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RICS publishes new guide on home sizes

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has launched a new guide to help ensure homes are measured consistently, for sales or lettings purposes.

RICS’ Measurement Matters guide has been written in response to the disparity in measurement practices across the UK. It says these sometimes see agents adding external areas, such as a detached garage or shed to a property’s overall measurement, in a bid to seek a higher rent or sale price.

The guide is aimed at those involved in the sale or lease of residential property and clarifies what measurements should and shouldn’t be included in a home’s floorplan. It also highlights the importance of consumers checking with the sales or letting agent that the person measuring their property is qualified.

The RICS guide says a residential property’s floor plan must include accurate wall-to-wall, window-to-window measurements of internal rooms such as the kitchen, dining room, lounge and all bedrooms. However, external areas such as balconies, decking, detached garages, outbuildings, and uninhabitable basements or lofts should not be included in the overall measurement of a property, as this will result in a misunderstanding of floorplans that show a home to be larger than it really is.

RICS director of technical standards Alexander Aronsohn says: “Residential property has been measured inconsistently in the UK for far too long, and there are significant variances in measurement depending on the standard adopted and the measured areas included.

“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. This is particularly important for buyers and renters looking for a home in urban areas where space is already limited, and at a premium. 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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