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Property valuation and survey

As part of the mortgage application process we are required, by law, to carry out a valuation of the property to be mortgaged. This valuation will assess the security offered by the property and will help us decide how much we can lend.

We use Legal and General Surveying Services to instruct our panel of valuers. This means that we will pass your details to Legal and General and they will contact you directly to arrange a suitable time for the valuation to take place and collect the property valuation fee. Please refer to the fees section at the bottom of the page.

The valuer will inspect the structure as far as possible, and will provide us with an ‘Inspection Report and Valuation for Mortgage Assessment’. He or she will not, however, inspect inaccessible parts of the property (e.g. roof space, floors and drains) unless there is reason to believe there may be serious defect. In this case the valuer will recommend that a further report is made.

There could therefore be defects in the property not reported here, but which would appear in a more detailed report. The valuer is not required to comment on minor defects which, although they may affect your decision to buy, do not affect the security the property offers The Cambridge for mortgage purposes.

We'll provide you with a copy of this report, but it is prepared solely for our mortgage assessment purposes and you should not rely on it to indicate the condition of the property. It is not a full Building Survey and does not give a market value of the property. We strongly recommend that you obtain a more comprehensive report, either a Homebuyer Survey and Valuation, or a Building Survey.

Homebuyer Survey and Valuation
The RICS Homebuyer Survey and Valuation is a concise written report and limited inspection which gives a general opinion of the quality and condition of the fabric of the property. It is particularly attractive when time is short or economy important. The valuer will advise whether or not the purchase price is realistic and will give his opinion on the marketability of the property. It aims to assist a prospective buyer in deciding on the soundness of the proposed purchase.

A summary of this report will be forwarded to us and will be used to assess the property as suitable security for the loan.

The inspection covers areas which are readily visible or accessible (including the roof space with accessible roof hatch) but does not include an under-floor inspection or a close inspection of external faces of roofs, where there is no direct access or where the roof height is more than three metres above ground level.

A more conclusive report on the conditions of services, including drains test and electrical wiring, can be arranged separately if required.

Areas of potential major defect which cannot be inspected will be listed with recommendations for further investigations or suggested courses of action. Minor defects may not be listed.

The report is prepared to a standard format and is subject to standard conditions of engagement and limitations issued by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Building Survey
This is based on a detailed technical examination of the property. It may include tests on services and, with the seller’s permission, opening up small sections of the floor and other concealed areas in order to check otherwise inaccessible parts of the property.

The report will give advice on the repairs and notifications required, but it does not normally include a valuation.

We will not receive a copy of the Building Survey. Any queries you may have concerning the report should be made directly to the surveyor.

Fees charged for the survey will vary according to the size, age and type of property. This type of survey is particularly necessary for large, more complex properties and those of period construction.

Flats and maisonettes
If you intend to buy a flat or maisonette, the valuer will probably not be able to inspect the whole building. The Homebuyer Survey or Building Survey will therefore be limited to the flat or maisonette you are looking to buy. The valuer will comment on the general condition of the fabric of the whole property as far as is possible from the limitations of his inspection.

It's usual for each owner to pay towards the maintenance and repair of the building and common areas. If you're able to obtain these details (your solicitor should be able to provide this information) this will aid the valuer when making his report.

New Builds Warranty Schemes
If the property you're buying has been built or converted for use as a dwelling within the past ten years, or is to be occupied for the first time, you must ensure that it was built or converted under a new home warranty scheme. We accept the following four warranty schemes:

  • NHBC (National House Building Council)
  • LABC (Local Authority Building Control)
  • Premier Guarantee
  • Existing Zurich policy - where the security is covered by an existing Zurich policy this will continue to be honoured (Zurich stopped offering policies in 2009).

Fees
You will need to pay the property valuation fee for mortgage purposes, see our Tariff of Mortgage Charges page for more details. The fee is payable at the time of application and is non-refundable. For some products we will pay for the standard valuation for remortgage purposes. Your Mortgage Adviser will confirm if your product qualifies for a free standard valuation.

Only certain valuers are authorised by us. If you decide, independently, to instruct a valuer to prepare a report on the property you wish to purchase, we're under no obligation to instruct that valuer to prepare our mortgage valuation, whether or not the valuer is on our panel of authorised valuers.