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RICS: It is vital to invest in a property survey before making buy-to-let purchase
16th April 2012
Those investing in buy-to-let properties have been urged to make sure they have a full property survey carried out before going through with the purchase.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that although landlords may think they are making a saving by deciding against paying for a survey, this is actually a false economy as it will mean potentially costly defaults go undetected.
Although property owners can use landlord buildings insurance to protect their investment, many of the problems uncovered by surveys may not be covered in their policy, while if it is, the landlord may be required to pay an excess, making property surveys essential for anyone purchasing a buy-to-let property.
"Older properties tend to need a lot more than redecorating or a new bathroom to bring them up to rentable condition, making a fuller survey a worthwhile investment," said Rob Hindle, chairman of the Yorkshire and Humber board of RICS.
"Typical building or structural faults include dry rot, blocked drains, rising damp and fractured support beams - all of which can lead to landlords being without a tenant for several months while repairs are being carried out, and it could be even longer if subsidence is discovered."
According to RICS, a significant damp problem could cost anything up to £28,000 to repair for a four-bedroom house, while subsidence could cost around £24,000 to correct.
Replacing a slate roof could cost up to £40,000 and repairing a decayed timber floor will see landlords needing to pay out up to £10,000.
Landlords are advised to request a Condition Report, Homebuyer Survey and Valuation or a Building Survey from an RICS-accredited surveyor before completing a purchase of a new property.
Costs for Condition Reports start at around £200, a Homebuyer Survey and Valuation will cost landlords around £400 with a Building Survey costing from £700.
Posted by Megan Statham