Building Surveys in Spain

Building Surveys in Spain

Why a Survey?

As is standard in the UK, it is recommended to obtain a survey when buying your Spanish home, as it will reduce the chance of discovering any defects or nasty surprises about the property’s condition after you’ve bought and will help you assure the safety and suitability of the property.

If through the survey there are any structural problems, this will help you to negotiate the price or insist certain works be carried out before the house is purchased.

Which Types of Surveys are there?

Condition Reports, Building Survey and Structural Reports. The scope of the survey the client needs mostly depends on the issues are concerned about previous to the deal.

RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) Condition Report

Designed for newer properties or conventional homes. It provides a clear report on the condition of the property or any urgent attention required includes:

  • An inspection of the property
  • A report based on the inspection
    The surveyor who provides the RICS Condition Report Service alms to tell you about:
    • The construction and condition of the property on the date it was inspected
    • Any defects that need urgent attention or are serious
    • Things that need further investigation to prevent serious damage to the fabric of the building
    • Defects or issues that may be hazardous to safety and where further enquiries are needed.

RICS Building Survey

Contains all the features of the Condition Report and it also includes advice on defects that may affect the value of the property with repairs and ongoing maintenance.


  • A thorough inspection of the property; and
  • A detailed report based on the inspection. The surveyor who provides the RICS Building Survey Service aims to:
    • Help you make a reasoned and informed decision when purchasing the property, or when planning for repairs, maintenance or upgrading the property
    • Provide detailed advice on the property’s condition
    • Describe the identifiable risk of potential or hidden defects;
    • Where practical and agreed, provide an estimate of costs for identified repair
    • Make recommendations as to any further actions or advice which need to be obtained before committing to purchase.

RICS Structural Report

The most comprehensive report includes defects, repair and maintenance options. The Structural Report is usually only necessary if the building is old or suspected of being unsound or if you are planning major works.

A Structural Report is a customised service suitable for all residential properties and gives full details of their construction and condition.

Which is the difference between Condition Report and Building Survey and which one should I choose?

Both condition report and building survey (even structural report), do not include market valuation due to it being a technical report.

So, if we understood our need as a technical report focused on pathology expertise, you can choose between “Condition Report” and “Building Survey”.

In both cases, an expert will visit the property, will check its condition, spaces, parking lot, storages and surroundings. Both reports will tell you about the problems that may be hazardous and show potential issues and defects. And, of course, both will define things that will need further investigation to prevent serious damages to the fabric of the building.

Defined the shared characteristics of both reports, with the Building Survey you can take advantage of knowing: an estimate of costs for identified repairs and recommendations as to any further actions or advice which need to be obtained before committing to purchase. 

That is why we recommended the Condition Report option if you are sure about the condition of the apartment and you only need the professional advice of an expert. This could be the logical choice if you assume as a buyer the needed repairs in the property have been discounted in the asking price. Please be careful with these aspects.

A bargain is never worth it if there is structural damage to the property or needs refurbishment. This report provides you a budget with the necessary repairs, maybe an important information to take in account previously to the deal. 

What does a Structural Report Include? 

You will usually need this type of survey if, for example, the property is more than 50 years old, unusually built or run-down, if the property has been extended or altered, or if you are planning a major conversion or renovation this survey will be the most helpful.

The report includes detailed technical information on materials and construction, as well as details of the whole range of defects. You can often meet our surveyor on site.

A Structural Report can be concentrated on one particular defect, specified by you. For instance evidence of movement, dampness or structural failure. It will report upon the cause of the defect and any needed remedial works.

Do the Surveys include Valuation of the Property?

No, both condition report and building survey (even structural report), do not include market valuation due to it being a technical report. The valuation and the pathology expertise are different, and imply different technicians.

How long does it take to deliver a report? 

It varies depending on who delivers the report but as an average it could be said that between three and five working days since the visit of the property

Which is the cost of a Survey?

The cost depends. The average cost is approximately 450 €. Several companies offer surveys in English language according to RICS standards from 350 € onwards. In any case depending on the specific needs of the client the property survey cost could be higher.

Thanks to Grupo Sociedad de Tasación for this information on surveys.