Frequently Asked Questions

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the leading profession for property professionals. It regulates its members to ensure the highest standards; protects clients and consumers via a strict code of ethics; and provides impartial advice and guidance.

OpenHouse Surveyors is regulated by the RICS and our Surveyors are also Registered Valuers.

Timing is a critical issue and is a factor that is rarely considered carefully. We do recommend that you instruct us as soon as your offer has been accepted, subject to contract, and we will then liaise with the vendor or selling agent, as appropriate, to arrange an inspection. However, we strongly recommend that the inspection is undertaken once your solicitors have received the draft legal documentation on your purchase/letting to ensure that matters are proceeding smoothly before you incur any additional costs.

When you decide to instruct us to carry out a survey or valuation, all we require is your details; those of the property which you are looking to purchase and the means by which we can gain access to inspect the property. If you require a schedule of condition or dilapidations of commercial premises, we will need a copy of the lease. We will make all necessary arrangements to inspect the property and confirm these to you.

Once we have been instructed to undertake a survey, we will arrange to send the client formal terms of engagement. We will then arrange for a surveyor to visit the property to perform their inspection. The time required for a comprehensive inspection may range from a few hours to a full day or more depending on the size and complexity of the property.

Once the surveyor has inspected the property they will telephone the client to discuss their findings and any issues which are of concern, prior to completing their report.

The formal written report will then be prepared within our standard timescales and emailed to the client. Our surveyors are very happy to discuss the report with the client once it has been received and considered.

This will depend upon the age, type and construction of the property and also what plans you have in mind with it. Please refer to "Home Surveys" for detailed information or please telephone or e-mail us for specific advice.

The term 'Structural Survey' has been superseded and surveys of this type are now normally referred to as a Building Survey. This will include a detailed examination of all accessible parts of the property and can be tailor-made to suit your individual needs and concerns.

Houses built with non-traditional construction usually uses systems of building focused on speed and economy of construction. Buildings of this type were particularly common in the 1950's and were often used by local authorities to mass build. Many of these houses were designated as 'defective' under Part XV1 Housing Act 1985.

There are many types of non-traditional properties including metal frame, concrete frame, timber frame and concrete.

Depending on the type of construction, we are often able to undertake surveys on properties of this type and some of our surveyors have specialisms. However, if we feel that we do not have the relevant experience to perform a survey we would discuss this with a client and look at the options available.

No, but we will visually inspect the services and give condition ratings and advice. We are not qualified to test services. If no recent test certification is available, at the time of the inspection, then we will always recommend for them to be tested by a competent qualified person.

No. There will be a small additional charge if you would like a valuation included.

The traffic light system Is used to convey the severity of an issue in broad terms.

Condition Rating 1. The aspect is in satisfactory condition and should be maintained in the usual way.

Condition Rating 2. Some minor repairs are required in the short-medium term and these are unlikely to be a high imminent cost.

Condition Rating 3. Repairs are required urgently to prevent further imminent damage to the property. This may also suggest further investigation are required in relation to condition or safety.

At OpenHouse we believe in being transparent with our cost. A home buyers report will start from £449. We usually provide your completed RICS home buyers report within 3-5 days of completing our site inspection.

If you choose to add a valuation to your home buyers report the cost is £100. If you choose to have a solo valuation the cost will start from £199. Contact OpenHouse now for more information.

Your appraisal will make sure a clear understanding is ascertained with regards to the condition, state of repair and any potential cost liabilities you, could face, once you get the keys to your new home. It gives you knowledgeable insight into your property. As eyes for your legal advisor, our surveyors are in the perfect position to advise you on exactly what the property is worth.