Home Survey Standard to take effect from June 2020


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published a new professional statement, the mandatory Home Survey Standard (HSS), which is effective from 1 June 2020.

The HSS will replace the current RICS guidance, practice notes and professional statements relating to the Condition Report, the HomeBuyer’s Report and the Building Survey.

The HSS sets out concise mandatory requirements for RICS members providing home surveys. It defines three survey levels: Level 1 (which is succinct), Level 2, and Level 3 (which provides a detailed assessment). RICS indicates that, broadly, Level 1 will equate to the Condition Report, Level 2 to the HomeBuyer’s Report and Level 3 to the Building Survey. Appendix A to the HSS describes the different levels in detail.

From 1 June 2020, RICS members must ensure that their service is clearly “benchmarked” against one of the three defined levels and must clearly state the benchmarked level in their report.

The HSS also highlights areas of best practice, including considering where surveyors and residential property lawyers will work together, and which matters are regarded as within the lawyer’s remit. It notes that RICS members will be the lawyer’s “eyes and ears” and should therefore identify apparent and specific items and features that have possible legal implications.

RICS will publish supporting materials on the HSS before June 2020, including in relation to the scope of inspection and benchmarking.

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The content of this update is for the purpose of providing general legal information. It does not constitute legal advice from a solicitor and should not be treated as such.