Snagging Survey

29/10/2017
You get a snagging survey when you want to identify defects in a property and get them corrected.

They are particularly associated with new build properties and RICS surveyors generally carry them out on a new build home buyer's behalf. They normally do this when the developer serves notice that completion is set to occur within 14 days; alternatively they do this at any time during the first 2 years of the property’s warranty period.

Snagging reports have become more prominent in the news because of the rise in popularity of buying newly-built flats off-plan – meaning they weren’t even built when the buyer initially started the buying process with the developer – which exposes the buyers to snagging.

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Why get a snagging survey?

You hire a building surveyor to carry out a snagging inspection to ensure that the new build property you’re in the process of buying matches the plans and specifications which the developer set down for it and is generally finished to a high standard. In common with a standard home buyers survey, it is well worth you hiring a professional because they examine all aspects of the build and fabric of the property with an experienced eye. Given the amount of money you are spending, you should do as much as you can to ensure that what you’re intending to buy is worth it.

An experienced chartered surveyor is able to pick out faults, whether they are more traditional defects, such as subsidence, or more subtle – but very annoying – faults such as broken tiles, leaking showers and generally bad finishing. They will then present them in a snagging report.

When you are buying a pre-existing property, in the normal process you would get a home buyers survey done in between getting an offer accepted and exchange of contracts and this is the chief way you can find out about any defects. With a new build property however, in most situations the buying process starts off at exchange of contracts and you have guarantees against matters like subsidence, but you are still well advised not to complete without a professional survey.

NB New Builds are exempt from most UK consumer protection legislation


UK new homes are excluded from the majority of consumer protection legislation, for example the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. For many other goods, a buyer would normally be able order that any defects were put right in 14 days, and have the right to use another contractor if the original developer were unable to do this.

However the providers of warranties for new builds, such as those offered by the National House Building Council, although they provide a dispute resolution service, insist that developers be given 8 weeks to solve defects. This puts matter on the same level with most other matters related to buying and selling property, where caveat emptor – or ‘let the buyer beware’ – is the guiding principle. This gives even more reason for a new build buyer to hire a chartered surveyor to carry out a snagging survey.

What types of snagging survey are there?

There are two:

    1
    Pre-completion snagging survey
As it sounds, you hire your chartered surveyor to examine the property pre-completion. This way, if there are any major faults, you can negotiate with the developer before you hand over your completion monies.

    2
    Post-completion snagging survey
This occurs once you’ve moved in and had time to notice more subtle mistakes and deviations from what you were told you were buying. As stated, you’d normally get this type of survey in the first 2 years after buying the property and within the period that the developer has guaranteed the property.

Obviously the longer you live in the property, the less chance you have of holding a developer responsible for property defects because the property’s occupiers are causing wear and tear and guarantees eventually expire.

How much does the survey cost?

The cost is less than for a HomeBuyer Report or a Building Survey, however not much less. Instead of concentrating on wear-and-tear defects, it focuses on build quality and whether a property has been completed to a reasonable standard.

What are the common snags observed?

It’s impossible to list all possible snags that might be noted in a survey, however we've pictured some actual snags observed in real inspections below. Other commonly-observed faults and shortcomings include cracked tiles, leaking boilers and sloppy painting. You can read more about these matters and other facts of interest in the following article about new build homes.

In order, the following photographs show these defects:

    1
    Cracked carcass under kitchen sink
    2
    Kitchen sink not sealed properly
    3
    Painting incomplete where polyfilla used
    4
    Wall scuffs and dents
    5
    Painting Incomplete
    6
    Skirting board not flush to flooring

Snagging-Survey---Cracked-Carcass-under-Kitchen-Sink-6ME06c.pngSnagging-Survey---kitchen-sink-not-sealed-properly-and-sponge-showing.pngSnagging-Survey---painting-incomplete-where-polyfilla-has-been-used.png
                 

Snagging-Survey---Wall-Scuffs-and-Dents.pngSnagging-Survey---Painting-Incomplete.pngSnagging-Survey---skirting-board-not-flush-to-the-flooring.png

*RICS Surveyors – Local Knowledge – Same Week Availability
Want help now? Call us on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply)


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