When you’re going through the home-buying process, you’ll have to liaise with a number of different people to ensure the process goes smoothly. This includes an estate agent to help you find suitable properties, a solicitor to protect your interests and a surveyor to conduct a comprehensive inspection of the home you wish to buy.
Below, we explain more about what a chartered surveyor is, including some of the tasks a chartered surveyor completes and the benefits of using one of these inspectors for your property.
What does a Chartered Surveyor do?
Chartered Surveyors complete a wide selection of tasks in their day-to-day work. Just some of the roles that a chartered surveyor fulfils include:
The main role that a Chartered Surveyor has is to establish the value of a property. This includes individual plots of land without any buildings on them, residential homes of all shapes and sizes, and commercial buildings that companies are looking to lease or sell. A surveyor will write a final report that sets out the value of the property and the reasons why they came to that figure.
Establishing the value of a property can be a lengthy process. It involves looking over a property’s plans (if they are available), examining the actual property for any issues (such as structural weaknesses and design flaws) and even considering the local area (like the impact of education rates and crime data). This level of detail means that a property owner has a clear understanding of what the value of the property is, as well as any steps they may need to take to improve this value.
Chartered Surveyors play an underlying role in resolving property disputes. Over time, issues can emerge between neighbours, with the two sides disagreeing over the specific boundary of each property. This is most commonly an issue when someone is completing renovations or upgrades on their home, as both properties want to ensure their interests are protected.
In these cases, Chartered Surveyors will carry out thorough research into historical documents and examine the defining factors separating the two properties. Where necessary, they may complete a land survey and compare the results of this survey with any existing agreements. Completing a land survey provides a clear result as to who owns which part of the land, allowing planning and development to begin without any doubt from either party.
Most surveyors will write a report once they have conducted their findings, and this tends to include quite a bit of detail. For example, they may suggest some recommendations in terms of energy efficiency and discuss the potential the property has for regeneration or investment. The state of the existing utilities like water, gas and electricity will usually feature in the reports, along with any other features that the client specifically requests.
This aspect of surveying is one that is common in the residential sector as landlords and property managers look for ways to improve and monetise their properties. Landowners who have an interest in using their land to generate revenue, whether via existing buildings or brand-new constructions may also request the services of a chartered surveyor. In these scenarios, the findings in the chartered surveyor’s report may even suggest that building on the land isn’t viable.
What does a Chartered Surveyor do?
In the UK, anyone can call themselves a surveyor, even if they don’t have the relevant training or experience. A Chartered Surveyor, however, is someone who has a recognised qualification and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). To qualify for this membership, a surveyor has to meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
- Relevant experience and an RICS-accredited degree
- Five years of relevant experience and any bachelor’s degree, regardless of subject
- Ten years of experience working at a high level, whether in a specialisation or academic area
Only those who are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have the right to give themselves this title as it means they’ve passed all the relevant exams. Working with a chartered surveyor rather than a standard surveyor is advised as you’re assured the individual has the relevant training, experience and qualifications.
How to choose the right property surveyors?
There are several things to consider when choosing a surveyor to take a look at your land management project or property. The first of these is the reputation that your potential surveyor has amongst existing customers. By reading through reviews or talking to past clients, you’ll be able to develop an idea of whether you can trust the surveyor that you are considering working with.
The second step in the process is to talk to the surveyor themselves. This means asking them about any work that they have completed in your local area, their experience with the task that you have for them and any other queries that you have about the specifics of your property. Talking to them in detail not only develops your understanding but improves the relationship you have with a surveyor. A good surveyor will be happy to talk to you.
We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Marlow and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.
Specialisation in surveying
Another aspect to consider is that not all chartered surveyors focus on the same things. In addition to ensuring that your surveyor of choice works to a high standard, research whether a specific surveyor has experience of working on a construction site, or whether they prefer working on land disputes in complex residential areas. Selecting someone with the right speciality improves the chances of a more effective service.
Chartered surveyors for commercial property
There’s a common misconception that chartered surveyors only work on residential properties, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Chartered surveyors work in a range of industries, including commercial, where they help businesses find suitable properties to lease; industrial, where they provide guidance to organisations looking for new factories; and construction, where they help companies create plans within specific land boundaries.
Consulting on so many industries means that surveyors are very flexible and able to discuss plots and properties that have a range of assets; for example, a shop front with a flat upstairs.
How to compare surveys?
If you’re looking at a number of properties, using just one surveyor to generate reports for all of them can be very beneficial. Your surveyor will likely use the same template and factors to examine all of the properties, meaning their findings will be consistent. You can even ask the surveyor to focus on certain factors that are important to you; for example, structural integrity and the nature of the land that the properties sit on.
You know what you are looking for in your purchase, whether it’s the potential to develop the property or the ability to move in immediately without having to make any significant changes to your home, so working closely with one surveyor might also ensure you get exactly what you want. Another benefit of this is that you’re able to compare each property fairly, allowing you to make a more informed decision. This can also speed up the decision process up and remove a lot of the stress off your shoulders.
How to compare surveys?
If you’re looking for a chartered surveyor and want a company that offers expertise with a friendly face, consider Oakfield Chartered Surveyors. We are highly trained and experienced property professionals with a history of supporting clients in the residential, commercial, industrial, construction and land management industries, and can provide assistance with a range of surveying services.
Contact our expert team today to find out more and start your surveying journey with a highly-trained property professional, who can provide you with specialist advice on property-related issues.
With offices in Beaconsfield, Rickmansworth, Henley-on-Thames and London we are well positioned to cover your surveying needs.