Chartered surveyors in the United Kingdom
A Chartered surveyor in the United Kingdom is a surveyor who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors ("RICS"). Until the end of the 20th century, chartered surveyors could also be members of the ISVA ("Incorporated Society of Valuers and Auctioneers"), but this organisation merged into the RICS in 1999.
Chartered surveyors may offer mortgage valuations, homebuyer's survey and valuations, full building surveys, building surveyors' services, quantity surveying, land surveying, auctioneering, estate management and other forms of survey- and building-related advice.
- 1 Real Estate Valuation in the UK
- 2 Building surveying
- 3 Quantity surveying
- 4 Land surveying
- 5 Auctioneering
- 6 Other aspects of surveying practice
- 7 Criticism
- 8 References
Real Estate Valuation in the UK
Types of survey
Chartered surveyors offer three types of survey. A mortgage valuation will be required by any mortgage lender as a condition of obtaining a mortgage loan. The homebuyer may choose to instruct the surveyor to carry out a "RICS Homebuyer's Survey and Valuation" or a "Full Building Survey" (sometimes called a "Structural Survey"), usually at additional cost.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders recommends that buyers should not rely only on the mortgage valuation, but obtain a fuller survey for their own purposes. Various mortgage-related sources endorse this advice. However, a fuller survey is rarely a condition of the loan.
A mortgage valuation is for the benefit of the lender. Its purpose is merely to confirm the property is worth the price paid, in order to protect the lender's interests.
RICS Homebuyer's Survey and Valuation
Appropriate for smaller or more modern properties, a Homebuyer's Survey and Valuation provides more detail on potential problems and advice for the buyer on how the property should be maintained.
Full building survey
Appropriate for larger or older properties, including but not limited to listed buildings, thatched cottages, timber frame homes and so on, a Full Building Survey is the most detailed survey available from most firms of Chartered Surveyors. Thorough though it is, it may still lead to recommendations for further investigation from other specialists; see below.
Energy performance certificate
Chartered Surveyors are not necessarily specialists in other fields, and may recommend further surveys by an electrician, a gas engineer, a structural engineer or expert of another kind, depending on what they find during their inspection. They may also recommend work by the buyer's solicitor to confirm matters which might affect their valuation, such as (with leasehold properties), the unexpired term of the lease, who is responsible for the boundaries, and so forth.
The Chartered Surveyor's inspection is typically non-intrusive. They do not have the authority to lift floorboards, drill holes, or perform excavations at a property which the prospective buyer does not, at this stage, own, which means that certain defects or problems may not be apparent from their inspection.
These are a component of the Cost of moving house in the United Kingdom.
Fully qualified building surveyors in the UK are frequently, but not always members of the RICS.
Quantity surveyors work for private and commercial clients, main contractors and subcontractors in the construction industry. Their function is management of the commercial interfaces of construction: writing, negotiating, awarding and administering contracts, including variations and claims arising during the performance of a contract; cost control and cost engineering, i.e. to document and estimate costs, progress, and risks. In the UK, not all quantity surveyors are necessarily chartered surveyors; some may be chartered through the Chartered Institute of Building ("CIOB").
Additional duties may include performing feasibility studies, preparing tenders, procuring materials, managing subcontractors, and even advice on taxation or building management. Surveyors may also be involved in dispute resolution.
Essentially, land surveying is making accurate maps and plans. Land surveying encompasses cadastral surveying, cartography, engineering surveying, hydrographic surveying and oceanographic surveying. Land surveyors may be accredited by the RICS, Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), or the Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES), but only RICS members can call themselves "chartered land surveyors".
Firms of chartered surveyors sometimes act in property auctions.
Other aspects of surveying practice
As well as the services mentioned above, UK chartered surveyors may offer advice in boundary disputes, business rates, compulsory purchase matters and party walls. ("Party walls" in the UK are walls on your property shared with your neighbours.)
In 2000, the BBC broadcast a programme alleging corruption in one firm of chartered surveyors in Scotland. In a response, the RICS admitted they do not keep records of how many surveyors are struck off, but "thought it was a small number". Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors
|Look up survey in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Property Week
- Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors
- Shire Direct.com's mortgage glossary
- e.g. thisismoney.co.uk
- Council of Mortgage Lenders
- home.co.uk's home buying guide
- RICS guide to property surveys (pdf)
- Northern Rock
- Government careers advice site
- Salford University
- Prospects website
- Government careers advice site
- Our property website
- RICS website