Our Standard Terms of Engagement

Payment terms

Our fees apply to report preparation (including examination of any documentation supplied, site inspection, preparation of plans, photographs, draft and final reports); answering additional questions or extra correspondence; attendance at meetings in person/ by telephone; discussion with other expert witnesses in person/ by telephone; any abortive and subsequent inspections; Court appearances.

Our invoices itemise and are charged according to applicable rates for a surveyor's time, travel time, mileage; destructive testing (Speedy/ salts analysis) is charged on a per sample basis.

Instructions which are publicly funded are charged according to the rates set by the Legal Aid Agency.

Court appearances are charged at 8 hours per day for all days held unless a fixed appearance window is provided no less than 30 days ahead of trial date.

Fees are payable:                                                

Private/ non-represented clients - in advance of inspection, within 7 days of booking

Represented clients/ housing associations - within 30 days of invoice date

We do not accept instructions where our fees are dependent on the outcome of a case, nor where our fee is payable when a case is settled.

All fees are subject to VAT @ 20%


Service timescale

Sole reports: within 10 working days of inspection.

Joint reports: where we act for those representing the Claimant we will prepare the first draft within 10 working days, where we act for those representing the Defendant we will provide our additions to any documentation received within 10 working days, we cannot accept responsibility for the other expert’s timescale.


Cancellation policy

Appointments cancelled less than 3 working days in advance will be charged at 100% of the fee minus travel and mileage at a standard rate of 5 hours of surveyor's time per instruction; this will be applied at our discretion depending on whether we are able to accept or rearrange other work for the allocated time.

Abortive appointments will be charged 100% of the fee plus travel and mileage.

Court appearance cancellations less than 7 working days in advance will incur a 50% fee charge, cancellations less than 3 working days in advance will incur a 100% fee charge.


Restriction on Disclosure

The Report is for the sole use of the named Client and is confidential to the Client and his professional advisers. Any other persons rely on the Report at their own risk. 


Survey Terms

Subject to express agreement to the contrary and any agreed amendments/ additions, the terms on which the Surveyor will undertake a survey are set out below. Some terms may not be relevant to all instructions we undertake.

The Inspection

a. Accessibility and Voids
The Surveyor will inspect as much of the surface area of the structure as is practicable but will not inspect those areas which are covered, unexposed or not reasonably accessible.

b. Floors
The Surveyor will lift accessible sample loose floorboards and trap doors, if any, which are not covered by heavy furniture, ply or hardboard, fitted carpets or other fixed floor coverings. The Surveyor will not attempt to raise fixed floor boards without permission.

c. Roofs
The Surveyor will inspect the roof spaces if there are available hatches. The Surveyor will have a ladder of sufficient height to gain access to a roof hatch or to a single storey roof, not more than 3.00 m (10’ 0”) above the floor or adjacent ground. It might therefore not be possible to inspect roofs above this level; in such cases, pitched roofs will be inspected by binoculars. The Surveyor will follow the guidance given in Surveying Safely issued by the RICS in April 1991, which incorporates the guidance given in Guidance Note GS31 on the safe use of ladders and step ladders issued by the Health and Safety Executive.

d. Boundaries, Grounds and Outbuildings
The inspection will include boundaries, grounds and out buildings. Specialist leisure facilities, including swimming pools and tennis courts will not be inspected.

e. Services
The Surveyor will carry out a visual inspection of the service installations where accessible. Manhole covers will be lifted where accessible and practicable. No tests will be applied unless previously agreed. The Surveyor will report if, as a result of his inspection, the Surveyor considers that tests are advisable and, if considered necessary, an inspection and report by a specialist should be obtained.

f. Areas not Inspected
The Surveyor will identify any areas which would normally be inspected but which he was unable to inspect and indicate where he considers that access should be obtained or formed and, furthermore, he will advise on possible or probable defects based on evidence from what he has been able to see.

g. Flats
Unless otherwise agreed the Surveyor will inspect only the subject flat and garage (if any), the related internal and external common parts and the structure of the building in which the subject flat is situated. Other flats or properties will not be inspected. The Surveyor will state in his Report any restrictions on accessibility to the common parts or visibility of the structure. The Surveyor will state whether he has seen a copy of the lease and, if not, the assumptions as to repairing obligations on which he is working. The Client is reminded that, particularly in the case of large blocks, the object of the inspection is to give guidance on the general standard of construction and maintenance, pointing out those items which will require attention within say, the next decade and not to list those minor points which would normally be taken care of in the course of routine maintenance. (Many flats form part of large developments consisting of several blocks. In such cases the Surveyor will be inspecting only the one block in which the flat is situated).

Deleterious and Hazardous Material

a. Unless otherwise expressly stated in the Report, the Surveyor will assume that no deleterious or hazardous materials or techniques have been used in the construction of the property. However, the Surveyor will advise in the Report if, in his view, there is a likelihood that high alumina cement (HAC) concrete has been used in the in construction and that, in such cases, specific enquiries should be made or tests carried out by a specialist.

b. Lead water supply pipes and asbestos will be noted, and advice given, if these materials can be seen but it must be appreciated that such materials are often only visible after opening up which cannot be carried out at the risk of causing damage – see 'Accessibility and Voids'.

c. The Surveyor will advise if there are transformer stations or overhead power lines which might give rise to an electro-magnetic field, either over the subject property or visible immediately adjacent to the property, but the Surveyor cannot assess any possible effect on health. The Surveyor cannot report on any underground cables.


The surveyor will not comment upon the existence of contamination as this can only be established by appropriate specialists. Where, from his local knowledge or the inspection, he considers that contamination might be a problem he should advise as to the importance of obtaining a report from an appropriate specialist.


Consents, Approvals and Searches

a. The Surveyor will assume that the property is not subject to any unusual or especially onerous restrictions or covenants which apply to the structure or affect the reasonable enjoyment of the property.

b. The Surveyor will assume that all bye-laws, Building Regulations and other consents required have been obtained. In the cases of new buildings, and alterations and extensions which require statutory consents or approvals, the Surveyor will not verify whether such consents have been obtained. Any enquiries should be made by the Client or his legal advisers. Drawings and specifications will not be inspected by the Surveyor.

c. The Surveyor will assume that the property is unaffected by any matters which would be revealed by a Local Search (or their equivalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland) and replies to the usual enquiries, or by a Statutory Notice, and that neither the property, nor its condition, its use or its intended use, is or will be unlawful.