Technical due diligence of commercial property

Published January 2020
Effective from 1 April 2020
Reissued April 2023

The purpose of this standard is to ensure that all technical due diligence (TDD) reports are consistent around the globe, while bringing clarity for a prospective purchaser, occupier or financier about any risks associated with a property transaction from a technical perspective.

Under previous guidance, RICS members or firms have always been required to undertake an impartial and professional assessment of a property and provide a professional opinion of the condition, highlighting any deficiencies that could have an impact on the building or its occupants.

However, the standard recognises that chartered surveyors often take the lead in the TDD process, liaising directly with specialist subconsultants and coordinating multidisciplinary inspections. All future reports are expected to assess every element of the building methodically, providing thorough recommendations and making accountability clear.

Alongside this, the standard aims to ensure that chartered surveyors produce a more useful document for any buyer, seller or invested party, reflecting the complexity of the TDD process in modern built assets.

The standard reinforces guidance about health and safety and fire safety; all members or firms should clearly stipulate any defects that require ‘immediate’ action, or foreseeable defects that could pose a danger. If any such defects are listed, the appropriate person – for example, the building owner or facilities manager – should be contacted as soon as reasonably possible to allow appropriate action to be taken.

A ‘traffic light’ risk rating is also included in the standard, highlighting to clients the areas that require appropriate action in order of importance.

This document was reissued in April 2023 as a professional standard. It had previously been published in January 2020 as a guidance note. No material changes have been made to the document.