Standard terms of engagement

The service:

The surveyor provides only ‘the service described within the fee proposal unless both parties agree in writing before the inspection that the surveyor will provide extra services. 

Any extra service will require separate terms of engagement to be entered into with the surveyor.

Examples of extra services include:

  • plan drawing;
  • schedules of work;
  • re‐inspection;
  • detailed specific issue reports;
  • market valuation and reinstatement cost; and
  • negotiation.
  • Asbestos Surveys


  1. Redstone  Domestic Pre-Purchase Survey. (Equivalent to RICS Level 3 Building Survey)

We have devised a very thorough, highly informative survey report template. We did not want to be constrained by standardised reports and templates, and therefore our report is fully adaptable to allow us to include a higher level of detail and information and to provide you with a bespoke report that is not filled with standard clauses. Our survey reports are benchmarked to and exceed the current RICS Home Survey Standards 2020.

The service consists of a detailed visual inspection of the building, its services and the grounds. Concealed areas normally opened or used by the occupiers are inspected if it is safe to do so (typical examples include roof spaces, basements, and cellars).

Although the services are not tested, they are observed in normal operation – in other words, they are switched on or off and/or operated where the occupier has given permission and it is safe to do so.

The report objectively describes the form of construction and materials used for different parts of the property. It describes the condition and provides an assessment of the relative importance of the defects/problems. Additionally, it will;

  • describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects in areas not inspected
  • propose the most probable cause(s) of the defects based on the inspection
  • outline the likely scope of any appropriate remedial work and explain the likely consequences of non-repair
  • make general recommendations in respect of the priority and likely timescale for necessary work and
  • give an indication of likely costs
  • The parts which cannot be inspected and may present risks will be identified.

The inspection:

The surveyor carefully and thoroughly inspects the inside and outside of the main building and all permanent outbuildings, recording the construction and defects that are evident. This inspection is intended to cover as much of the property as is physically accessible. Where this is not possible, an explanation is provided in the ‘Limitations on the inspection’ box in the relevant section of the report.

The surveyor does not force or open up the fabric of the building without the occupiers’/owners’ consent, or if there is a risk of causing personal injury or damage. This includes taking up fitted carpets and fitted floor coverings or floorboards; moving heavy furniture; removing the contents of cupboards, roof spaces, etc. removing secured panels and/or hatches; or undoing electrical fittings.

If necessary, the surveyor carries out parts of the inspection when standing at ground level from the adjoining public property where accessible. This means the extent of the inspection will depend on a range of individual circumstances at the time of inspection, and the surveyor judges each case on an individual basis.

The surveyor uses equipment such as a damp meter, binoculars and torch, and uses a ladder for flat roofs and for hatches no more than 3m above level ground (outside) or floor surfaces (inside) if it is safe to do so, we will also use a small video camera mounted on a telescopic pole, with a reach up to 10m where safe to do so. 

If it is safe and reasonable to do so, the surveyor will enter the roof space and visually inspect the roof structure with attention paid to those parts vulnerable to deterioration and damage. Although thermal insulation is not moved, small corners should be lifted so its thickness and type, and the nature of the underlying ceiling can be identified (if the surveyor considers it safe to do). The surveyor does not move stored goods or other contents.

The surveyor also carries out a desktop study and makes oral enquiries for information about matters affecting the property.

Services to the property:

Services are generally hidden within the construction of the property. This means that only the visible parts of the available services can be inspected, and the surveyor does not carry out specialist tests. The visual inspection cannot assess the efficiency or safety of electrical, gas or other energy sources. It also does not investigate the plumbing,

heating or drainage installations (or whether they meet current regulations); or the internal condition of any chimney, boiler or other flues).

Outside of the property:

The surveyor inspects the condition of boundary walls, fences, permanent outbuildings and areas in common (shared) use. To inspect these areas, the surveyor walks around the grounds and any neighbouring public property where access can be obtained. Where there are restrictions to access (e.g. a creeper plant prevents closer inspection), these are reported and advice is given on any potential underlying risks that may require further investigation.

Buildings with swimming pools and sports facilities are treated as permanent outbuildings and are therefore inspected, but the surveyor does not report on the leisure facilities, such as the pool itself and its equipment internally and externally, landscaping and other facilities (for example, tennis courts and temporary outbuildings). In the case of flats having such communal facilities, these will not form part of the inspection and should be instructed separately if required.

Dangerous materials, contamination and environmental issues:

The surveyor makes enquiries about contamination or other environmental dangers. If the surveyor suspects a problem, they recommend a further investigation.

The surveyor may assume that no harmful or dangerous materials have been used in the construction, and does not have a duty to justify making this assumption. However, if the inspection shows that such materials have been used, the surveyor must report this and ask for further instructions.

The surveyor does not carry out an asbestos inspection and does not act as an asbestos inspector when inspecting properties that may fall within The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (‘CAR 2012’). However, the report should properly emphasise the suspected presence of asbestos-containing materials if the inspection identifies that possibility.

With flats, the surveyor assumes that there is a ‘dutyholder’ (as defined in the regulations), and that there is an asbestos register and an effective management plan in place, which does not present a significant risk to health or need any immediate payment. The surveyor does not consult the dutyholder.

The report:

The surveyor produces a report of the inspection results for you to use, but cannot accept any liability if it is used by anyone else. If you decide not to act on the advice in the report, you do this at your own risk. The report is aimed at providing you with a detailed understanding of the condition of the property to allow you to make an informed decision on serious or urgent repairs, and on the maintenance of a wide range of reported issues.

Where we feel unable to reach the necessary conclusions with reasonable confidence, we may refer the matter for further investigation. However, such referrals will normally be the exception rather than the rule.

This level of service will suit any domestic residential property in any condition.

  1. Single Defect Surveys.

Where you have instructed us to carry out a single defect survey, the survey inspection will be limited to commenting on that one particular issue, unless it is agreed beforehand to provide commentary on any other issues.

You authorise the surveyor to carry out intrusive works such as removal of wall & ceiling finishes, plaster coatings, flooring etc where necessary, and you will indemnify the surveyor against the cost of any remedial works to make good thereafter. The surveyor will discuss this with you prior to carrying out any works and obtain your verbal consent. 

We will provide a written report where agreed in the fee proposal document, otherwise we may offer you a written report at additional cost if you feel this would be of benefit. Where no written report is required, we will provide a verbal report at the time of inspection.

Where we undertake intrusive testing, including flood testing or spray testing for leak detection, we cannot be held liable for any errant leaks into other areas of the property or into neighbouring properties as a result of testing, unless through our negligence. We recommend that you liaise with your neighbours to inform them of the testing and that access is provided for us to inspect adjoining properties where necessary. You accept full responsibility for any damage caused to your property or adjoining properties.

  1. Snagging Surveys:

Snagging Surveys are carried out in accordance with industry best practices and adhering to the New Homes Quality Board guidance where appropriate and required. 

The use of thermal imaging is included with our snagging surveys and is particularly useful for timber-framed houses and checking that insulation has been appropriately placed in walls and ceilings. 

Recommendations for repair are included in the report.

  1. The Surveyor.

The service is to be provided by our Surveyor, Mr Simon Pinto, who is an AssocRICS member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Chartered Member of the Chartered institute of Building Engineers, and a Chartered Construction Manager with the Chartered Institute of Building, who has the skills, knowledge and experience to survey and report on the property.

Redstone Property Services Ltd is an independent firm of surveyors, we do not have any ties or interest in other companies or third parties and do not pay referral fees or other inducements for instructions.

  1. Before the inspection:

This period forms an important part of the relationship between you and the surveyor. The surveyor will use reasonable endeavours to contact you regarding your particular concerns about the property and explain (where necessary) the extent and/or limitations of the inspection and report. The surveyor also carries out a desktop study to understand the property and its location to understand any potential environmental risks or local nuisances.

  1. On Completion of Survey:

On completion of the survey, we will contact you within 24 hours of the inspection (excepting over weekends where we will contact you the following Monday). We will complete the report as soon as possible after the survey, this is generally 7 to 10 working days between the survey and the issue of the full report, this is to allow us time to write up the report and to carry out any further checks or research which may be required. 

This delay may be extended if further information requested by us in relation to the survey is not provided by you or your agents / legal advisors within this time frame. We may issue the report in draft pending receipt of outstanding information.

  1. Terms of payment:

You agree to pay the surveyor’s fee and any other charges agreed verbally or in writing and in line with the terms of the fee proposal and in any case, prior to the date of the survey inspection unless otherwise agreed in writing. We reserve the right to withhold any report until such time as our fees are paid in full.

  1. Cancelling this contract:

You are entitled to cancel this contract by giving notice to us as set out in the fee proposal document, or if the surveyor does not provide the service (and reports this to you as soon as possible) if, after arriving at the property, the surveyor decides that:

(a) he lacks enough specialist knowledge of the method of construction used to build the property; or

(b) it would be in your best interests to have an alternative or specialist survey carried out

If you cancel this contract as per the terms of the fee proposal, the surveyor will refund any money you have paid for the service, except for any reasonable expenses. If the surveyor cancels this contract, he or she will explain the reason to you. Cancellations with less than 2 working days (Mon­-Fri) notice will be charged at £200 + VAT at the surveyor’s discretion. 

Any specialist equipment hired with your prior agreement will also be charged in full and where we are unable to obtain refunds from our suppliers. 

For the purpose of clarity, weekends and bank holidays will not be counted as working days.

Nothing in this clause shall operate to exclude, limit or otherwise affect your rights to cancel under the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulation 2013 or the Consumer Rights Act 2015, or under any such other legislation as may from time to time be applicable. 

Entirely without prejudice to any other rights that you may have under any applicable legislation, you are entitled to cancel this contract in writing by giving notice to the surveyor’s office at any time before the day of the inspection, and in any event within fourteen days of entering into this contract. 

Please note that where you have specifically requested that the surveyor provides services to you within fourteen days of entering into the contract, you will be responsible for fees and charges incurred by the surveyor up until the date of cancellation.

We reserve the right to reschedule the date and/or time of the inspection due to staff illness, operational issues, or other reasons such as industrial action, inclement weather, or government advice and shall do so with no liability to you or any other third party for costs or damages.

  1. Liability

The report is provided for your use, and the surveyor cannot accept responsibility if it is used, or relied upon, by anyone else. We cannot accept liability for any delays to legal or conveyancing processes or timescales unless you have specifically informed us of these timescales, and we have agreed in writing to provide our report to meet these timescales.

‘The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommends the use of liability caps to members as a way in which to manage the risk in survey work. Our aggregate liability arising out of, or in connection with this survey, whether arising from negligence, breach of contract, or any other cause whatsoever, shall in no event exceed £20,000.00 (twenty thousand pounds). This clause shall not exclude or limit our liability for actual fraud and shall not limit our liability for death or personal injury caused by our negligence.’

‘Our contract with you for the provision of this survey is subject to English law. Any dispute in relation to this contract, or any aspect of the survey, shall be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales, and shall be determined by the application of English law, regardless of who initiates proceedings in relation to the valuation.’

‘Our survey is provided for your benefit alone and solely for the purposes of the instruction to which it relates. Our survey may not, without our written consent, be used or relied upon by any third party, even if that third party pays all or part of our fees or is permitted to see a copy of our report. If we do provide written consent to a third party relying on our survey, any such third party is deemed to have accepted the terms of our engagement.’

Your contract is with Redstone Property Services Ltd and as such all liability remains with Redstone Property Services Ltd, we specifically exclude any personal liability of the Surveyor undertaking the inspection or report and no claims will be entertained against any individuals and in instructing an individual within the firm, the client acknowledges that any duty of care which that individual owes to the client is excluded on the basis that the client is relying solely on the duties owed to it by the firm as a whole.

‘If you suffer loss as a result of our breach of contract or negligence, our liability shall be limited to a just and equitable proportion of your loss having regard to the extent of responsibility of any other party. Our liability shall not increase by reason of a shortfall in recovery from any other party, whether that shortfall arises from an agreement between you and them, your difficulty in enforcement, or any other cause.’ 

Some of the information contained within our report is obtained from third-party sources, and we cannot confirm the validity of this information, we will state this within the report. We cannot be held liable for incorrect information where we have drawn your attention to this.

Some of the information contained within our report may be based on assumptions. We cannot be held liable for incorrect information where we have drawn your attention to this and will generally recommend further investigation or mitigation where this is the case.

  1. Health and Safety

Our primary concern on any survey is for the safety and security of members of the public, our clients and our surveyors and staff.

We will provide access equipment to reach a maximum height from ground level of 3 metres. For any areas beyond 3 metres, you should provide for our exclusive use, a safe means of access to the areas to be surveyed. We reserve the right to refuse to survey any areas where this requirement is not met or to reschedule the survey for another time.

We reserve the right to refuse the use of any access equipment which we do not deem to be safe means of access or which has not been erected in advance of our visit.

We carry with us high-visibility clothing, hard hats and other personal protective equipment. These are for the sole use of our surveyors, unfortunately, we cannot provide these items to clients, and if necessary, the client should provide their own.

We reserve the right to refuse to enter any sites or properties or areas which we deem to be unsafe and have not been risk assessed and had mitigation procedures put in place to ensure safe means of access.

You should inform us in advance if there are works being carried out at the property which may result in us rescheduling the survey, such as asbestos removal or insecticide or other forms of chemical treatments.

A rescheduled survey due to any of the above reasons will be charged as a late cancellation as per our fee proposal, this charge may be waived at the discretion of the surveyor.

If we are not informed of the above within, the visit will be charged as a late cancellation. Cancellations with less than 2 working days (Mon­ Fri) notice will be charged at £200 + VAT at the surveyor’s discretion. Any specialist equipment hired by the agreement will also be charged in full when we are unable to obtain refunds from our suppliers. for the purpose of clarity, weekends and bank holidays will not be counted as working days.

  1. Complaints handling procedure

In the very unlikely event of you having cause to complain about any aspect of our service to you, Redstone Property Services Ltd have an RICS‐compliant complaint handling procedure and will provide you with a copy of this upon request. The complainant will be fully responsible for the cost of initiating any dispute resolution process, including the cost of obtaining further reports.

We will do everything possible to make your journey with us as smooth and worry-free as possible.

We have signed up to the RICS conflict avoidance pledge, this pledge signals to clients and suppliers that:

✔ We are a good business to work with

✔ Maintaining good business relationships, and dealing with problems early and amicably, are keystones of our day-to-day commercial operations.

✔ Oour business is fully committed to delivering value for money and working collaboratively to ensure projects are delivered on time, on budget and on par.

12 Privacy 

Redstone Property Services Ltd have a privacy policy when dealing with your personal data in line with General Data Protection Rules (GDPR), which can be viewed on our website at  Redstone Privacy Policy    

You should note that as we are a regulated firm, from time to time our files may be subject to monitoring a will need to be provided to the RICS on request. All information will be handled in compliance with the RICS data protection policies, privacy policies and General Data Protection Rules (GDPR). RICS privacy policy 

  1. Copyright

Unless otherwise agreed we shall retain copyright in and ownership of all specifications, or other documents, drawings, maps, photographs and other records prepared or commissioned by us. 

Revision 12 ‐ Updated 05/06/2023