What is a non-intrusive survey?
As a buyer, it’s understandable that you might desire a surveyor to ‘drill down’ (possibly even literally) to find evidence of any issues affecting the property but you have to consider the rights of the seller and further, their rights reasonably to refuse to allow activities which might end up devaluing the home they’re trying to sell. After all, at the stage that a buyer normally gets a survey, that buyer can still pull out, regardless of the results of that survey.
Non-intrusive protects the seller
A surveyor might spot evidence of an issue which requires an invasive survey to be able to make a better judgment about, but the surveyor can only ask the seller if they are prepared for this to happen. Naturally, the chances of damaging a property are greatly increased with an invasive survey. Thus it cannot ever be presumed that a seller will give consent to this and reasonably so.
What if you were selling eggs?
If we applied that to the conveyancing sphere, then sellers would only allow this to happen if the buyer was in some way indemnified against damage. The complications for all parties involved if this path were followed can only be imagined. At very least, you’d still be unable to force a seller to allow an invasive survey. This is why surveyors are limited to inspecting only visible areas that they are granted access to by the seller.
What is an intrusive survey?
- Lifting carpets/floorboards
- Drilling holes
- Removal of tiles
- Removal of plaster
When should you get an intrusive survey?
In simple terms, if a surveyor produces hard evidence that a property has serious problems with rot, the home owner involved would be well advised to investigate the matter further before either damage occurs or the costs of remedy rocket upwards – “a stitch in time saves nine”.
Buyer’s interests vs. Seller’s interests
Invasive surveys generally arise because there has been an initial non-invasive survey, which might for example be a building survey purchased by a potential property buyer, which has uncovered evidence of one or more serious defects. The property owner agrees to the survey either because they themselves have ordered it or they have agreed as a vendor to such a survey being ordered by a potential buyer.