Green Light for Homebuyer Survey
Date of Article
Jun 16 2009

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Chartered surveyors in Carter Jonas' Architecture & Building Consultancy Division want to alert homebuyers to yet another change to the documentation when it comes to purchasing a home.

One of the current survey options, the Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (HSV) will be withdrawn at the end of this year (2009).  Taking its place will be the HomeBuyer Report (HBR), which the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is launching on 01 July.

Central to the new report is a ‘traffic-light’ condition rating system which works as follows:

  • Condition Rating 1 is ‘Green’ where no repairs are needed
  • Condition Rating 2 is ‘Amber’ where there are defects that require attention but are not urgent
  • Condition Rating 3 is ‘Red’ indicating the existence of defects requiring urgent attention

The new HBR system is intended to help simplify the house buying process and these ‘traffic-light’ ratings are summarised towards the beginning of the report together with the surveyor’s overall opinion of the property.

Carter Jonas' experts believe that the modern layout and presentation of the report and useful jargon-busting plain English approach makes the HBR a quicker and easier read.  The new report also includes advice about what to do next and a diagram to illustrate the various components of a typical residential property.

There are still the essential in-depth and detailed findings from the survey and sections containing issues for legal advisers, a market valuation, an insurance assessment and a summary of risks. 

Risks include any longstanding issues and defects which could present a health and safety risk or hazard – such as structural movement, timber defects or dampness - and more detail is required here as these cannot easily be condition rated.