What is the pre survey questionnaire?
The RICS refer to this as the “Vendor Liason Checklist”. From the 1st of September 2021 all RICS regulated practises should be undertaking surveys to the new RICS home survey standard. This standard was designed to ensure that all practises will be delivering a similar product to their customers. As “vendor liaison checklist” was a bit of a mouthful we have shortened this to the simpler and more direct “pre survey questionnaire”.
We have been told by the RICS to “get as much information from the vendor, occupier or the person in charge of the property as possible.” It then goes further to suggest the surveyor will use reasonable endeavours to capture relevant information pre-survey, this can really only be done using the questionnaire. Hence if we do not send the questionnaire, we have not used reasonable endeavour. You can read more of this guidance on this link to the RICS Website.
Why have you sent this to me?
The guidance is clear that we should attempt to have one of these questionnaires filled out before the inspection. This is considered best practise. This is our opportunity to allow you further time to find the relevant information. That might be required such as paperwork or remember dates for example. It is also a good framework for us to be able to decide in what order to carry out our survey. It also gives you the opportunity to tell us about any alterations or changes to the building you have made. This can shorten the survey process and make the transaction easier with less complex questions being sent through your legal advisers. If the surveyor can simply answer these in the first instance.
Recently we have attended a property after sending a questionnaire. The vendor was extremely put out and had sought advice from his legal advisers. He then decided not to communicate with us. This certainly did not help build a positive relationship with the vendor. We decided to write this blog in an attempt to communicate this to the vendors. But also to highlight the fact that all residential surveyors should be doing this. You may wish to ask if your surveyor is doing this on your purchase. If the property is not inhabited or tenanted, we will not send the questionnaire.