Specialist Property Surveys

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When might a specialist property report be required?

A standard homebuyer report may highlight areas that require further exploration such as asbestos, damp, drains, or timber. You’ll want to have these reports done to make sure the property is worth what you’re paying for it.  

Sometimes, your mortgage lender’s valuation report may bring certain issues which trouble the valuation and may have an impact on their ability to lend. In this case, specialist reports will also be required.  

Homeowners may also choose to have these reports carried out if they are conducting significant property maintenance and development work. 

How do specialist property reports work?

Specialist property reports are carried out by professionals with in-depth knowledge of the issue in question. Depending on the type of report, certain equipment and processes may be required to determine the full extent and impact of the issue, and provide information on the next steps. Certain reports may also require the additional services of a structural engineer to undertake an inspection of a specific problem or the structure in its entirety. Once the report is completed, a written document will be provided summarising the findings along with advice on the suggested remedial action and the costs involved. 

Types of specialist property reports.

Here’s a summary of some of the most common specialist property reports required during the purchase process. This list isn’t exhaustive, though, and there are plenty of other reports available depending on your requirements.  

Structural engineer’s full survey.

This survey comprises an inspection of the whole property and includes a full written report detailing all the relevant findings. 

Timber & damp.

A timber and damp survey checks the ground floor walls for tell-tale signs of damp and also looks at accessible roof and floor timbers for signs of any problems such as woodworm or rot. 

CCTV drain.

In this survey, a camera is put down the drains in order to gain a better understanding of their condition. This survey can also include unblocking drains before sending the camera down for an extra charge if required. This survey might also cover septic tanks and cesspits. 


An electrical report is exactly what it sounds like. A qualified electrician will test all the electrical circuits in the property using an industry framework to produce what is known as a periodic report. 


This report is created through testing the property’s gas systems and the condition of the pipework, as well as looking at all the related appliances and the boiler.  

Gas & central heating.

This is similar to the above report, but may also include a full inspection of the central heating and plumbing systems. A similar report can also be carried out for properties with oil-fired systems. 

Tree or arboricultural report.

Sometimes trees can threaten structure and drainage. This report seeks to understand the threat nearby trees pose to the property so any necessary actions can be taken. 

Japanese knotweed.

Japanese knotweed is a fast-growing plant that can quickly undermine a property’s structural integrity. This report is used to identify suspected plants and carry out an assessment of their risk.  

Wall tie.

A wall tie report uses specialist equipment to look inside cavity walls to inspect them for signs of corrosion of the wall ties.  

Roof inspection.

This is a thorough examination of the roof internally and externally depending on the level of access possible. Following the assessment, a report on the condition of the roof structure and coverings is produced. 


If there is asbestos present in pipes, roofing, insulation, or any other area of the property, an asbestos survey will be required to determine the risk it poses to occupant health and property value. 

Mundic test.

Mundic was historically used in mortar, particularly in the South West. However, it can weaken over time and therefore its condition will need to be assessed to determine if repairs are required. 

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Emma Jones
Emma Jones
Emma began her career in Lloyds Banking Group, first in the unsecured & secured loans department at Halifax and later as a mortgage advisor at Lloyds. During 9 years in these roles and a further 2 years at Yorkshire Building Society, Emma was able to observe the impact of the recession, and how the banks let their customers down by denying loans and mortgages. Wanting to be a driving force for change, she stepped into a market advice role where she has been able to help clients when others couldn’t. Identifying a gap in the mortgage space, Emma went on to establish When the Bank Says No. As a keen property investor, she has been the focus of features in publications including The Sunday Times and This is Money. Emma’s greatest joy is overcoming the low expectations of their customers, many of whom have all but given up on getting a mortgage due. One thing Emma has learned through her own personal struggles is every client must be treated like a human and understood better by advisors and lenders in the industry. “We all have to navigate life events which can ultimately impact your financial status. It shouldn’t mean dreams of homeownership or business growth should have the breaks applied”. Emma and her team’s passion for helping people overcome the challenges they may face when applying for a mortgage have fuelled the success of When the Bank Says No.

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