RICS Homebuyer Service
The RICS Homebuyer report is the most popular report for buyers. It is an economic yet detailed report which is suitable for the majority of residential properties and clearly presents all findings in an easy to read format.
This RICS Homebuyer report includes:
- description of the condition of each element of the property;
- colour-coded condition ratings;
- comment on defects, and additional advice on repairs and maintenance;
- an overall opinion and summary of condition ratings
- a market valuation and reinstatement cost
This report is ideal for providing you with detailed information on the most urgent or serious issues with your potential purchase. The defects of your property will be highlighted, so this means you'll be able to judge the value of your purchase in line with any budget you may need for future works.
The Principal of Hugh James Surveyors is a fully qualified member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and vastly experienced in undertaking RICS Homebuyer reports. Instructing Hugh James Surveyors to undertake a survey on your property could help you avoid unexpected costly repair bills in the future and will allow you to make an informed decision regarding your property purchase.
Residential Building Surveys
A building survey (sometimes referred to as a structural survey), is the most comprehensive type of survey and provides you with a detailed analysis of a property's condition.
It is particularly useful for older, larger or non-traditional properties, buildings that have been extensively altered, or if the potential buyer is planning a major conversion or renovation.
The survey will also include advice on specific defects, repairs and potential maintenance options. We can also provide detailed estimates for undertaking remedial work upon request.
A building survey will typically not include a valuation of the property although the Principal of Hugh James Surveyors is a fully qualified RICS registered property valuer and can include a valuation to accompany the building survey report upon request.
A full building survey should provide you with all the information you'll need to proceed with your property purchase with peace of mind.
Commercial Pre-acquisition Surveys
When considering the acquisition of a freehold or leasehold of a commercial premises, it is vital that you fully understand the implications of any existing building defects or any other factors which may affect the intended use of the premises.
In addition to any existing physical defects to the premises, Hugh James Surveyors are also able to assist you with legal compliance matters such as compliance with the Disability Discrimination Act, fire safety considerations, health and safety matters etc.
Where necessary we can arrange for specialist inspections in regards to a wide range of issues such as asbestos considerations.
Hugh James Surveyors have experience acting on behalf of both commercial clients and private investors in respect of potential commercial acquisitions.
Specific Defects Report
Specific defect reports concentrate only on areas of concern noticed by the property owner or flagged during a property survey. Fees for this type of survey are considerably less than a full building survey as they are only focused around one specific concern.
Defect reports are also commonly used during disputes with builders where the property owner feels that work has been undertaken to a poor standard.
Specific defects identified in a purchase report typically take the form of cracking or distortion to walls, unevenness in floors, damp, rotting of timbers or general inadequacies and instabilities in structural elements.
The inspection is followed by a detailed written report outlining the nature of the defect, and the recommended remedial measures.
With our Principal a RICS Regulated Valuer, we can provide you with an accurate valuation to assess the market value of a property in its current state for mortgage purposes or to settle a probate or marital dispute.
Hugh James Surveyors offer a personal and friendly residential property valuation service, whilst maintaining the highest standards of professionalism set out by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). All our valuations are backed by the appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance.
Extensive knowledge of the local property market and many years of experience ensure that you will have the peace of mind that your valuation is as accurate as it can possibly be.
CPR 35 Expert Witness Reports
Hugh James Surveyors are highly experienced in acting as an Expert Witness in a wide variety of property related disputes, undertaking Court appointed and jointly appointed Expert Witness Reports.
We are usually asked to review documentation, inspect property and then give our independent impartial professional view on items such as valuations of property and land; contractual disputes; quality of workmanship; landlord & tenant disputes; defects and disrepair; boundary disputes; etc.
We maintain an independent view at all times and use our experience to form professional unbiased conclusions.
Our reports comply with The requirements of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors as set down in the 'Surveyors Acting as Expert Witnesses; Practice Statement and Guidance Note', Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR 35) and it's associated Practice Direction (PD 35), and the protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give evidence in civil claims drafted by the Civil Justice Council.
Party Wall Matters
Under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, you must tell your neighbours if you want to carry out any building work near or on your shared property boundary, or ‘party wall’, in England and Wales.
Party walls stand on the land of 2 or more owners and either:
- form part of a building
- don’t form part of a building, such as a garden wall (not wooden fences)
Walls on one owner’s land used by other owners (2 or more) to separate their buildings are also party walls.
You must give notice to your neighbour between 2 months and a year before you plan to start building works which will affect the party wall, including details on what you plan on doing.
Hugh James Surveyors accept appointments from Building Owners proposing to undertake construction work coming under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 or on behalf of adjoining owners to safeguard their interests when such work is being carried out that could affect their property.
Dilapidations & Schedules of Condition
Schedule of Condition
A Schedule of Condition is prepared prior to commencement of a commercial property lease, usually on behalf of the tenant.
It serves as a detailed record of the property at the beginning of the tenancy and prevents tenants being made responsible for repairs to elements of the property which were in a poor condition prior to the start of the lease.
It is vitally important that all commercial tenants commission a schedule of condition or else they are potentially leaving themselves exposed to costly repair bills at the end of their tenancy for defects which were present prior to their occupation.
Hugh James Surveyors are highly experienced in undertaking detailed Schedules of Condition.
Schedule of Dilapidations
Schedule of Dilapidations can be prepared during, towards the end and after the lease has ended. They are usually prepared by the Landlord’s Surveyor and are intended to represent the landlord’s opinion of tenant works which are required to put the property into the condition required by conditions of the lease.
If promptly prepared, the Schedule of Dilapidations can be served during the tenancy so that appropriate remedial works can be undertaken prior to vacating the property.
If prepared after the lease has ended, the Schedule of Dilapidation will form the basis of the landlord's compensation claims.
Hugh James Surveyors are highly experienced in undertaking detailed Schedules of Dilapidations.
Hugh James Surveyors are highly experienced in the provision of project management for a wide range of clients. With projects ranging from minor residential alterations and conversions to major building works, we have the experience to deal with projects of any size.
Our project management services cover the whole project, right through from inception to completion. During this time we assist clients in maintaining control of every aspect of their project including quality, cost, programme, delivery and safety.
Our professional, collaborative and inclusive management style promotes effective working relationships between all parties, allowing you the opportunity to undertake your project with the certainty that it will be delivered on time and on budget.
The Building Regulations 2010 cover the construction and extension of buildings. You must check if you need approval before you construct or change buildings in certain ways. Building regulations approval is different from planning permission although in some situations you may require both.
You might also need building regulations approval for many alteration projects, including if you plan to:
- replace fuse boxes and connected electrics
- install a bathroom that will involve plumbing
- change electrics near a bath or shower
- put in a fixed air-conditioning system
- replace windows and doors
- replace roof coverings
- install or replace a heating system
- add extra radiators to a heating system
Without approval you won’t have the certificates of compliance you may need when you want to sell your home. The person doing the work could also be prosecuted and fined if they don’t comply with building regulations.
Hugh James Surveyors can provide you with detailed advice on whether building regulations approval are required for your project, details on how to comply with building regulations, and assist you with seeking the necessary approvals.
Planned & Preventative Maintenance
Planned maintenance is work that has been identified in advance, is carefully planned and delivered in a controlled way throughout the programme period.
Hugh James Surveyors offer planned maintenance services on your commercial property, helping you ensure that your property stock remains in the best of condition and potentially saving you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Common planned maintenance activities include:
- Periodic gutter cleaning
- Roof inspections
- Boiler servicing
- Property condition surveys
There are also some legal requirements that need to be addressed when occupying a commercial property:
- Fixed wire testing
- Portable appliance testing (PAT)
- Emergency light testing
- Fire extinguisher testing/servicing
- Water treatment
Hugh James can work with your requirements to devise a comprehensive maintenance plan.
Leasehold Enfranchisements & Lease Extensions
Leasehold Enfranchisement refers to the process of buying the freehold of a house, a process which is enshrined in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967.
If you own a flat, you are not entitled to buy the freehold for the specific premises, but are entitled to extend your lease by a further 90 years, or to cooperate with your neighbours to purchase the freehold of your entire block.
Why should I consider buying my freehold or extending my lease and what benefits do I get from it?
The main reason that you should consider buying your freehold or extending your lease is down to value depreciation. With each year that passes, the term remaining on the lease is reduced, as subsequently so is its value. By extending your lease or buying your freehold, you protect your asset's value over time.
It's also the case that when a lease term runs to 40 years or less, it can become far harder to obtain a mortgage which can in turn affect the saleability of a property.
Hugh James Surveyors can provide you with detailed advice on all areas of leasehold enfranchisement and lease extensions.