Legal matters and the Chartered Building Surveyor’s report

Though it is ultimately the responsibility of legal advisers to check relevant documents, it is most often the case that they will not be familiar with the property in question. It is vital, therefore, that Chartered Building Surveyors clearly highlight all legal issues which may affect the sale or purchase of a property.

The most common legal issues to be considered include:

  • The Protected Structure status of a property. Properties may also be located within zones of archaeological interest including Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) or a Natural Heritage Area (NHA).
  • Compliance concerns with regards to Planning Permissions and Building Regulations for extensions and other alterations to a property i.e. attic conversions, side and rear extensions, driveway widenings etc.

Chartered Building Surveyors will also enquire about guarantees and warranties from the current owner/occupier and pass on the relevant details to the client’s legal adviser.

Examples of the type of guarantees or warranties which may be included are:
  • Structural works carried out to the property such as the removal of load bearing walls and attic conversions.
  • New windows and doors.
  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • Treatment of timber and damp.
  • Installation and repair of service and mechanical devices i.e. central heating systems.

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