Our Services

Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors specialise in pre-purchase surveys of residential homes throughout London and the home counties. Our clients include everyone from buying agents and law firms representing purchasers in prime central London, to private individuals buying their first home.

In the last year we prepared detailed reports on the condition of 650 properties, ranging from multimillion pound country estates and listed and period properties to city centre converted flats.

With over 25 years experience, Desbruslais offer a full range of surveying services and consultancy. See below for more details.

Building Surveys

Choosing a home is an emotive decision and, increasingly, leads to a major financial commitment.

Our detailed building surveys explain the practical implications of your proposed purchase, whether the defects found are typical of the age and style of the building, and what repairs you should prioritise once you have moved in. Of course, no property is entirely without defect, especially those of an older type. Our experience and intricate understanding of construction and of period property means we can report effectively without causing unnecessary alarm.

While we do not carry out environmental searches (which your Solicitor will normally arrange), we will draw to your attention any relevant environmental issues which we may become aware of.

Our comprehensive inspections and succinct reports are essential reading for you, the buyer, and can prove priceless in the context of the commitment you are about to make. We will gladly liaise with your legal advisers over problematic issues that they may raise.

 

Back to top

Listed Building Surveys

Preparing a Listed Building Survey can prove complex, and the advice provided by our reports is vital if you are to be fully informed of what you are taking on.

Historic England (the successor to English Heritage) says: “Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.” Such buildings are not necessarily old, although there are few dated after 1945. If you buy (or lease) such a building you will not be allowed to carry out most forms of work to it without Listed Building Consent. Against this limitation, you may be acquiring a fascinating and pleasing building. You could, however, also be buying in to a catalogue of non-compliant changes made by previous owners.

A listed Building Survey is not just a report on the condition, but also provides advice on your potential liability to make good alterations that have no consent. This could mean making retrospective planning applications for listed building consent, and at worse, reinstating parts of the building to a previously consented form. Providing appropriate advice on such matters without potentially opening ‘a can of worms’ is a fine balance. We have special expertise in Listed properties, whether they be of stone, timber, brick, or unorthodox construction, and are well placed to understand and explain your future repairing requirements and liabilities.

Back to top

Commercial Property Inspections

Whether you are purchasing an investment or acquiring for your own occupation we can provide a report tailored to your needs. If you are making a large investment you will require a full building survey and possibly specialist reports, which we can arrange.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes. In older town centres, you may be acquiring a Listed property. We can advise you on the specific issues arising.

Back to top

Home Purchase Surveys

These are reports which are prepared to a standard format. They are normally quite brief, and give you an overview of the property and whether you need to take, or consider, any type of rapid action. Occasionally it is necessary to explain more complex issues which were not previously expected.

These reports generally suit more modern and straightforward properties, including flats, although they may be feasible for many Victorian houses or flats of more typical design. A list of urgent and standard items is appended; the reports are fully illustrated.

 

Back to top

Expert Witness Reports

If you are involved in a dispute involving a technical building issue, you need an expert who can assess the strength of your case with the ability to present opinions in a clear and convincing form.

Robert Desbruslais offers a wealth of professional expertise and experience as an expert witness to meet that need. Robert has given evidence in court on valuation and defective reporting issues as both advocate and joint witness to the court. Reports conform to the Woolf Reforms and the latest Civil Procedure Rules.

Back to top

Specifications

We can provide brief specifications for repair and maintenance work on blocks of flats, providing a description of works required based on a survey of the building.

Armed with this information, a building managers can arrange the repairs in the knowledge that works are prioritised and money is not wasted on unnecessary or inappropriate repairs.

Back to top

Buildings Insurance

It is essential you insure your building for the correct amount. If you are under insured, in the event of a claim, the payment you receive from the insurers will leave a short fall even for claims less then the sum insured. This is known as averaging, and can leave you with a hefty bill to cover the remaining repair costs. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can inspect your home and calculate an accurate sum insured that takes into account all potential costs including fees, demolition and in the case of a listed building, reinstating special features such as wattle and daub, period fireplaces and so on.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

Back to top

Archaeological Interpretative Survey

This is an investigation and recording of a building to establish its original character, dating and form, together with its numerous phases of alteration and addition through time.

The purpose for undertaking an Archaeological Interpretative Survey is typically to aid the formulation of a strategy for conservation, alteration or repair, as part of listed building or planning consent process. They are also carried out for interested property owners who wish to gain a better understanding of their building and have a lasting record.

The results of the investigation are produced in a report format which includes discussion of the findings, photographs and drawings. We provide varying levels of inspection and reporting, ranging from a basic record with brief commentary with or without sketches, to a comprehensive report with full discussion and measured drawings.
.

Back to top

Building Surveys

Choosing a home is an emotive decision and, increasingly, leads to a major financial commitment.

Our detailed building surveys explain the practical implications of your proposed purchase, whether the defects found are typical of the age and style of the building, and what repairs you should prioritise once you have moved in. Of course, no property is entirely without defect, especially those of an older type. Our experience and intricate understanding of construction and of period property means we can report effectively without causing unnecessary alarm.

While we do not carry out environmental searches (which your Solicitor will normally arrange), we will draw to your attention any relevant environmental issues which we may become aware of.

Our comprehensive inspections and succinct reports are essential reading for you, the buyer, and can prove priceless in the context of the commitment you are about to make. We will gladly liaise with your legal advisers over problematic issues that they may raise.

Buildings Insurance
It is essential you insure your building for the correct amount. If you are under insured, in the event of a claim, the payment you receive from the insurers will leave a short fall even for claims less then the sum insured. This is known as averaging, and can leave you with a hefty bill to cover the remaining repair costs. Desbruslais Chartered Surveyors can inspect your home and calculate an accurate sum insured that takes into account all potential costs including fees, demolition and in the case of a listed building, reinstating special features such as wattle and daub, period fireplaces and so on.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

Expert Witness Reports
If you are involved in a dispute involving a technical building issue, you need an expert who can assess the strength of your case with the ability to present opinions in a clear and convincing form.
Robert Desbruslais offers a wealth of professional expertise and experience as an expert witness to meet that need.

He has given evidence in court on valuation and defective reporting issues as both advocate and joint witness to the court. Reports conform to the Woolf Reforms and the latest Civil Procedure Rules.

Home Purchase Surveys
These are reports which are prepared to a standard format. They are normally quite brief, and give you an overview of the property and whether you need to take, or consider, any type of rapid action. Occasionally it is necessary to explain more complex issues which were not previously expected.

These reports generally suit more modern and straightforward properties, including flats, although they may be feasible for many Victorian houses or flats of more typical design. A list of urgent and standard items is appended; the reports are fully illustrated.

Listed Buildings
Historic England (successor to English Heritage) says: “Listing marks and celebrates a building’s special architectural and historic interest, and also brings it under the consideration of the planning system, so that it can be protected for future generations.” An analogous scheme is run by Cadw in Wales.

Such buildings are not necessarily old, although there are few dated after 1945. If you buy (or lease) such a building you will not be allowed to carry out most forms of work to it without Listed Building Consent. Against this limitation, you may be acquiring a fascinating and pleasing building.

We have special expertise in Listed properties, whether they be of stone, timber, brick, or unorthodox construction, and are well placed to understand and explain your future repairing requirements.

Archaeological Interpretative Survey

This survey is an investigation and recording of a building to establish its original character, dating and form, together with its numerous phases of alteration and addition through time.

The purpose for undertaking an Archaeological Interpretative Survey is typically to aid the formulation of a strategy for conservation, alteration or repair, as part of listed building or planning consent process. They are also carried out for interested property owners who wish to gain a better understanding of their building and have a lasting record.

The results of the investigation are produced in a report format which includes discussion of the findings, photographs and drawings. We provide varying levels of inspection and reporting, ranging from a basic record with brief commentary with or without sketches, to a comprehensive report with full discussion and measured drawings.

Commercial Property Inspections
Whether you are purchasing an investment or acquiring for your own occupation we can provide a report tailored to your needs. If you are making a large investment you will require a full building survey and possibly specialist reports, which we can arrange.

If you are taking a Lease, we will check the appropriate clauses of the Lease, if available, to establish your repairing obligations. Standard Leases often do not take account of the variability of particular cases, which can give rise to later Landlord/Tenant disputes.

In older town centres, you may be acquiring a Listed property. We can advise you on the specific issues arising.

Specifications

We can provide brief specifications for repair and maintenance work on blocks of flats, providing a description of works required based on a survey of the building.

Armed with this information, a building managers can arrange the repairs in the knowledge that works are prioritised and money is not wasted on unnecessary or inappropriate repairs.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This