The following Private Client guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Before purchasing a residential property trustees should instruct a surveyor to carry out a valuation and building survey. The surveyor should be a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. The trustees can either obtain:
a Homebuyer Survey and Valuation (HSV) or
a Building Survey
In an HSV the surveyor reports on:
the general condition of the property
any significant defects in accessible areas that may affect its value
urgent and significant matters that need assessing before entering into exchange of contracts, including recommendations for any further specialist inspections
results of any testing of walls for dampness
comments on damage to timbers including woodworm and rot
comments on the existence and condition of damp-proofing, insulation and drainage
the recommended reinstatement cost for insurance purposes
the value of the property on the open market
The HSV focuses on urgent and significant matters. If the property under consideration was built before 1900 or requires renovation or the HSV raises any concerns, a Building Survey should be carried out, preferably by a surveyor familiar with the geographical area.
When purchasing trust property the trustees should initially consider whether the purchase is:
permitted under the statutory powers
authorised by the trust instrument
For general information on trustee powers, see Practice Notes: Trustees—introduction to trustee powers and Trustees—statutory powers of trustees.
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