Residential Surveys

KEYS Consulting is a member of Royal Institution Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and regulated firms registered to carry out residential surveys in accordance with the RICS professional statement. As such, we have developed our services to ensure that the public can recognise and trust that they’re consistent with the high standards expected by RICS.

A residential property survey comprises an inspection, report and advice of the condition of the property. The main purpose of such surveys is to review a property as a physical asset, although some additional services considered included, subjects as:

  • environmental matters (e.g. flooding, radon, former mining activity etc)
  • legal issues (e.g. guarantees, statutory approvals, rights of way and other easements) and
  • risks to the occupants

Desktop Study

Our service includes a desktop study prior to inspecting properties to ensure that we are familiar with the property along with its corresponding area. The depth and breadth of research will depend on the Client’s requirements, however, generally speaking the older and more complex or neglected properties require greater research. Subject to the service requested, Client additional research will also be carried where necessary.


Some clients require a cost estimate of recommended remedial works to inform their decision making and negotiations. We subscribe to the Building Cost Information Services (BCIS), to ensure that any cost advice is aligned within current market rates. Subject to the nature of our Client instruction, the cost could be for guidance use only. Thus, all costing advice could be developed to suit the Client’s needs.

When taking Client instruction we:

  • Ensure a clear understanding of the Client’s needs
  • Have the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to provide the agreed service
  • Make our Client aware of potential differences between the levels of service offered 
  • Agree the full details of the terms of engagement with the Client before commencing with the service 

When carrying out the service we aim to:

  • Undertake appropriate pre-inspection desk top study in accordance with the level of service agreed
  • Become familiar with the type of property to be inspected and its corresponding area
  • Produce an accurate and comprehensive record of the property at the time of inspection to allow reflection prior to commencement of the service
  • Produce an accurate summary or overall opinion
  • only recommend further investigation where necessary
  • be clear in the report about the scope of inspection including limitations, caveats and actions available to the Client
  • offer to discuss the findings of the report with the Client following delivery

Property Types

The properties surveyed to date are customary terraced, semi or detached houses and bungalows all circa 1930 upward. We also specialise in providing services for listed properties and properties in conservation areas, together with non-traditional construction e.g. timber frame, British Iron and Steel Federation (BISF) framed and precast concrete. 

Types of report

The nature and content of our report will vary between the different levels of service. The specific nature of each level is described below.

Level 2 service

The Level 2 service is a physical inspection of the property and report based on the findings of our inspection. A Level 2 service will focus on material defects and the identifiable risk of those that may be hidden whilst traditionally portraying the following additional characteristics;

  • comments where the design or materials used in the construction of a building element may result in more frequent and/or more costly maintenance and repairs than would normally be expected
  • a broad outline of any likely remedial work that may need to be done, by whom and by when 
  • concise explanations of the implications when not addressing any identified problems 
  • clear guidance for the client to obtain any further advice and quotations recommended before entering into a legal commitment.

Level 3 service

The Level 3 service reflects the thoroughness and detail of the investigation and addresses the following matters;

  • a detailed description of the form of construction and materials used for each part of the building, outlining any performance characteristics
  • describing and identifying any obvious defects and their risks if hidden 
  • an outline of remedial options, if something is considered to be serious, along with the likely consequences if the repairs are not done
  • a timescale for the necessary work proposed including recommendations for further investigation
  • future maintenance of the property and identifying those elements that may result in more frequent and/or more costly maintenance
  • identifying the nature of risks of parts that may not have been inspected 
  • prioritisation of issues addressed

Case Studies