1        General

1.1.1       These terms and conditions apply to the services to be provided by Flettons FM Ltd in accordance with the instructions received from the Client, as named in the attached letter of engagement. Both the attached letter and these terms and conditions form the basis of the contract between Flettons FM Ltd and the Client.

1.1.2       Subject to express agreement to the contrary and any agreed amendments/additions, the terms on which the Surveyor will undertake the Survey are set out below.

1.1.3       None of the Company’s employees, directors or consultants individually has a contract with the Client or owes the Client a duty of care or personal responsibility. The Client agrees that they will not bring any claim against any such individuals personally in connection with the valuation or report.

1.1.4       Should the Client suffer loss as a result of any breach of contract or negligence on the part of the Company, our liability shall be limited to a just and equitable proportion of that loss having regard to the extent of responsibility of any other party. Our liability shall not increase by reason of a shortfall in recovery from any other party, whether that shortfall arises from an agreement between the Client and them, the Client’s difficulty in enforcement of any other cause.

1.1.5       None of our employees, partners, or consultants individually has a contract with you or owes you a duty of care, or personal responsibility nor has a contract with you personally. You agree that you will not bring any claims against any such individual personally in connection with our services.

1.1.6       Flettons FM Ltd will, unless otherwise expressly agreed, rely upon information provided by the Client, the Client’s legal or other professional advisers of the vendor/lessor (where appropriate) relating to tenure, tenancies and other relevant matters.

1.1.7       In respect of GDPR, the client gives us permission to share data relating to the transaction, including but not limited to Storing your data on our database for the purposes of administration and accounting, informing the estate agent of the instruction to arrange a survey appointment; discussing matters in the report with your legal advisor; discussing matters in the report with your representative; discussing matters in the report with the RICS. Your data will not be shared with any other organisation except for the purposes of the aforementioned points.

1.1.8       It will not be possible for applicants that are not the vendors to accompany the Surveyor on an inspection.

1.1.9       Should the Surveyor be unable to access any part of the property due to circumstances outside of their control a £180 re-inspection fee will apply should you wish those parts of the property to be included in the Report.

1.1.10    The service does not include an asbestos inspection and falls outside of The Control Of Asbestos Regulations 2012

1.1.11    Our inspection will be carried out in accordance with RICS practice guidelines where safe and practical to do so, however no items of furniture or ornaments will be moved by the surveyor.

1.1.12    The survey Quote is based on the information you provide to us, so if the information you provided is incorrect or changes please let us know so we can provide you with a correct Quote. We can only provide surveying services in England and Wales.

1.1.13    In the event of inclement weather such as snow when inspection may be very limited or unsafe such as in the case of snow, we reserve the right to postpone the inspection until it is safe to do so.

1.1.14    You should be 18 or over and be entitled to the surveying service on the relevant property.

2        Fees and Expenses

2.1.1       The Client will pay Flettons FM Ltd the agreed fee, as per our covering email, for the Report (which is inclusive of VAT) and any expressly agreed disbursements.

2.1.2       The surveyor will collect the keys from the key-holder within a 3.5-mile radius from the subject property. If the keys are outside of this radius, there is a charge for £2.00 per mile travelled to return and collect the keys. The fee will be invoiced for payment before the final survey report is released.

2.1.3       The Client will pay the agreed fee, any additional fees, any VAT and any agreed disbursements before the survey is arranged.

2.1.4       Any fees taken in advance are not client money and not subject to the RICS client money protection scheme.

3        Building Survey Terms & Conditions

3.1       Scope and Limitations of Building Survey Service

3.1.1       The Surveyor will advise the Client by means of a written Level Three Survey Report as defined by the RICS Housing Survey Standard as to his or her opinion of the visible condition and state of repair of the Property. The Surveyor will be a member of the CIOB, RICS or any other relevant construction-related body. The Surveyor will use all of the due care and skill to be reasonably expected of an appropriately qualified person.

3.1.2       The Surveyor will inspect diligently but is not required to undertake any action which would risk damage to the Property or its contents or injury to him – or herself. The Surveyor will not undertake any structural or other calculations, nor will the report include an exhaustive list of every defect in the Property.

3.1.3       The survey takes the form of a Level Three – referred to as a Full Building Survey (FBS), a non-invasive appraisal of the main structure including roofs, walls, and floors and finishes both internal and external and followed by a report expressing an opinion on the condition and recommending the extent of any necessary repairs and significant future maintenance requirements. It should be noted that the appraisal will not include an exhaustive list of every defect, only those deemed to be significant as they affect the Property and no excavations will be made; therefore, no comment will be made on concealed elements. We will undertake a survey in one visit only. There is an additional fee for additional visits to carry out a further investigation of the property in situation. An FBS PLUS includes additional services as stated in section 5 - Additional Services. A level three survey is not a new build snag report, which would list every minor defect.

3.1.4       The Surveyor will send the Report for the sole use of the Client. The Client Agrees to keep the Report confidential disclosing its contents only to the Clients legal advisors. In particular (but without limitation) the Client must not disclose the whole or any part of the Report to any person (other than a legal advisor) who may intend to rely upon it for the purpose of any transaction, without prior agreement.

3.1.5       The external roof surface and upper reaches will be inspected from ground level. Flat, single storey roofs will be assessed with the aid of a ladder, not exceeding 10ft (3 metres), where safe to do so. Long ladders will not be employed. With regard to inspection of roof spaces in flats, these will be inspected only where there is direct access from the flat itself unless there is a readily removable access hatch from the common parts or arrangements have been made by the purchaser for access to the top floor flat to an access hatch. If a separate visit is necessary, an additional charge will be made. The inspection will also exclude the outer surfaces of the roof if they cannot readily be seen.

3.1.6       In accordance with these terms the Surveyor will undertake a non-invasive survey and report upon: The main aspects of the Property including assessing the site/location, the design, structural framework, fabric and services, the grounds, boundaries and environmental aspects considered to affect the Property. Any requirements for further investigation arising from the inspection will be stated in the report. This report is not a warranty or a guarantee and in the case of any new build property or structural alterations, you must obtain a professional consultant’s certificate.

3.1.7       Unless otherwise expressly agreed, the Surveyor while preparing the Report will assume that: The property (if for sale) is offered with vacant possession, the Property is connected to the mains services with appropriate rights on the basis that is known and acceptable to the Client and access to the Property is as of right upon terms known and acceptable to the Client.

3.1.8       The Surveyor will consider his or her advice carefully but is not required to advise on any matter, the significance of which in relation to the Property is not apparent at the time of the inspection.

3.1.9       The Surveyor will inspect as much of the internal and external surface area of the building as is reasonably practicable but will not inspect those areas which are covered, unexposed or not reasonably accessible from within the site or adjacent public areas.

3.1.10    The Surveyor is not required to move any obstruction to inspection including, but not limited to, furniture, insulation, plaster and floor coverings. The Surveyor will lift where possible loose carpets and floorboards and trap doors, if any, which are not covered by furniture, contents, plasterboard, plyboard or hardboard, fitted carpets or other fixed floor coverings. The Surveyor will not attempt to cut or lift fixed floorboards. The Surveyor will also not attempt to remove securely fixed covers or housings without the express permission of the owner in writing and in advance.

3.1.11    The Surveyor will inspect the roof space(s) if there are available hatches which are not more than three metres above the adjacent floor or ground, and it is safe to do so: the surveyor will not crawl into loft spaces or any confined space. Where no reasonable access is available, the roof spaces will not be inspected.

3.1.12    Similarly, the outer surfaces of the roof or adjacent areas will be inspected from ground level but will be excluded if they cannot be seen. The inspection will include boundaries and grounds up to one acre and permanent outbuildings which, unless otherwise agreed in writing, will be reported in general terms. It will not include larger areas of ground or temporary, agricultural or equestrian constructions unless previously agreed in writing or equipment with a specific leisure purpose, including, without limit, swimming pools or tennis courts, nor specialist services such as burglar and fire alarm systems, lifts and the like.

4     The Materials, Construction, Services, Fixtures and Fittings, and so on

4.1.1       The Surveyor will carry out a non-invasive inspection of the main service installations (electric, gas, water, drainage) where accessible. In relation to the supply of services, you must ensure that there is sufficient credit on pay-as-you-go meters. Isolated water supplies will not be activated. Drainage inspection covers will be lifted where they are accessible, and it is safe and practicable to do so. No tests of the service installations will be carried out, although general overall comments will be made where possible and practicable. Specialist testing of all service installations is, in any event, always recommended prior to legal commitment to purchase. No comment can be made on the efficiency of chimneys or the condition of concealed flues.

4.1.2       Particular noise and disturbance affecting the Property will only be noted if it is significant at the time of inspection or if a specific investigation has been agreed between the Surveyor and the Client and confirmed in writing. The Surveyor will report on any obvious health and safety hazards to the extent that they are apparent from elements of the Property considered as part of the inspection. If the client is sensitive to noise and requires any specific noise measurement reading, they must commission a noise consultant to undertake an assessment using properly calibrated recording equipment.

4.1.3     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 or her view, there is a likelihood that deleterious material has been used in the construction and specific enquiries should be made, or tests should be carried out by a specialist. It is always prudent and recommended for a specialist survey for asbestos to be carried out in all properties-built pre-2000, prior to a legal commitment to purchase.

4.1.4      The Surveyor will not carry out an asbestos inspection and will not act as an asbestos inspector when inspecting properties that may fall within the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2006.  With flats, the Surveyor will assume that there is a duty holder (as defined in the regulations), and that an asbestos register and an effective management plan is in place which does not need any immediate payment or present a significant risk to health.  The Surveyor will not consult the duty holder.

4.1.5       Where further reports, exposure and/or tests are advised within the survey, these should be read and considered in conjunction with the main survey report. All such reports, exposure and tests should be obtained and considered prior to purchase commitment with competitive fee quotations also obtained where relevant. No liability for the contents thereof is accepted by Flettons FM LTD.

4.1.6       The Surveyor will not necessarily inspect or interpret geological, Ordnance Survey, Radon or other environmental factors nor assess any possible effect on health or report on any underground cables or other phenomena. A specialist environmental search is recommended in these respects prior to a legal commitment to purchase.

4.1.7       The Surveyor will not be required to comment upon the possible existence of noxious substances, landfill or mineral extraction, or other forms of contamination, or the nature of the sub-soil, or the freedom or otherwise of the Property from other potentially contaminative features such as Japanese Knotweed.

4.1.8       The Surveyor will be entitled to assume that the Property is not subject to any unusual or onerous restrictions, obligations or covenants which apply to the Property or affect the reasonable enjoyment of the Property.

4.1.9       The Surveyor will be entitled to assume that all planning, Building Regulations and other consents required in relation to the property have been obtained. Any enquiries should be made by the Client or the Client’s legal advisors.

4.1.10     Drawings and specifications and third-party reports will not be inspected by the Surveyor unless otherwise previously agreed and for which an additional fee may be charged and agreed only at the time of taking the instruction, and any agreed turnaround time may be increased.

4.1.11    The Surveyor will be entitled to assume that the Property is unaffected by any matters which would be revealed by a Local Search 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.

4.1.12    Where the Client has instructed the Surveyor to make investigations which cause damage to the Property on the basis that the Client has obtained the owner’s consent, the Client will indemnify the Surveyor against any loss or cost arising.

4.1.13    The Client may only rely upon the Surveyor’s advice and Report for purposes described in the Particulars or communicated to the Surveyor in writing prior to agreement of the Fee. If the Client wishes to rely upon such advice and Report for any other purpose, he or she may only do so with the written consent of the Surveyor. The Surveyor shall not be responsible for the content of any specialist reports howsoever obtained.

4.2       Cladding

If the property being inspected is a flat with cladding to any parts of the building, the following shall apply:

4.2.1       It is the customers responsibility to provide us with a copy of a suitable cladding report (e.g., EWS1 form or equivalent) signed by an approved signatory. Flettons FM Ltd shall make no comment on the report and accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the form.

4.2.2       We can accept no liability to the client or any other party for any losses or potential losses arising from our reliance upon the EWS1 form. Any person requiring more information should obtain independent advice.

4.2.3       If there are any suspected or known issues with the fire safety of the building, we are unable to carry out a survey unless you are able to provide evidence of the full cost of repair that the owner of the subject property will be liable for and anticipated repair timescales involved.

4.2.4       If there is no such report available and no known issues to the best of your knowledge, you may wish for a RICS Registered Valuer to perform a RICS Red book valuation to be carried out on the assumption that the cladding and fire safety of the building meet current standards.

4.2.5       Where no EWS1 form exists and you have instructed us to survey the property on the assumption that the cladding and fire safety of the building meets current standards, Flettons FM Ltd can accept no liability should this prove, at a later date, to not be the case.

4.3       Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999

4.3.1       9.1 Our liability in respect of this report is limited to you as our Customer.  There is no intention to confer any third party right as described in the Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act 1999.

5        Additional Services

5.1       Reinstatement Cost

5.1.1       A reinstatement cost can only be provided for an additional fee only if this is agreed at the time of taking instructions, or as part of the FBS PLUS service. The reinstatement cost figure is for the purpose of insurance rebuild cost only and is not a market valuation. Buildings insurance cost assessments will be calculated using the correct edition of the BCIS Guide to House Rebuilding Costs. If you have opted and paid for a reinstatement cost the report will include a reinstatement cost unless one can only be provided by a specialist (for example, some listed properties and/or those of unusual construction).

5.2       Breakdown of Estimated Repair Costs

5.2.1       A breakdown of estimated costs can be provided for an additional fee below, only if this is agreed at the time of taking instruction, or as part of the FBS PLUS service. The breakdown of estimated costs is a guide only and figures given are not quotes. The breakdown of estimated costs does not include every minor job and only the significant jobs will be priced. A contingency sum will be given to cover the cost of minor and unforeseen repairs. If you would like specific prices you must obtain quotes. In the breakdown of repair costs, the appropriate trades are given and should be sought to provide quotes.

5.3       Aerial Photos

5.3.1       Aerial photos will be taken using a camera pole for an additional fee, or as part of the FBS PLUS service only if agreed at the time of taking instruction. The pole will only be used on properties up to 10 metres three storeys or less. The pole camera will only be used on properties over three storeys, if there is an available window and it is deemed safe to do so by the surveyor.

5.4       Thermal Imaging

5.4.1       Thermal photos will be taken of internal wall surfaces and provided using a thermal imaging camera for an additional fee, or as part of the FBS PLUS service only if agreed at the time of taking instruction. The camera will only be used to identify areas of heat loss in the dwelling and underfloor heating systems.

6        Cancellation

6.1.1       If you have specifically ordered a survey to be provided or the Inspection you have booked takes place during the 14-day cooling off period you will not be entitled to a refund for service already provided to you or an Inspection which has taken place before the date of cancellation, even if the 14-day period has not expired.

Our cancellation policy is relevant within as well as outside the 14-day cooling off period and is:

6.1.2       If you wish to cancel your instruction and be refunded, you must make a request via email to info@flettons.com  

6.1.3       If a request is made before a survey appointment has been arranged, and before the surveyor has attended the Property, we will issue a full refund.

6.1.4       Once the survey appointment has been arranged with your agent/vendor, we will charge and deduct from any refund due, an administration fee of £99.

6.1.5       If you cancel on the day of the appointment, full charges will apply.

6.1.6       All cancellation must be notified in writing at least 5 working days prior to the appointment otherwise charges.

6.2       Formal Complaint

6.2.1       We take matters like this very seriously and our Surveyor would like the opportunity to reply to your complaint in full. The first step is for you to detail in writing what your formal complaint is; setting out the reasons for your complaint and to provide any additional evidence that supports your complaint including any photos (photos and other supporting evidence are incredibly useful so please provide these).

6.2.2       In the event that the Client has a complaint regarding the standard of service he or she has received, a formal complaint handling procedure is available at https://www.flettons.com/formal-complaint/ Using the Complaints Handling Procedure will not affect the Client’s legal rights.

6.2.3       In the event that you are still unsatisfied with the Surveyor you can pursue a third-party dispute resolution service that the surveyor is registered to. You cannot raise a complaint to the dispute resolution service until you have raised a formal complaint to your Surveyor. If you wish to make a formal complaint, please send an email us at info@flettons.com in the first instance.