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28 Nov, 2018/ by Surveyor Local /News

A new guide aims to give buyers more accurate information on the property they plan to buy, ensuring they pay a fairer price.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has produced its Measurement Matters guide, which aims to reduce inconsistent and inaccurate practices in measuring the size of property.

The guide is aiming for a consistent approach to measurement when property is being marketed for sale or let, ensuring buyers and renters don't fork out more than they should for a home based on imprecise floor plans.

Why size matters for buyers

The Measurement Matters guide also highlights to consumers the importance of checking that the sales or letting agent dealing with their transaction is qualified to carry out the measurements.

RICS is the professional body that accredits professionals in land, property, construction and infrastructure worldwide.

Surveyor Local only works with RICS-accredited chartered surveyors to deliver quality, cost-effective RICS Level 3 Surveys for property and land buyers in England and Wales.

Consistency is key

Backing the RICS guide is TV property expert Phil Spencer, who said: "The size of a home - whether buying or renting - can often make the difference in what a buyer or renter will pay for that property.

"Yet many companies measure the size of property differently and can notch up square footage by an extra 10 percent, which can result in them hiking the asking price or rent up. 

"It's vitally important that every room in a property is measured accurately so that buyers and renters pay a fair price, and RICS' Measurement Matters guide offers just that: a consistent and transparent way of measuring and producing accurate floorplans using RICS' mandatory Property Measurement Standard.

"In turn, this will create a fairer, more robust market place and give buyers and renters the peace of mind that they are not paying for something they aren't getting."

Positive impact on market

For its new guide, RICS says the floor plan must include accurate wall-to-wall and window-to-window measurements of internal rooms. Its advice is not to include external areas such as detached garages, outbuildings and decking in the overall measurement of the property. Nor should basements and lofts that cannot be inhabited be included.

Alexander Aronsohn FRICS, RICS director technical standards, said: "Residential property has been measured inconsistently in the UK for far too long.

“Our Property Measurement Standard and new supporting guide aim to ensure anyone who purchases or rents a home is doing so based on accurate information about the property.

"Above all, our guide will help to drive down the level of inconsistent and inaccurate measurement practices, which will have a hugely positive impact on the market place."

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