Stock Condition Survey FAQs

ORS is a social research agency based in the UK. We conduct research on behalf of local authorities and other public sector services.

ORS has a specialist team who work on stock condition surveys.

If we are trying to speak to you it is probably to gather some information about the condition of your property.

My partner and I are writing to you as we wish to commend one of your researchers who attended our house. Please would you be kind enough to forward and to pass on our gratitude and best wishes to her and to mention this to her direct managers. She was very polite and highly professional. She had attended our house the previous day and we asked if she might come back later. We were both quite touched that she took the time and made the effort to call on us the next day, and also to kindly ask about our health. It seems that people tend only to contact organisations and companies when they have a complaint. We would like to express our gratitude to her.
Research participant – in-home survey, 2023

Questions & Answers...

Who are you?

We are Opinion Research Services Ltd, a limited company registered in England and Wales to undertake Market Research and Public Opinion Polling and our registered company number is 02904006.

What is a stock condition survey?

This study is about understanding the condition of the houses and flats that local people are living in. It helps the council to understand local housing needs and better plan for the future.

Why am I being asked to take part?

As it is not possible to ask everyone to take part in the survey, we select a sample of addresses to represent the entire area. Your address was selected at random from a list of private addresses held by the Royal Mail.

You can find out more information from your local authority on the survey and check it is genuine by following the link provided on the front page of the letter you received.

How do I take part?

The survey has two stages – an online household survey and a property survey.

Firstly, using the information contained within the letter you have received, visit the link provided and log in using the access code that has been allocated to you. You can also reach the survey using the QR code at the bottom of the letter.

Secondly, once you have provided your contact details and completed the household survey, we will get in touch to arrange a suitable time for a surveyor to visit your home to conduct the property survey.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part is voluntary, but we hope you will take part as the more people who can the better informed the council will be.

If you want to withdraw from the survey after taking part, please email to ask for your answers to be removed. As long as we are still completing surveys for the assessment, we can normally remove your answers.

Why should I take part when my home is in good condition

The survey is for all properties, not just homes in poor condition. It is important that the survey covers all types of properties, including those that are in good condition. This will make sure that the results are representative of all homes in the area.

The Council needs to understand the condition of all homes in private ownership – whether rented or owner occupied. This helps to inform policies on what support home owners and tenants might need to improve their properties.

What does the online questionnaire ask?

The questionnaire asks if you own or rent your home, and some other questions about the property. It also asks about the people living in the property including their ages.

What if I don’t use the internet?

If you are unable to complete the questionnaire online or would prefer to take part by phone you can call our team on Freephone 0800 324 7006 and they will complete the questionnaire with you by phone.

Our office is usually open 9:00am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday for incoming calls. If you call outside these hours you may need to leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible.

Can I take part in another language?

Yes. Although the online questionnaire is only available in English, if you need to take part in another language you can email with your contact details and details of the language that you need and we will arrange for you to take part.

What will the surveyor do when they visit?

The survey is a simple visual inspection, which takes around 20 minutes. The surveyor will need to enter the property and look around to record some details. They will ask about kitchen and bathroom facilities as well as issues such as damp, poor heating, and energy efficiency.

Surveyors will also take a small number of photos while at your property. A photo of the front of the property will be taken to help identify that a correct survey has been carried out. Additionally, photos of the kitchen, bathroom and any serious hazards will be taken to improve the accuracy of the survey.  

How do I know the surveyor is genuine?

All surveyors will carry an ORS photo identification card and have a letter from the Council. They will know the unique code which is assigned to your property. If you have any concerns you can call Freephone 0800 324 7006.

I agreed to a survey, but nobody has been in touch to arrange a visit

There may be a few weeks between completing the online questionnaire and our surveyor getting in touch to arrange the property survey.

One of our surveyors will get to you as soon as they can.

When and how will I get my voucher?

Only people complete the online questionnaire and then have a surveyor visit their home will receive a voucher as a thank you for taking part.

Once the surveyor confirms they have successfully completed the property survey, vouchers will be sent to the contact email address provided as part of the household survey. 

Clear instructions will be given on how to claim and use your £20 voucher. Visit the GiftPay website at to see which high street and online stores are eligible.

There is a 1 in 10 chance that you will be contacted to arrange a second visit by a different surveyor to verify that the initial property survey was conducted correctly. This is part of our quality checking procedure, and we would appreciate you allowing the surveyor to re-inspect your property.  Please note that only one voucher is issued per participant.

Please note that when the survey quota has been met the survey will terminate and any households who have not yet received a visit will not be eligible to receive a voucher. In that instance ORS will make contact to inform residents.    

Is my data safe and secure?

All of the data that we process is always safe and secure. You can read our Privacy Notice for further information about how we manage data.

We have an Information Security Management System which is accredited to ISO 27001. This covers the security of our IT systems, the physical security of our premises and the operational measures that are in place through policies, procedures and working practices. Any new systems or software that we develop are designed with privacy in mind.

Our IT systems are also accredited under the scheme Cyber Essentials that is overseen by the National Cyber Security Centre.

You can access the privacy policy of your local authority by either following the link provided on the back of the letter you received, or by contacting your local authority via the email address provided on the front of the letter.  

Who sees my data?

The information collected is used for research and statistical purposes. Your contact details are kept separate from your answers and will not be passed to anyone outside of ORS.

Your answers will be combined with others that take part in the survey. The overall results will be shared with the Council for the purpose of producing and publishing statistics. This won’t include your name or contact details, and no individual or household will be identifiable from our report.

Who regulates you?

ORS is accredited as a Market Research Society Company Partner and we fully comply with the MRS Code of Conduct. This validates that we operate to the highest professional standards.

ORS also complies with regulations and guidelines from all other relevant regulatory bodies including the Information Commissioner’s Office.

How can I get in touch?

If you have any further questions that haven’t been answered above, then please get in touch with us.