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Does a pre purchase survey check for structural defects?

Yes. In fact a common name for a pre purchase survey is a "Structural Survey". The surveyor will be looking out for signs of any potential structural defects. If any are identified, they will document them on the report, give a condition rating and include advise or next steps.

Structural defects are the most costly and serious issues a property may have and so it is vital that you are aware of them before you sign contracts. For very serious or costly issues you may want to pull out of the sale. Then for issues which are more minor you may be willing to continue anyway.

What are structural defects?

Structural defects are anything which would indicate an issue with the structural shell of the building. These could be issues with the foundation like heave or subsidence, various types of cracking in the walls, issues with the roof, issues with the chimney stack and much more.

What are the limitations with a survey?

As a pre purchase structural survey is a visual inspection only, the surveyor can not identify issues which have not yet started to present or are hidden.


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