What are the different survey levels and who can produce them?.

Original Article
February 6th, 2024


As a residential surveyor, you’ll encounter different types of survey used to report on different property types. Most commonly, you might be commissioned to undertake Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 RICS Home Surveys. But what’s the difference and are there any limitations as to who can offer them?

Level 1 is the most basic type of survey. It uses traffic light ratings to give an overview of a property’s condition and highlight significant issues, but it doesn’t go into detail. It is suitable if a purchaser is looking to buy a standard, modern property that’s in good condition.

A level 2 survey is the standard choice for most properties in reasonable condition. This level of survey will look at everything that would be covered in level 1, but with added extras. It will highlight any problems that might affect the property’s value and include the surveyor’s advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance. It should also highlight issues such as damp and subsidence and point out anything that doesn’t meet current building regulations. The inspection is non-intrusive, meaning the surveyor won’t look behind furniture or under floorboards, so they’ll only be able to identify ‘surface-level’ issues.

A level 3 survey (also known as a building survey) is the most thorough type of survey. It provides a comprehensive analysis of both the property’s structure and condition. A level 3 survey is a good option if the property is over 50 years old, of unusual design, or in poor condition. The surveyor will be ‘hands on’ and do things like check the loft space and look under floorboards. The report will list any defects and advise on repairs and maintenance.

During your training with Sava, you’ll be taught to produce surveys up to Level 2. To offer Level 3 Surveys, you simply need to be competent to do so. There is no formal competency framework, so it is advised that you gain field experience once qualified and self-assess if you are ready to start offering more complex surveys. The best advice is to know your limits and say no if you do not feel confident enough to carry out the work.

Ready to talk to a course advisor or enrol on the diploma? Get in touch today on 01908 442158 or email hello@sava.co.uk.