Standard terms of engagement
1 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 works;
• detailed specific issue reports;
• market valuation and reinstatement cost; and
Redstone Domestic Pre-Purchase Survey.
We have decided as a company to move away from lower-level surveys, as we feel that our customers always deserve the best available. Doing this has allowed us to devise 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.
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.
Where we feel unable to reach the necessary conclusions with reasonable confidence, we may refer the matter for further investigations. 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.
2 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 & ceilling finishes, plaster coatings, flooring etc where neccessary, and you will indemnify the surveyor against the cost 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.
3 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, 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.
4 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 desk‐top study to understand the property better.
5 On Completion of Survey:
On completion of the survey, we will contact you the next working day to provide our initial feedback. This will normally be via email unless you specifically request us to call you by
telephone. We aim to 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.
5 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.
6 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 or she 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 by agreement will also be charged in full 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 reason 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.
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.’
Some of the information contained within our report is obtained from third party sources, where 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.
8 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 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.
Current Covid-19 rules mean that we are required to maintain social distancing during our inspections. If this cannot be achieved, the survey will need to be postponed until such time that social distancing can be safely observed.
An electronic Covid questionairre will be sent out to occupiers prior to the survey, these must be completed before the day / time of inspection.
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 agreement will also be charged in full 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.
9 Complaints handling procedure
Redstone Property Services Ltd have an RICS‐compliant complaints handling procedure and will give you a copy if you ask. The client will be fully responsible for the cost initiating any dispute resolution process, including the cost of obtaining further reports.
Revision 5 ‐ Updated 05/01/2020