do they do
The RPSA is a representative body for independent specialist residential surveyors who are accredited by Surveyor And Valuer Accreditation (SAVA). The association is dedicated to working for its members to deliver a range of surveying products of the highest possible quality for ease of consumer use and to raise overall standards of residential surveying for both home sellers and home buyers.
From the beginning...
RPSA has spent much time in developing products that are specifically tailored to the needs of both homebuyers, and conveyancers arranging a survey on their behalf. The Home Condition Survey (HCS) and Mi Building Survey (MIBS) offered through the RPSA Panel are highly structured survey products with a number of features which are unique in the market place:
RPSA speaks to each homebuyer to assess their individual needs before taking the survey instruction and collecting the survey fee
The surveyor is the ‘eyes and ears’ of the homebuyer and the conveyancer on the ground – just provide any special instructions and the surveyor will report back to you.
There is a dedicated page for conveyancers in the survey entitled ‘Issues for Legal Advisors’
All surveys are lodged and held centrally, and a copy can be retrieved and made available to the client or the conveyancer at any time.
There are no concerns in respect of professional indemnity cover as RPSA ensures that this is current for all of its members.
The surveyor offers a free post-survey consultation for the homebuyer to answer any questions
All surveys are subject to a robust quality assurance regime and all accredited surveyors are subject to a quality assurance regime
Rigorous service levels are strictly applied by RPSA for the production of all surveys
The survey meets the requirements of UK Finance, the trade association which has taken over the duties of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
How much does it cost?
Membership of the RPSA is £120 per year and is open to members of RICS and those who hold the DipHi, DipRSurv and DipRSVal qualifications, or who are in the course of achieving these qualifications.
For consumers, the RPSA is pleased to offer the opportunity to purchase the Home Condition Survey online at very competitive rates. Costs start from £365+VAT.
Top three tips
A lender’s valuation does not report on the condition of a property; the importance of commissioning an independent survey cannot be stressed enough. A valuation report is to reassure the mortgage provider that they will get their money back should the worst happen. and you cannot keep up the mortgage repayments. It is not a survey and does not provide information on the condition of a property.
A survey could save you thousands of pounds. According to Which?, people who had a survey done on a property were able to negotiate an average of £2,000 off the asking price. On the other hand, one in four people who did not get a survey had to spend over £2,500 to put things right, while one in 10 had to spend over £10,000.
A survey provides complete peace of mind for clients and their conveyancers. All RPSA surveys contain a minimum of 20 photographs to evidence the findings in the survey and highlight what is good about the property as well as identifying the problems. The surveyor contacts the client to ensure any questions that they have about the survey are dealt with personally and quickly.
All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.