FAQ's and Jargon Busting the property industry

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Which Survey is best for me?

It can be a little overwhelming choosing the right property survey, so we created this handy guide, to help you decide which survey is best for your property and circumstances.

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What is a Building Survey?

A Building Survey (previously known as a full Structural Survey) is a wide-ranging inspection of a property, dealing with hard to reach places and structural issues.

It is the most comprehensive of the surveys available for residential properties and provides a detailed evaluation of the condition of a property. Although one of the more expensive options of survey available, the level of detail in the final report makes it vital, especially when buying older properties.

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What is Reinstatement Cost?

The Reinstatement Cost (also known as rebuild cost or building sum insured) of your home, is the amount it would cost to completely rebuild the property from scratch if it were totally destroyed, by a fire for example. It is required for building insurance applications and is the amount of money for which your home is insured in case of total loss.

It includes costs of clearing the site, materials, labour and professional fees. It is not the same as the value of your home. Reinstatement costs are for an accurate reconstruction of your property whereas market value is simply what the property is worth as a whole finished product.

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What is Market Rent value?

Market rent value is the amount of money a property would rent or lease for if it was available at a specific time.

It is an experts judgement based on knowledge, appraisal, intuition and comparison of the local rental market to discern a fair rental value for a property in the same condition in the same area.

Read more about Buy-to-let Rental Valuation

what is a condition report?

A Condition report or Home condition report (HCR) is generally suitable for smaller and newer properties and serves as a valuable “MOT” for homeowners looking to assess the general condition of their home. It should be used for a conventional house, flat or bungalow built from common building materials which is in reasonable condition.

This report provides a succinct overview of a residential property and focuses purely on the condition of the property by giving ratings to the different parts of the building and flagging up any areas that need attention. It is a basic ‘traffic light’ survey.

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what is an expert witness report?

An Expert Witness Report is a document setting out the opinion of an expert on matters within their area of skill, experience and knowledge. The report provides independent, impartial and unbiased evidence to a court or tribunal.

The ultimate use of the report is to inform the court of law on matters in which it has no expertise itself, to help reach a decision in order to resolve a dispute.

At Arnold & Baldwin we have a fantastic team of experts with experience in both representing claimants and defending the professionals within the property surveying world. Please contact us today to assess our expertise in your specific area.

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What is a Vesting Order?

A vesting order is a court order that creates or transfers legal ownership of a property instead of a legal conveyance (the act of transferring an ownership interest in property from one party to another). It is discretionary and results from a finding by a court that fairness demands that the court act in a way to transfer property from one party to another.

Read more about Absentee Freeholder

What is a First Tier Tribunal?

The First Tier Tribunal is part of the court system in the United Kingdom.

The First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) has 5 regional offices throughout England that deal with settling disputes in relation to leasehold property and the private rented sector.

Tribunal hearings are quite informal, you can state your own case or have a friend or professional speak for you. The tribunal normally sits as a panel of 3 consisting of one legally trained member, one surveyor and one lay (ordinary) person to provide a balanced view.

The panel have control over the court hearing and decide the order in which things are dealt with.

Read more about Absentee Freeholder?

What is a Leasehold?

Leasehold means that you own the property, but the land upon which the property is built is owned by the freeholder (or landlord). This gives you the right to occupy the property for as long as the lease is valid.

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What is a Leasehold or Freehold Enfranchisement?

A leasehold or freehold enfranchisement (also known as a collective enfranchisement) is the right for the owners of the flats in a building and sometimes part of a building, to join together and buy the freehold of that building or an extended lease of their premises.

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What is Marriage Value?

Marriage value is applicable to leasehold properties. It is the increase in value of the property following the completion of a lease extension or collective enfranchisement, reflecting the increased market value of the longer lease.

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What is a Leasehold Acquisition Order?

Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 leaseholders can acquire the freehold of their building where a landlord is in consistent breach of their management obligations over a long period of time.

This is obtained by application to the County Court for a compulsory acquisition order. The right to acquire the freehold via an acquisition order is only given to qualifying tenants - those under a long lease which was originally granted for a term of more than 21 years.

Read more about Absentee Freeholder?

What is an Expert Witness Report?

An expert witness report is used to inform a court of law on matters that are outside its expertise. An expert’s opinion is set out in a report as instructed by the court and is used to help reach a decision in order to resolve the dispute before it.

Read more about Independent valuations

What is Property Litigation?

Property litigation is a field of law that deals with disputes relating to all kinds of property. It typically involves settling any disputes between property owners and their tenants and also includes a wide range of other matters involving the ownership of residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural property.

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What is a Market Rent Review Clause?

A market rent review clause is a provision within a lease to enable changes to the rent at regular intervals during the term of the lease to reflect the market value of the property.

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What is a Freehold?

A Freehold is the complete ownership of a piece of land and all immovable structures built on it. If you buy a freehold, you’re responsible for maintaining your property and land, so you’ll need to budget for both these costs. Most houses are freehold but some might be leasehold, usually through share-ownership schemes.

Read more about Lease Extensions Freeholder

What is a Participation Agreement?

A participation agreement is a contract between all the leaseholders of a property participating together in the joint purchase of their freehold and it provides a legal basis for the action.

Read more about Buying Freehold

What is a Section 42 Notice?

A Section 42 Notice (also known as a Tenant’s Notice) is served on the landlord/freeholder of a property and starts the purchase of the freehold or lease extension process. Once a valuation of the property has been carried out by your surveyor they will send the valuation on to your solicitor. Next, your solicitor will serve a Section 42 Notice on your landlord/freeholder advising the amount you are willing to pay for the freehold.

Read more about lease extensions leaseholder

What is the First Tier Tribunal?

The First Tier Tribunal is part of the court system in the United Kingdom. The First tier tribunal (Property Chamber) has 5 regional offices throughout England that deal with settling disputes in relation to leasehold property and the private rented sector.

Read more about lease extensions leaseholder

What does the term ‘demised to you in your lease’ mean?

Put in basic terms, in this instance, it relates to which parts of the property have been transferred to you under your lease and which parts have been retained by the freeholder/landlord.

Read more about Roof space valuation

What is a Section 13 Notice?

A Leasehold Enfranchisement Section 13 Notice also known as an Initial Notice, is the formal notice which, when it's sent through to your landlord/freeholder, triggers off the official statutory collective enfranchisement process.

Read more about Freehold Enfranchisement: Selling a Freehold

What is a Section 21 Notice?

This standard document is a landlord's counter notice under section 21 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA 1993) admitting the tenants' claim to acquire the freehold. This process is sometimes referred to as a collective enfranchisement.

Read more about Freehold Enfranchisement: Selling a Freehold

What is a HomeBuyer report?

A homeBuyer report is the most popular Property Survey for buyers. An economic but detailed survey, suitable for most residential properties.

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What is a Leasehold?

Leasehold means that you own the property, but the land upon which the property is built is owned by the freeholder (or landlord).

This gives you the right to occupy the property for as long as the lease is valid.

Read more about Buying/Selling Leasehold

What is Ground Rent?

If your property is a leasehold property, you will have to pay an annual charge known as ground rent to the person who owns the freehold.

Read more about Buying/Selling Leasehold

What is a Section 42 Notice?

A Section 42 Notice (also known as a Tenant’s Notice) is served on the landlord/ freeholder of a property and starts the purchase of the freehold or lease extension process. Once a valuation of the property has been carried out by your surveyor they will send the valuation on to your solicitor.

Next your solicitor will serve a Section 42 Notice on your landlord/ freeholder advising the amount you are willing to pay for the freehold.

Read more about Buying/Selling Leasehold

What does Leasehold mean?

Leasehold means that you own the property, but the land upon which the property is built is owned by the freeholder (or landlord). This gives you the right to occupy the property for as long as the lease is valid.

Read more about Lease Extension calculator

What is Ground Rent?

If your property is a leasehold property you'll have to pay an annual charge, known as ground rent, to the person who owns the freehold as specified in the lease.

Read more about Lease Extension calculator

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital gains tax (CGT) is payable when you sell an asset that has increased in value since you bought it. The rate varies based on a number of factors, such as your income and size of gain. For residential property it may be 18% or 28% of the gain (not the total sale price).

Read more about Inheritance Tax Valuation

What is Non-Domicile Tax?

A non-domicile is a UK resident whose permanent home, or domicile, is outside of the UK. Key to non-dom tax status is that an individual must pay UK tax on UK earnings, but need not pay UK tax on foreign income or gains unless they bring that income back to the UK.

Read more about Retrospective Valuation?

What is a Secured Lending Valuation?

Whether you are securing a business loan against the value of a commercial or other premises or seeking finance to undertake a development project, a lender will require a valuation to ensure that the property they are lending against provides good security.

The purpose of having a loan valuation completed is to establish whether the amount of the loan can be secured against the value of the property and, should you default on the loan, whether the lender can realistically recoup the amount.

Read more about Secured Lending Valuation

why do i need a shared ownership valuation?

Whether you are selling your shared ownership property or buying further shares in it (known as staircasing), it’s important to know the true value of the 100% market value of your property so you can make informed decisions and to ensure the housing provider is demonstrating best practice. To do this you will require a RICS Market Valuation.

When selling a shared ownership property you have to offer your share of the property back to the housing association to sell on to their list of current affordable housing buyers at the property valuation price.

Our surveyors can provide your valuation quickly so you can make an informed confident decision armed with all of the facts.

Please note, often your shared ownership documentation will insist on a valuation being within 3 months of the date you go on the market or exchange contracts.

Read more about Shared Ownership Valuation

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital gains tax (CGT) is payable when you sell an asset that has increased in value since you bought it. The rate varies based on a number of factors, such as your income and size of gain. For residential property it may be 18% or 28% of the gain (not the total sale price).

Read more about Inheritance Tax Valuation

What is Inheritance Tax?

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is a tax on the estate of someone who has died, including all property, possessions and money.

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What is Non-Domicile Tax??

A non-domicile is a UK resident whose permanent home, or domicile, is outside of the UK. Key to non-dom tax status is that an individual must pay UK tax on UK earnings, but need not pay UK tax on foreign income or gains unless they bring that income back to the UK.

Read more about taxation

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died - which generally means clearing their debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their will.

Read more about Inheritance Tax Valuation

Who is the District Valuer?

District Valuer Services (DVS) is the specialist property arm of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

They provide independent, impartial, valuation and professional property advice across the entire public sector, and where public money or public functions are involved.

Read more about Capital Gains Tax Valuation

What is Probate?

Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died - which generally means clearing their debts and distributing their assets in accordance with their will.

Read more about Inheritance Tax Valuation

What is Non-Domicile Tax?

A non-domicile is a UK resident whose permanent home, or domicile, is outside of the UK. Key to non-dom tax status is that an individual must pay UK tax on UK earnings, but need not pay UK tax on foreign income or gains unless they bring that income back to the UK.

Read more about Non-domicile Tax Valuation

Moving Home?

Check out our handy moving home checklist to make sure you’re on top of everything!
We pride ourselves on helping people with our helpful property insights and our Moving House Checklist article is proving quite the hit.

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Here's what our customers say

CLARE MCSHANE

Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)

RICARDO OLIVEIRA

I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.

Joebun

Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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