A detailed analysis in which our surveyor will diagnose and assess the significance of specific defects in a property you own or are intending to buy.

Building Defects Reports in Sussex, Surrey and Kent


What Is A Building Defects Report?

A Building Defects Report is a detailed analysis to determine any property defects requiring remedial work. A Chartered Surveyor will diagnose and assess the significance of specific defects in a property you own or are intending to buy.

A Building Defects Report is useful when a full Building Survey is not required. Whether you already own the property or are considering purchasing it, this Report is an advisable way to alleviate any concerns you may have over the state of the property.

At Robinson Elliott, we are regularly instructed to advise and report on both actual and suspected building defects for residential clients across Surrey and West Sussex.

A classic English house with building defects

What does a Building Defects Report Include?

We will conduct an on-site property inspection, including examination of its surroundings and external conditions. Based on our findings, we will then prepare an in-depth report into the specific issue or issues with the property. This includes a full diagnostic survey and defect appraisal based on our observations, focusing specifically on the problems found during our examination. The report will also offer recommendations for remedial action and establish a strategy for repair.

What Issues Can A Building Defects Report Address?

Residential Building Surveys and Homebuyer reports are usually used to provide advice to potential buyers or sellers of a property. They involve a full inspection of the whole property. A Building Defects Report, on the other hand, is focused on assessing property defects which may cause problems for the owner. 

A Specific Defect Report can address:

  • Structural movement
  • Design and construction defects
  • Infestations
  • Cracks and wall distortions
  • Chimney defects
  • Damp, mould and condensation
  • Decay of external elements
  • Masonry failure and roofing defects
  • Timber defects, including rot and decay
  • Inadequate alterations

Whatever your concern, our team of Chartered Surveyors are skilled in the assessment and diagnosis of building defects. We will provide you with a comprehensive report on the significance of the defects, including information on the likely cause and offer informed specification for repair and estimated costs.

It is worth noting that, whilst a mortgage valuation survey will raise any specific concerns about the condition of a property, it is not in-depth. Unlike a Building Defects Report, the mortgage valuation inspection takes between 15 and 30 minutes and is only conducted for the purpose of discovering whether a property meets lending criteria. Usually, however, for the loan to proceed, a further independent professional surveyor’s report is required.

This further report is to establish the specifics of the problem and potential implications to the property’s value, providing assurance to the mortgage company. 

What Does A Defects Inspection Involve?

Our comprehensive Defects Inspection will involve a full survey of all parts of the interior and exterior structure of a property (including any outbuildings) or simply focus on the specific areas of concern. 

Most of the time, a defect inspection is non-invasive, and one visit will be enough for us to issue our report. However, on some occasions where the problem may be deeper in nature, it may be necessary to investigate within the fabric of the building itself. Soil investigations or drainage surveys are also sometimes required as part of the building defects analysis. 

What Does A Building Defects Report Contain?

Following our on-site inspection, we will prepare a full written Building Defects Report. This will include the following information:

  • A detailed description of the property’s structure and components
  • Defect diagnosis and details along with options for remedial action
  • Advice on further investigation and repair on any additional suspected significant defects
  • Environmental, safety and locality concerns
  • Points of attention for your legal advisor
  • Proposed additional surveyor services, such as testing, valuation or more intrusive investigations

Why Should I Get A Building Defects Report?

There are numerous situations in which a Building Defects Report is useful. These can include:

  • Where a potential buyer or tenant raises concern following a viewing of the property
  • Issues raised in a mortgage valuation report
  • Environmental search findings (e.g. structural ground movement/subsidence risk)
  • As a second opinion, perhaps when told differing views by contractors
  • Peace of mind for current owners, perhaps ahead of a redecoration project
  • When repeated attempts to repair a property defect have failed
  • To guide on best course of action
  • In legal disputes
  • Expert Witness reports
  • General property maintenance
  • Party wall issues
  • Dilapidations Schedules
  • Insurance purposes

Your property is a big investment, and one that should be addressed with due attention and diligence. Whether you’re planning to purchase or sell, or need to maintain the integrity of the property at any stage of your ownership, a Building Defects Report is an advisable strategy to protect your investment for now and the future. 

Why Robinson Elliott Surveyors?

In choosing Robinson Elliott for your Building Defects assessment, you will benefit from a professional service tailored to meet your specific needs. As RICS-registered Chartered Surveyors, we are highly experienced and committed to providing you with thorough information and advice, delivered in a simple and straightforward manner.


  • Thank you again for your very thorough and helpful report. it will become the backbone of our efforts to maintain the house in the coming months and years, hopefully, if all goes well.

  • Just to let you know we have completed on Sheridan Place and are moving in at the weekend. Your survey is proving very useful as we commence the repairs and improvements etc. Thanks again for a job well done.

  • Thank you. It was nice to meet you and have a chat. I like the fact that you give clients verbal feedback following your survey, a nice personal touch and very useful.