Defect Specific Reports

Specific DefectsIn addition to property surveys, RMA Surveyors Ltd undertake Defect Specific Reports. Each written report provides a clear, comprehensive and professional opinion regarding a particular problem (or ‘defect’) within a building.

In recent months, RMA Surveyors Ltd have visited a property in Thatcham to inspect a sagging roof, a site in Didcot to investigate cracking and building movement and a property in Hungerford to assess a damp issue.

Defect specific investigations and reports encapsulate the specific materials, construction and associated issues surrounding a specific building defect. Reports can be provided in a formal written report or in a letter or email format depending on the client’s requirements.

Specification for reinstatement and an estimate for repair costs can also be included.

If you have a concern regarding your property, get in touch for advice. Call us on 01635 579208 or complete the enquiry form.

As chartered surveyors, RMA Surveyors Ltd are members of and are regulated by the governing body RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). As such, any client can be guaranteed a high professional standard of inspection and report.

Building Survey vs Homebuyer Report

House SearchBased in Berkshire, RMA Surveyors Ltd have recently surveyed properties in Newbury, Reading, Wokingham and Windsor.

When making an initial enquiry for a survey on a property, we are often asked what the difference is between a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey. Our simple response is that while both involve a survey of the property, a Homebuyer Report details all the essential elements of a building but goes into less detail than a Building Survey.

If you would like to read more about the details of each report, take a look at our Property Surveys page.

As chartered surveyors, RMA Surveyors Ltd always provides professional advice and will recommend which type of survey best suits the proposed property. By analysing the age, type (e.g. semi-detached or bungalow) and whether there are any extensions to the property, we can determine which survey would best outline the condition of the building.

If you are unsure which type of survey would be most suitable for the type of property that you are intending to purchase, please contact us and we shall be happy to discuss this with you.

For a Homebuyer Report or Building Survey quote, please call RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579208 or complete the enquiry form.

RICS Residential Market Survey

ricsRMA Surveyors Ltd in Newbury, Berkshire have been catching up on the latest RICS Residential Survey.

It states that residential sales have increased, despite the continued lack of stock and highlights the following three points:

  • Agreed sales rise at the fastest rate across the UK since May 2014.
  • Prices increase further across all parts of the UK.
  • New buyer demand continues to outweigh instructions to sell.

You can download the UK Residential Market Survey for further reading.

If you’re looking for some professional advice regarding a property purchase in Berkshire, please contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579 208 or complete the Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch.

Office Refurbishment

We recently undertook the contract administration and project management of a successful office refurbishment to a Grade 2 listed, former town house located in a prominent position within Pinner High Street, London.

The scope of service included agreeing statutory consents and liaison with the local conservation officer and English Heritage. Providing additional restraint where historic settlement had affected the structure, design and specification of all elements of the refurbishment, including using materials sympathetic with the historic fabric of the building, roof repairs, external masonry repairs, internal plaster repairs, improving energy efficiency of the building, new gas and electrical service installations, joinery items and redecoration.

The contract was successfully completed inside the 15 week contract period. We held regular site meetings and site inspections, certified works as they were completed, agreed the final account and signed off works at completion. As well as liaising with the main contractor, we also organised the programme of works around data, telecoms and security contractors to ensure a seamless transition to allow the clients’ company to move offices without interruption to their business.

As a result the building has been transformed from a rather tired structure that was long overdue any maintenance into a building that not only contributes significantly to the historic fabric of central Pinner but has a contemporary style that is also reflective of the buildings history.

If you have a refurbishment project that would like RMA Surveyors Ltd assistance with, please contact us on 01635 579208, get in touch via enquiries@rmasurveyors.co.uk, or simply complete the enquiry form.

Insurance Reinstatement Repair

Damp floorWe recently undertook an insurance reinstatement repair contract in Compton, Berkshire.

The semi-detached property had suffered a central heating leak within the floor screed. It could not be determined how long the leak had been established but the whole ground floor screed was saturated. The client appointed us to liaise with the insurance company and their appointed loss adjuster.

We visited the site, assessed the damage and advised the loss adjuster of the works required. We drew together a schedule of works, which we issued for competitive tender. We ensured a contractor was appointed to undertake the works and attended regular site meetings to ensure works were completed within the four week contract period. Our role included liaising regularly with the client to ensure that decisions regarding finishes were made in good time to prevent any delay to the contract and to enable the client to move back from their alternative accommodation as quickly as possible.

Overall, the issue was dealt with within a four month period, from the date the loss was discovered to completion. Our involvement in this project reduced the cost of the claim to the insurer, ensured that the property was sufficiently restored to its pre-loss condition, and enabled the client to be satisfied that works had been undertaken and specified properly.

During the contract period, we were also able to incorporate some amendments and alterations to the ground floor space that the client desired and we were able to clearly separate and demonstrate to the Insurer which works were part of the insured loss and which were undertaken privately for the client.

On completion we certified all works and valued them and made sure the contractor was duly paid. We are pleased to have been able to provide our services and without our involvement it is highly likely that works would not have been completed in the time and to the quality to which they were.

If you’re in need of a Chartered Surveyor to help oversee some insurance reinstatement works, contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579208 or complete the enquiry form and we’ll get in touch.

HBR or Building Survey?

House SearchWe recently undertook a Homebuyer Report within Thatcham on a two bedroom bungalow.

When making an enquiry, people often ask us what the difference is between a Homebuyer Report and a Building Survey. Our simple response is that while both involve a survey of the property, a Homebuyer Report details all the essential elements of a building but goes into less detail than a Building Survey.

If you would like to read more about the details of each report, take a look at our Property Surveys page.

The client, in this case, was uncertain as to which type of report they should instruct and asked for our advice. We were able to undertake a quick assessment of the building, its age and type and advised that a Homebuyer Report would be sufficient for a structure of this nature.

When we undertook the survey we were able to report that there was a roof leak and damp to the ground floor of the property, we also highlighted a number of issues externally. As a result of our report, the client made the decision that the liability was too great for the price they had agreed and decided to withdraw from the sale.

If you are unsure which type of survey would be most suitable for the type of property that you are intending to purchase, please contact us and we shall be happy to discuss this with you.

For a Homebuyer Report or Building Survey quote, please call 01635 579208 or complete the enquiry form.

RICS Residential Market Survey

ricsRMA Surveyors Ltd, Newbury have been reading the latest update from RICS, regarding its UK Residential Market Survey.

It states that supply and demand varied across UK in January and 49% more London surveyors saw prices fall in January 2015.  It continues, stating that Scotland and Northern Ireland’s housing market outperformed the rest of the UK in January, with more buyer enquiries, stronger price growth and higher confidence in the outlook.  However, the national results, which are based on England and Wales only, continue to signal a cooling market and price growth has all but levelled off with just 2% more surveyors expecting prices to increase over the next three months (its slowest pace since May 2013).

You can download the January 2015 RICS UK Residential Market Survey here.

If you’re looking for some professional advice regarding a property purchase in Berkshire, please contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579 208 or complete the Contact Us form and we’ll be in touch.

Property Checklist for Winter

ricsRMA Surveyors Ltd, Newbury have been reading an article from RICS (the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) which offers a checklist to homeowners on how to look after their properties during the winter months. With another cold snap predicted in the forthcoming weeks, it’s worth a read.

Below is a snapshot of the RICS winter property checklist; for the full article, click here.

  • Roof: Inspect the roof and replace any cracked tiles.
  • Loft: Check the insulation is in good condition (up to current standard). Avoid over insulating. It is important that the tanks and pipes in the loft do not freeze, so do not insulate below the tank. Make sure the lid is on the cold-water tank.
  • Gutters and drains: Clear them of leaves and debris. Take particular care that the gulley’s are clear. Overflowing gutters can drench walls and cause damage.
  • Walls: 33% of heat lost in the home is through the walls. Cavity wall insulation is a good option and can boost its value and saleability while reducing your energy bills. Check the pointing – frost can play havoc with poorly maintained walls.
  • Windows: It is important to minimize draughts. If double-glazing is not in place (it cuts heat loss through windows by 50%), consider fitting cheaper options such as secondary glazing or put polythene across the window frames.
  • Boilers: Have your boiler serviced.
  • Heating: Check your heating system is in order; insulate hot water tanks, and bleed radiators.

While many of these simple tasks can be undertaken safely in the home it is important that people seek the advice of reputable professionals when looking to complete larger jobs. RICS advise people to avoid using builders and tradespeople who cold call. To find a local, trusted chartered surveyor in your area go to www.ricsfirms.com.

If you require advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor in Berkshire, contact RMA Surveyors Ltd on 01635 579208.

RICS: ‘Stamp Duty Optimisim’

ricsRMA Surveyors Ltd, Newbury, has been taking a read of the RICS UK Residential Market survey for December 2014.

In a recent press release, issued by RICS, it states that: December 2014 saw a sluggish trend in new buyer demand and a tail-off in house price growth. However, stamp duty reforms are still expected to support market activity according to our latest UK Residential Market Survey.

It goes onto state in its analysis that: ‘The number of potential new house buyers dipped for the sixth consecutive month in December and price growth fell to its slowest pace since May 2013’. However, the Institution is optimistic stating that ‘the changes to stamp duty are expected to provide a timely boost to activity in the housing market across most of the country but there remain significant challenges particularly for first time buyers seeking to take an initial step onto the property ladder.’

Read the full press release and analysis here.

If you’re looking to purchase a property and are in need of some advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor in Berkshire, please get in touch on 01635 579208 or fill out our Contact Us form. We’d be happy to assist  in providing a quote for a Homebuyers Report or Building Survey.

 

Stamp Duty Reforms

RMA_Logo RGBRMA Surveyors Ltd, Newbury, has been reading the latest on Stamp Duty.

As of today (4th December 2014), the Government has introduced Stamp Duty reforms on residential properties. Stating that ‘Stamp duty will be cut for 98% of people who pay it. If you’re buying a home for less than £937,500, you will pay less stamp duty, or the same’.

The change applies to you if you are buying a home in the UK for over £125,000.

Under the new rules, homebuyers will only pay the rate of tax on the part of the property price within each tax band. The following is given as an example:

Under the old rules, you would have paid tax at a single rate on the entire property price. Now you will only pay the rate of tax on the part of the property price within each tax band – like income tax. Under the old rules if you bought a house for £185,000, you would have had to pay 1% tax on the full amount – a total of £1,850. Under the new rules, for the same property you’ll pay nothing on the first £125,000 and 2% on the remaining £60,000. This works out as £1,200, a saving of £650.’

For further information, click to read the Government information sheet.

If you’re making a property purchase and require a Homebuyers Report or Building Survey, get in touch with RMA Surveyors Ltd for a quote.