RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report

A RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report, formerly known as a RICS Condition Report, is a basic survey for modern and new-build properties.

What is a RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report?

A RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report, previously known as a RICS Condition Report, is one of the surveys available when purchasing a property. There are three commonly used surveys when buying your home, and the RICS Level 1 Condition Report is the least thorough of surveys undertaken. 

When do you need a RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report? 

The Level 1 Condition Report Survey provides a basic overview of a property’s condition and any risks it may contain. Unlike more in-depth surveys available, it doesn’t include a valuation. 

The Level 1 RICS Condition Report is a short, surface-level inspection of a property utilised to highlight any obvious defects. The Level 1 Survey is a professional inspection created by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to ensure that a buyer is aware of any significant issues before committing to the purchase of a property. 

However, it does not include recommendations, advice, or the cost of any repairs that may be noted and needed. It also doesn’t have a valuation of the property. 

Picture of an old listed country home that would need a building survey report

What type of property needs a Level 1 Home Condition Survey? 

As the RICS Condition Report is the least thorough of professional property surveys, it’s only recommended for new properties less than five years old. It should be in at least a reasonable condition with an accessible history of any repairs and maintenance. 

We wouldn’t recommend the Level 1 Condition Report for older buildings, unusual or converted buildings, or properties with significant defects. 

If you’re not purchasing a new build or newer property, we recommend a more comprehensive survey, for example, a RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report, to inspect the building. For properties with unusual construction or older than 100 years old, we recommend a RICS Home Survey Level 3 Report

What’s included in the RICS Home Survey Level 1 Report?

As mentioned above, the Level 1 Survey is the most basic survey available to homebuyers, providing a simple overview of the condition of a property and any potential issues. It is simply meant to give a summary of a property and the possible risks involved. 

Your surveyor will inspect the inside and outside of the main building (and any permanent outbuildings), recording the construction and any visible defects. They will only review as much of the property that’s visible and accessible, and they will not move anything, such as fitted carpets, floorboards, furniture, or the contents of cupboards etc. 

A Level 1 RICS Condition Report will cover some common issues found throughout a property, with the obvious surface-level problems highlighted. The Level 1 Report will also advise on any legal issues that must be addressed before the purchase is complete. 

The RICS Level 1 Report provides a buyer with information on: 

  • The local area and location of the property 
  • Local environment 
  • The energy efficiency of the property

How much is a RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report?

At Robinson Elliott, we provide RICS Level 1 Condition Reports for properties across Sussex, Kent, Surrey and South London. We perform all RICS Condition Surveys to our high standards, and the price may vary due to the nature of each specific property. However, as a guide, prices for a RICS Home Survey Level 1 Condition Report range from £300 – £700. 

If you’d like more information on the costs of the different surveys and what’s included, you can find more guidance on pricing here

How long does a Level 1 House Survey take?

Depending on the size of the property and any issues discovered, a Level 1 Survey could take roughly an hour, and your survey results should be with you in 3-5 working days. 

How to read your Level 1 RICS Condition Report

Here at Robinson Elliott, with any home survey, our team of professional Chartered Surveyors will provide you with a colour-coded report to give you an idea of any damage or defects at a glance. 

RICS traffic light

  • Red (3) Refers to serious defects that need to be repaired, replaced, or investigated urgently.
  • Amber (2) Refers to defects that need repairing or replacing but are not considered serious or urgent. The property must be maintained in the usual way.
  • Green (1) No repair is currently needed, and the property must be maintained in the usual way.
  • NI Not inspected.

However, unlike our more comprehensive surveys, the Level 1 Survey will not provide advice or recommendations for addressing defects or damage. If you’d prefer your report to include a plan of action or the potential costs involved, we recommend opting for a more detailed report, such as the Level 2 or Level 3 Surveys

brown and red brick building with a grey wooden door

How does the Level 1 Survey compare to other surveys available? 

As the most limited survey, the RICS Condition Report isn’t frequently used, and if you’re concerned about a property, we recommend a more in-depth survey. 

If you’re wondering how the Level 1 Survey compares to other RICS Surveys available, the below will give you a brief overview of each report. 

Snagging List

A snagging list isn’t a survey but a list of damages or defects that a builder or developer needs to complete before the property is considered ready for sale. A snagging list is only suitable for new-build properties to correct any issues missed during initial construction. 

RICS Valuation Report

A basic inspection used to indicate the value of a property, and a RICS Valuation is required when applying for a mortgage. It’s also typically needed if there are changes in shared equity, Government schemes such as Shared Ownership, and for tax reasons. A RICS Valuation isn’t a survey and cannot replace one; it will only highlight apparent damage that could impact a property’s value. 

RICS Home Survey Level 2 Report (Home Buyers Report) 

More comprehensive than the Level 1 Survey, a Level 2 Survey can be used for many different properties, including conventional buildings and homes built after 1800. This is the most popular survey; it’s recommended in many instances as it’s suitable for flats and houses and includes a valuation (if needed). 

RICS Home Survey Level 3 Report (Building Survey)

Usually reserved for higher risk properties, for example, those older than 50 years old, made from unusual or non-conventional materials, or for buildings that have or will be altered/extended. This is the most in-depth survey available. 

Should you choose a Level 1 or Level 2 Survey? 

When purchasing a property, we all want to be confident and have peace of mind, so we would only recommend a RICS Condition Report in specific circumstances. If you want a more in-depth report on a property’s condition and a summary of any defects and how to fix them, we recommend the Level 2 Survey (Homebuyers Survey) as it’s much more thorough.

Here at Robinson Elliott Surveyors, we have extensive experience in all types of property and areas in the South East of England; contact our expert team today to discuss a survey for your property.


  • 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.