RICS Level 2 Survey

Our most popular survey, the RICS Level 2 Survey service, ensures a thorough property inspection and provides you with a comprehensive report based on our research.

The RICS Home Survey – Level 2 service aims to give you professional advice to:

  • make an informed decision on whether to go ahead with buying the property
  • take into account any repairs or replacements the property needs, and
  • consider what further advice you should take before committing to purchasing the property.

The RICS level 2 survey can include a property valuation.

UK Cottage

The Inspection

We carefully and thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of the main building, along with all permanent outbuildings on the property. The Level 2 survey is meant to cover as much of the estate as is physically accessible. If a certain area cannot be accessed then an explanation will be documented in ‘Limitations on the Inspection’ section within our report.

We do not force or open up the fabric of the building without occupier/owner 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, we carry out parts of the inspection when standing at ground level from an 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 we will judge each case on an individual basis.

With a RICS level 2 inspection, we check damp levels, and access flat roofs if no more than 3m above level ground (outside) or floor surfaces (inside). If it is safe and reasonable to do so, we 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 we consider it safe to do). We may not move stored goods or other content.

RICS Survey Level 2

The RICS Homebuyers Report, formally known as a Homebuyer Survey and Valuation, this report is carried out for the potential purchaser; the report is carried out to a standard format set down by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. 

It is designed to provide sufficient information to enable potential purchasers to make an informed decision on the proposed purchase at an economic price, described by the RICS as “giving factual information on significant aspects of the conditions of the property”. It does have limitations, as only visible areas are inspected and it does not detail every aspect of the property. It focuses on urgent matters needing attention and advises where further research or specialist testing should be considered.

This report is designed for the conventional type of construction of a house, bungalow or flat seen to be in a reasonable condition. Some properties may require a more detailed report offered by an RICS Building Survey.

Included within the RICS Homebuyers Report is a market valuation and rebuilding valuation (Reinstatement Cost) in addition to identifying defect and issues considered to be urgent or of significant importance

This report is designed to be user-friendly with minimum technical jargon Using the ‘Traffic Lights System’. Each element of the property must be rated using one of the following Condition Ratings:

Condition Rating 3 (red): Defects that are serious and/or need to be repaired, replaced or investigated urgently.

Condition Rating 2 (amber): Defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered to be either serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the normal way.

Condition Rating 1 (green): No repair is currently needed. The property must be maintained in the normal way.

The report is now quite lengthy, usually in the region of 25 pages, but it is divided into easily readable and logical sections as follows:-

A. Introduction to the report
B. About the inspection
C. Overall opinion and summary of the condition ratings
D. About the property
E. Outside the property
F. Inside the property
G. Services
H. Grounds (including shared areas for flats)
I. Issues for your legal advisers
J. Risks
K. Valuation
L. Surveyor’s declaration

Sample Homebuyers Report

RICS Surveys
Comparison of features

Level 1 Level 2
(survey only)
Level 2
(survey and valuation)
Level 3
Describes the construction and condition of the property on the date of the inspection.
Aims to identify any problems that need urgent attention or are serious.
Aims to identify things that need to be investigated further to prevent serious damage.
Aims to tell you about problems that may be dangerous.
Aims to show up potential issues and defects, before any transaction takes place.
Aims to help you decide whether you need extra advice before committing to purchase.  
Aims to enable you to budget for any repairs or restoration.  
Aims to advise you on the amount of ongoing maintenance required in the future.  
Provides a reinstatement cost to help you avoid under or over-insurance.    
Provides a market valuation.    
Aims to establish how the property is built, what materials are used and how these will perform in the future.    
Aims to describe visible defects, plus exposing potential problems posed by hidden defects.    
Aims to outline the repair options and give you a repair timeline, whilst explaining the consequences of not acting.    
Where practical and agreed, provides an estimate of costs for identified repairs.    
Provide specific comments on energy efficiency.    

RICS Home Surveys information sheet

Helping you choose the right survey

Sample Level 2 Report

Review a sample report to see if a RICS Survey Level 2 is right for you.

The RICS Building Survey service

Full breakdown of the service