Guidelines for inspecting properties

29 May 2020

The following guidelines highlight new ways of working for physical property valuations and how the process will work. We've also created a PDF copy of these guidelines that you can share with your clients. Click here to download a copy.

For surveying firms the health and well-being of their colleagues, customers, home occupants and communities is a priority. So now, as physical inspections begin to take place, it's worth noting how the process will differ from the time before the pandemic was declared.

Typically the surveying firms will ask some important questions before booking the appointment, such as;

  • Is anyone in the household suffering from COVID symptoms?
  • Is anyone self-isolating/shielding?
  • Is anyone in the household clinically extremely vulnerable?

Once they've established it's safe to carry out an inspection, they will then ask a few more questions specifically relating to the inspection process, which should provide greater reassurance for your clients, for example they may;

  • explain that the surveyor will be using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). 
  • ask questions regarding the property and its occupants beforehand.
  • have specific requests of occupants, for example, asking that internal doors be opened.

THE INSPECTION PROCESS

Where it's agreeable for an inspection to take place the following steps will help ensure the inspection can proceed and be completed in a safe and timely manner:

  • Surveyors have been issued with PPE and have been guided on how to safely inspect a property. They may arrive wearing this equipment, or don their PPE just prior to starting their inspection. They may sanitise their hands before or after entering the property.
  • A distance of 2 metres must remain between the surveyor and anyone present in the home. This is to protect occupants and surveyors.
  • Ideally it is best for any and all occupants to vacate the property for the short duration of the inspection. They could perhaps sit in a garden or communal area. Where this is not possible, all occupants should locate to a defined room, until the Surveyor needs to view that room, perhaps towards the end of the inspection.
  • The surveyor needs to inspect the property internally and externally. Opening internal and external doors, or other access points, will prevent the need for the surveyor to touch additional surfaces.
  • Any pets present may be distressed by a visitor to the home. It is therefore best if pets are restrained, or kept separately, to prevent contact with the surveyor.
  • The surveyor will make every effort to contact your clients prior to the inspection. Should their circumstances change and it would not be appropriate for the inspection to proceed, they'll need to let the firm of surveyors know. And if this changes just prior to the inspection, again please make it clear they'll need to tell the surveyor before the inspection begins.

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