(formerly known as Structural Surveys)
Survey Level 3.
This is suitable for all types of residential property and is based on a detailed inspection of the building in as much depth as possible, and provides a full picture of the construction and condition.
Where necessary we can bring along specialist contractors to test drains, electrical wiring, plumbing and heating systems. These inspections are undertaken by specialist contractors under our supervision.
The report will include guidance on maintenance and remedial works and detailed comments on any noted defects. Typically building surveys do not include a market valuation or reinstatement cost assessment (formerly a fire insurance valuation).
We are happy to comment within our reports on specific points of concern raised by our clients.
At Sheffords we use a digital camera elevated on a pole to inspect hidden gutters, inaccessible flat roofs and chimney stacks in more detail than can be seen from the ground. We use colour digital photographs in our reports to highlight and explain defects. Surveyors who do not use a similar system would not have been able to inspect the lower parts of the chimney in the photogragh below.
Click here to download the Sheffords Home Survey Guide
RICS Homebuyer Reports
RICS Homebuyer Report - Survey & Valuation (Survey Level 2).
This is a concise survey report in a format drawn up by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
It provides the prospective purchaser with information on the general condition of the property, any significant factors likely to materially affect the value of the property and a reinstatement cost assessment (formerly a fire insurance valuation).
Information is provided in a simple and straightforward layout, both easy to read and understand. The report is based on a visual inspection of as much of the interior and exterior of the building as is easily accessible.
It is particularly suitable for residential properties of traditional construction built after about 1920. This report includes a valuation of the property and a reinstatement cost assessment.
RICS Homebuyer Report - Survey ONLY (Survey Level 2).
Sheffords are now offering a new RICS product which is a Level 2 Survey without the valuation element. This consise report focusses on the condition of the property and aims to allow you to:
• make an informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying the property
• take account of any repairs or replacements the property needs; and
• consider what further advice you should take before committing to purchase the property.
The report does NOT include a valuation or reinstatement cost assessment of the property. This report is not suitable for pre 1920s properties or if you wish to significantly alter the strcuture of the property.
Click here to download the Sheffords Home Survey Guide
At Sheffords we undertake valuations for various purposes. Both Jeremy Treliving and David Kingston are registered valuers and licensed by the RICS. As well as completing valuations within the Homebuyer Report we are regularly commissioned to complete Capital Gains Tax and Inheritance Tax valuations on residential and commercial properties together with reinstatement cost assessments (formerly a fire insurance valuation).
Whilst the valuer will take into account the general condition of the building this will only be based on a brief and superficial inspection of the property. Should you require detailed information regarding the property concerned it will be necessary to commission a survey (please see Building Surveys or RICS Homebuyer Reports above).
If you require a mortgage valuation report this will need to be prepared by a surveyor/valuer, but this can only be commissioned via your lender.
We undertake the full management of individual and portfolios of both residential and commercial properties for private and company clients.
We currently manage small and medium sized estates of commercial and residential properties on behalf of private and company clients as well as working for "buy-to-let" landlords in the acquisition of local residential properties. When a property is vacant we can source tenants. Our services include contract supervision so that buildings are let in a good state of repair to reflect market conditions. We also manage properties where existing tenants are in occupation and attend to matters such as onward-going repairs, rent collection, compliance with statutory regulations and accounting to clients on an agreed basis.
Our approach is different to most high street managing agents. We are a small company that works hard to treat each of our clients as an individual. We do not believe in high rents and high tenant turnover, with fees linked to finding new tenants. Over many years of property management in West Kent we have learnt that the best long term solution is to accept a slightly below market rent and work hard to avoid void periods in order to maximise yields. We are Chartered Surveyors and we treat the properties as our own. We won't call you when there is a flood or gas leak on a Saturday - we'll resolve the issue and write to you on Monday. We would be happy to discuss a bespoke property management package with you.
Landlord and Tenant Matters
We undertake the rental valuation of commercial properties, valuations for purchase and negotiate rent reviews, acquisitions as well as lease renewals.
We can also undertake a survey or a Schedule of Condition for either the landlord or tenant which can be appended to the lease so that the condition of the property is formally recorded to reduce the risk of a dispute at the end of the term.
Party Wall Matters
Despite its title, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is not solely concerned with party walls. It regulates the relationship between neighbouring owners in the context of a number of specified types of construction work on, or in close proximity to, the boundary between two adjoining premises. This work will often involve a party wall but in many cases it will not.
Adherence to the Act is a legal requirement on all developers and the process is, essentially, a two-step procedure. The first step involves the building owners serving Notices on the relevant adjoining owners giving details of those aspects of the proposed work which could potentially affect their property. Depending on the project, there can be a number of adjoining owners and therefore more than one notice. A number of different types of Notice may be required. Once the adjoining owners receive the Notice they then have a choice to either consent or dissent to the work.
Section 1 of the Act is concerned with new walls built on or astride the line of junction (boundary).
Section 2 relates to works to existing party walls.
Section 6 is utilised when a party wishes to excavate within 3 or 6 metres of an adjoining owner's structure and below the level of the neighbour's foundations.
If they consent, the party wall process effectively stops there. However, we advise that a schedule of condition is taken to produce a detailed photographic and descriptive record of the condition of the adjoining properties. Should any damage occur during the construction process both parties will have an agreed record which may then be referred to in case of a dispute.
If the adjoining owner dissents, the second step is taken and in these circumstances the two parties must appoint a surveyor. The two surveyors would then agree a resolution to any of the problems which arise. The document setting out the agreement is called a Party Wall Award. The two parties can appoint the same surveyor who is then the 'agreed surveyor'.
Both Edward Treliving and James Martin are members of the faculty of Party Wall Surveyors. Please contact us if you require some free informal advice on the Act. We can assist in the servicing of Notice or provide advice on what to do if a Notice is served upon you. We act for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as Agreed Surveyor.
Click here to download Party Walls - An Explanatory Leaflet
Land and New Homes Advice
On behalf of private clients, land owners and developers we are able to provide a service to include the appraisal of development opportunities and the sale of development land.
Building Contract Administration and Supervision
Employing builders is a stressful undertaking at the best of times and so often problems can arise over seemingly simple aspects of the work.
However with a professionally administered formal contract these disagreements can usually be either avoided or swiftly resolved.
We can provide a bespoke building surveying service to suit your requirements from inception through to final completion.
Both landlords and tenants have rights and responsibilities during a tenancy which are identified in the terms of the lease made between them.
Ideally, but not always, a lease will have a Schedule of Condition appended which will reflect the condition of the property at the start of the lease and may be referred to as a benchmark at either the end or during the life of the lease.
Dilapidation claims usually commence with the landlord's surveyor preparing and serving a Schedule of Dilapidations detailing the tenant's breach of his repairing liabilities or "wants of repair".
At the end of a lease a Terminal Schedule is prepared and served, whereas during the life of the lease an Interim Schedule is prepared.
The process of dilapidations is subject to a protocol which is published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and should be followed by all practitioners.
Council Tax & Business Rates Adjustments
As many as 400,000 homes and businesses in the United Kingdom are currently paying the wrong level of Council Tax or Business Rates.
Council Tax is payable at different levels depending on which 'band' you home is in. The bands are calculated according to what the value of the property would have been in 1991. The work to catagorise all of the residential dwellings in the UK was carried out by the government of the day who used a network of valuers and estate agents to allocate notional values, but the valuation list was compiled in a short amount of time and assumptions and mistakes were made.
Business Rates are calculated in a similar way based on the 'Rateable Value' of the premisis. The Rateable Value is its open market rental value on 1 April 2008, based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
On behalf of private clients we are able to review Council Tax and Business Rates, and apply to the VOA for an alteration to the valuation list.
Single Defect Reports
If you have a specific concern with a building but the cost of a Survey is not appropriate we can inspect the area of concern and provide written advice on the defect and options on how to remedy the situation.
This is only a brief guide as to the professional services that Sheffords are able to offer. Should you have any specific enquiries relating to areas not already reviewed please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Principal of the firm, Jeremy Treliving FRICS, would be very pleased to discuss the property services that you may require or provide additional information on the service that Sheffords can offer together with a fee quotation which will always be provided before work commences.