The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has launched a new consumer-friendly guide, Measurement Matters, in a move to stop estate agents from measuring up properties inconsistently and inaccurately. 

They are throwing a spotlight on the importance of floorplans and measurements across the industry because RICS believe that buyers and renters are at risk of paying more than they should for a property based on “inaccurate floorplans.”

The guide calls for qualified individuals to be responsible for recording the measurements, either an RICS qualified professional or RICS Certified Measurer.  It urges both buyers and renters to clarify with the estate agent that the details available have been produced by an individual who has been trained and assessed in this process.

Size really does matter

The professional body has even hired property expert and TV presenter Phil Spencer to endorse that size matters.

Spencer 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%, which can result in them hiking the asking price or rent up.

Buyers and renters deserve a fairer price

“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.”

The RICS offer specific guidance on correct floorplans which stresses that 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 or reception and all bedrooms.

However external areas such as balconies, decking, detached garages, outbuildings, as well as any uninhabitable basements or lofts should not be included in the overall measurement of a property because this will result in a misunderstanding of floorplans and suggest a property is bigger than it actually is.

Accuracy will have a positive impact on the property market place

Alexander Aronsohn, RICS’ Director of technical standards said: “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.

“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.”