Choosing a surveyor and type of survey checklist

Checklist provided by

The Residential Property Surveyors Association

Why we work with RPSA

Useful articles:

What should I pay for a survey?

Which survey is right for you?



There are two types of surveyor. One belongs to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors the other to the Residential Property Surveyors AssociationSome belong to both.

Understand there are four types of survey:

  • Mortgage valuation – for the lender 
  • Home condition survey – for most properties 
  • Homebuyers report   – includes a valuation 
  • Building survey  – for old or non-standard properties
Make sure you have a mortgage valuation AND either a home condition, homebuyers or building survey report.
  The mortgage valuation is just for the lender, if there is anything wrong with the property you cannot claim against the surveyor.
  If your property was built post 1930s and there are no obvious faults, your mortgage valuation and a home condition report should suffice.
  Check if the report comes with any guarantees or insurance For example, if the RPSA condition report does not pick up something which becomes a problem, you can claim on the surveyors professional indemnity insurance.
  Ask the surveyor if they just send a report or talk over the phone or face to face to go through any problems. 
Check whether the survey can be accessed on-going or if you have the only copy.
Write down a list of issues you are worried about with the property so the surveyor can check them for you.
Organise your survey.
If you can, request a visit to the property and surveyor at the end of the appointment to go through problems, a Home Condition survey will highlight legalities of alterations.
Send your report to your legal company or conveyancer.
Check what the costs will be to fix any existing problems.
Work out what costs you will incur for future fixes, for example, the flat roof may be 10 years old and need replacing in five years.
Negotiate any monies off the price of the property to pay for existing and potentially part of the future works. For example, if a flat roof is at the end of its life, you may ask for some money off to contribute to a new one.


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