A RICS Surveyor from SAM Conveyancing Conducts a Leasehold Survey for the purchase of a flat
Do you need a leasehold survey?
Most leasehold buyers should have a Level 2 Home Survey (Homebuyers Report) .

Local RICS specialists available nationwide from 21/05/2024* with same day call back & fast reports, from just £400 EXC VAT.

What is a leasehold survey?

(Last Updated: 12/12/2023)
5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • While they are not legally required (except for your lender valuation if purchasing with a mortgage), we recommend you get an appropriate leasehold survey for purchase or for extension.
  • There are several options, but Level 2 is the most common.
  • New builds will only need a snagging survey, but leaseholds of even a few years old should have a survey to protect you as the buyer.

Do I need a survey on a leasehold property?

We always recommend that you get a survey when purchasing a leasehold property. While the seller is prohibited from lying about the property, the responsibility to investigate and ask the right questions, lies with the buyer. If an expensive defect is missed because you skip the survey, you could end up with a property worth much less than you paid for it.

If defects are discovered, you may be able to negotiate a better price for the property, or you can pull out of the transaction altogether, avoiding the stress and disruption of major works after you move in.

A leasehold survey is particularly important, as you will be required to contribute toward the upkeep of the building as a whole, through service charges and major works. Just having a good look at the flat itself will not give you sufficient information to make an informed decision on whether to purchase, or for how much.

16% of homeowners discover defects

In our recent survey, 16% of homeowners found defects; including 2% who were able to pull out of a bad purchase, 7% who were able to negotiate a better price, and sadly, 7% of homeowners who did not get a survey and discovered defects after the purchase.

12 of the 39 who remembered how much these defects cost to remedy spent over £5,000

Don't burn your money, book a survey.

RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged


What type of survey do I need for a leasehold flat, maisonette or house?

Generally a Level 2 Survey (also called a Homebuyers survey) is ideal for a leasehold flat, if it's purpose built, or for standard construction houses. The L2 Survey includes a valuation and assessment of the general condition of the property, which is sufficient for simpler properties.

If the leasehold flat is in a period building (anything built before 1950), or is particularly large or unusual, or you have major construction work planned for the property, you should opt for the Level 3 Leasehold Survey.

Level 3 Surveys are more extensive, allowing the surveyor considerably more time for a more thorough inspection. It will aim to establish the building materials and techniques, how they are likely to perform in the future, as well as recommend repairs and risks of not acting, expose hidden defects (through non-intrusive methods), and give more attention to roofs, floors and services.

You will only need a snagging survey for a leasehold flat, maisonette or house if it is a new build. This type of survey relies on the building being legally required to pass building regulations separately, in which case the survey is shorter and cheaper and aims to simply catch any sloppy or unfinished work, such as damaged materials, substandard joinery, seals and paintwork, leaking plumbing or scuffs and dents left by the builders.

If your RICS surveyor deems the property to be worth less than your offer, they can work with your solicitor to help you negotiate the price with the seller.

What leasehold survey do I need for a lease extension?

A lease extension valuation is a leasehold survey which will value the premium for your extension.

RICS Surveyors | Fixed Fees | Same week availability | Access arranged

Frequently Asked Questions
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Written by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Reviewed by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands-on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.

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