What will the surveyor check?

If applicable and accessible a surveyor will check the construction and condition:

  • Pitched and flat roof coverings, including ridge and hip tiles, valley and parapet gutters, upstands and flashings. A ladder will be used to inspect roofs not more than 3 metres above ground level. 
  • Chimney stacks, including pots, masonry and flashings
  • Rainwater goods, including gutters, downpipes and brackets.
  • Main walls, including thickness, masonry, pointing, damp proof course, sub-floor ventilation, evidence of wall tie failure or structural movement
  • External joinery, including fascias, soffits and bargeboards.
  • Windows and doors, including frames and glazing units. A sample will be opened to check their operation.
  • Conservatories and porches, to check the general condition of roofs, glazing, doors, evidence of possible breach of building regulations.
  • Garages and other permanent outbuildings, to check the general condition of roofs, walls, windows and doors. 
  • Grounds and boundaries, to check the general condition of driveways, patios, steps, walls and fences, water features, evidence of Japanese Knotweed, proximity of trees.

Environmental matters

When apparent, your surveyor will highlight such things as: 

  • Past flooding or potential risk
  • Possibility of radon gas
  • Proximity to pylons, overhead cables and electro-magnetic fields
  • Current or past underground mining
  • Noise from traffic and aircraft
  • Adverse nearby developments
  • Intrusive noises, fumes, smells and lighting from nearby properties
  • Evidence of rats, mice and other vermin
  • Presence of protected species such as bats.

Risks to people

Your surveyor will look for evidence of risks to the health and safety of people on the property, for example:

  • Trip hazards
  • Unsafe glazing
  • Mould
  • Loose stairs, inadequate bannisters and safety rails.
  • Unprotected water features 
  • Defective wiring
  • Gas leak
  • Materials which might contain asbestos

Legal issues

Your surveyor will look for matters which may need to be investigated by your conveyancer, such as:

  • Loft conversions, extensions and other alterations which may have needed planning permission or building regulations approval.
  • Any obvious and significant areas of flying freehold.
  • Any garage, outbuilding or parking area on a separate title.
  • The possibility of transferable guarantees, warranties or test certificates for previous repairs, improvements, services and treatments
  • Whether the property may be in a Conservation Area.
  • Whether the property is in a mining area.
  • Evidence of insurance claims for underpinning, structural repairs or flood damage.
  • Any obvious rights of way, shared paths and driveways.
  • Whether any repairs required may affect party wall


If the property is a flat, in addition to the standard inspection, your surveyor will comment on the following, if possible:

  • The general condition of common parts, including the main entrance, hallways, stairs and landings.
  • The general condition of the building and grounds.
  • Any obvious evidence that the building is not being properly managed.
  • Matters which may impact on the service charge payable

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