Tree Survey for Mortgage Applications

Mortgage lenders will often require you to have a Tree Survey to ensure that your property will not be affected by nearby trees.

Why has my mortgage lender asked for an arboricultural report?

If you are taking out a mortgage or re-mortgaging your property, you may be asked by your mortgage provider or insurance company to provide an arboricultural report (also referred to as an arboricultural survey or tree survey for mortgage purposes). An arboricultural report is a specialist type of report produced by a person who has expert knowledge about the management of trees in relation to buildings and structures.

Often, this type of report is requested after a building surveyor has assessed the property. If required, the survey will identify and recommend ways to manage the potential risk posed by trees to your property, with the aim of preventing potentially costly buildings repairs.

The tree survey and arboricultural report have two purposes. Firstly, as mentioned above, the first purpose is to inform mortgage providers or insurance companies about the likelihood of potential structural damage and prevent building repair costs. The second purpose of a tree survey for mortgage applications is to establish the level of risk that trees pose to people and property via falling branches, raised paving, or complete tree failure due to the poor condition of a tree. The arboricultural report should include an estimated cost for any recommended works, which can then be used during discussions with the mortgage lender, should retention be suggested.

What is an arboricultural report for mortgage purposes?

The request of an arboricultural report by a building surveyor during a mortgage application is not necessarily an indication that trees or vegetation are certain to cause building damage. Usually, tree works are often recommended to ensure that trees and vegetation are maintained to prevent them from becoming large specimens and are more manageable within the garden. Often a regular cycle of pruning works is recommended for larger trees. Sometimes, when no other options are available, trees will need to be removed. However, this action should only be undertaken after consulting a qualified arboricultural consultant as this can also lead to structural damage.

All types of trees, large shrubs and climbers must be surveyed to assess their potential ability to affect a structure, paving or garden wall. However, just because trees and vegetation are growing close by, this does not mean that they will cause damage. In fact, the majority of trees and shrubs within our gardens will never cause any type of problem. But, as a precautionary measure, by assessment of tree species, size, age, vigor and proximity to structures the level of risk that trees or any other large form of vegetation (e.g. an overgrown ivy climber) can be assessed and management works recommended.

Prior to undertaking any tree works, a statutory tree protection enquiry must be made with the local planning authority. Checks must be made to establish whether the trees are protected by a Tree Preservation Order and/or whether the trees are located within a Conservation Area. If protected, substantial fines will be issued where protected trees are either removed or pruned without consent.

It is recommended that qualified and experienced companies are sort when appointing tree work contractors and they should be approved under the Arboricultural Association Approved Contractors scheme. It is essential that all appointed tree work contractors have adequate Public Liability, Products Liability and Employers Liability Insurance. All tree works must conform to the current BS 3998 “Recommendations for Tree Work”. It is essential that those appointed to undertake any tree works carry out adequate checks to ensure that no statutory laws are contravened during tree work operations.

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Robert offers a friendly and professional service and provides a comprehensive report. He is flexible in his approach and is happy to advise on measures that can be taken to reduce the impact of design proposals on trees. We have worked with Robert for many years and envisage working with him for many more.

Eleanor Hall, Director
Hayes & Partners Architects

We are chartered architects and have worked with Robert Godwin for over 10 years on various projects. We have found his company to be professional, knowledgeable, reliable and always available. Robert’s attention to detail is first class and he is well able to deal with the local authorities arboriculturists.

Peter Dickinson
Peter Dickinson Architects

As developers with more than thirty years’ experience our success has depended upon selecting professional advisors and consultants with a high standard of competence. Robert Godwin has acted for us on numerous projects. His work is of the highest standard and has always produced successful results. We look forward to a continuing working relationship.

David Rahal, Director
Malvern Homes Limited, Property Developers

We’ve worked with Godwins Tree Surveys on numerous projects and have always found their service to be efficient, thorough and friendly. A clear quotation at the outset is followed up by a flexible site visit and detailed report; and Robert is always happy to discuss questions and concerns. Highly recommended.

Mark Whitfield, Architect
Whitfield Architects

We have worked with Godwins for a number of years to provide arboricultural advice and prepare statements in support of a variety of planning application submissions. We have found them to be professional, competitively priced and especially responsive at resolving issues during the application process, all of which are essential in order to secure timely planning permissions for our clients.

Chartered Town Planners
De Pol Associates

We have previously used many arboriculturists to prepare tree surveys for our planning applications submissions, but found Godwins to be the most efficient, cost effective and our consultants of choice.

Jason Cartwright, Director
P4B Extend Limited, Architects

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