Following the latest update from the UK Government, several mortgage lenders will now be re-introducing physical mortgage valuations into their lending process.
All lenders will set out their own processes in line with their lending criteria but the priority during all property inspections will be the safeguarding of the property occupier(s) and the surveyor. All physical valuations, no matter the property or lender, will still have to adhere to all social distancing and safety regulations set out by the UK Government, Public Health England (PHE), Public Health Wales (PHW) or Health Protection Scotland (HPS) and the RICS.
The below is a general guide since a growing number of surveyors are now able to conduct physical valuations across the country, but individual company protocol may differ slightly. It is important to know that physical valuations are currently only available in England, properties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not as yet eligible.
We are in daily discussions with all of the lenders to keep you updated and if you have any questions regarding physical valuations, you can speak to an advisor today on 08009499410.
Booking A Physical Valuation
In order to book a physical valuation for your property, an appointment will need to be booked with the lender’s surveyor and they may ask you a few initial risk assessment questions.
These questions will vary depending on your property and the lender but they could include how many people are in the property? If anyone in the property has shown symptoms of COVID-19? Has anyone in the property been identified as extremely vulnerable?
These answers will help the lender assess any potential risks for all involved and if there are any concerns, the valuation may be postponed.
Once the booking agent is happy that the inspection can be carried out safely, a time and date will be agreed. The booking clerk will also establish a series of safety conditions that will need to be present in order for the inspection to take place.
How To Prepare The Property
Once the property has cleared the initial risk assessment, the booking clerk will confirm all of the conditions that will need to be present in order for the inspection to go ahead. This could include:
- Confirming whether the occupiers will remain in the property during the inspection or the duration of the inspection if the occupiers need or wish to vacate.
- If any occupiers are to remain in the property, they may be asked to remain in one room for the duration of the inspection or to move to an alternative room to the surveyor so that social distancing can be maintained throughout the inspection.
- Occupiers may be asked to open any external doors and windows just before and during the inspection to maximise the ventilation.
- There may be a requirement to open all internal doors including meter, boiler and hot water cylinder cupboards, as well as loft hatches, to minimise contact.
- All pets will need to be removed or secured during the inspection.
All surveyors will be required to be in full health and wearing full PPE before entering any property and the 2m social distancing rule must be adhered to at all times.
What Will Happen On The Day
On the day of your appointment, it is likely that the surveyor will call shortly before the valuation to ensure that all agreed safety measures have been put in place and the inspection is still able to proceed.
If any circumstances have changed since the initial risk assessment, such as one of the occupiers has become unwell for example, the appointment may be aborted.
If it is still safe to proceed, the inspection will take place as planned.
**If on arrival any safety measures have not been adhered to, the inspection will likely be cancelled with full abortive valuation fees liable. So it’s really important to check that those present can safely allow the valuation to take place.
HMO & Multi-Unit Freehold Blocks (MUFB)
Valuations for HMO and MUFB properties may seem more problematic than other properties, but if all safety protocols can be adhered to, an inspection can still take place.
It is likely that HMO and MUFB landlords/agents will be asked to open all doors including fire doors prior to the inspection and the property may need to be vacant.
As with all properties, if any of the safety requirements set out by the surveyor are not adhered to, the inspection may be aborted and penalty fees will be charged.
Want To Know More About Physical Valuations?
If you need a physical valuation for your application or would simply like to know more, you can speak to one of our mortgage advisors today, by calling us on 08009499410 or to make it even easier, if you let us know the best way to contact you below, we will respond as soon as possible.