When purchasing a property, whether you’re a seasoned professional and this is your third move, you’ve decided to branch out into purchasing your first home, or you are a new landlord and are considering a buy-to-let investment, good research is key. There is no use in purchasing a house if you aren’t entirely certain on the condition of the property, so why skimp out on a chartered surveyor? Just as you will look carefully into the EPC, you will take into account local transport and parking available, you will need to enlist the help of a professional surveyor to make sure that the house is in good condition and that there are no major or hidden defects that need repairing.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors was established in order to assist clients purchasing a property in finding all the information they need so that they can enter into property negotiations with everything laid out in front of them in plain English. However, just exactly what is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – sometimes known as the RICS, and what do they do for your property?
Who are they and what do they do?
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors are officially a professional body founded by the Royal Charter. They aim to uphold extremely high standards of professional services for land, property and construction works throughout the UK. Providing their name to over 110,000 professionals across the UK, the RICS covers a wide range of property related services that are designed to provide clients with all the relevant information they need, whether they are looking into buying a home, embarking on a construction project, they need assistance dealing with a neighbourly dispute and more.
All RICS registered surveyors have been carefully vetted to ensure that they provide clients with the highest standards possible, attesting to their experience as professional surveyors. Even if you are unsure as to the legitimacy of getting a detailed survey or report on your new prospective property, requesting the assistance of a RICS registered surveyor ensures that you are guaranteed a first class service suited to meet your needs.
Advice on Defects and Major Issues found
A professional surveyor will be able to provide an expert second opinion of the condition of the property in question. He or she will be specifically trained to look at any hotspots or areas that are likely to suffer from defects and pick out warning signs. Many surveys include looking at all accessible and visible elements of the property, including the roof and sometimes also including the foundations of the property, in order to ascertain whether any repairs are needed.
You may have given the property a cursory glance or an in depth inspection, however chartered surveyors have experience in spotting things you may have missed. They will compile a list of all major and immediate defects includ8ing what can be done to resolve these defects. Some surveyors may also provide an approximate estimate as to the costs of these defects, which can then be used in further property negotiations. This is a useful piece of information as it can save you a lot of money in repairs in the long run, and allows you to potentially back out of a bad deal if things start looking suspicious.
What if they are not RICS registered? Or How to recognise
Any and all RICS registered surveyors and valuers will have the RICS logo associated with their brand or listed somewhere on their website. This is an easy indication as to whether or not your chosen surveyor is a RICS registered surveyor as it is an incredible achievement. Of course, it is not the end of the world if your chosen surveyor is not a RICS registered valuer, but RICS surveyors are required to maintain a certain standard.
Certain RICS surveyors are limited in their choice of services, so your chosen surveyor may not have become a registered RICS surveyor as they offer a different type of service, or a service that isn’t necessarily in line with the general services provided by RICS valuers. A sure-fire way of finding out how qualified your surveyor is, is to look at previous testimonials in addition to their qualifications, which should be easily found on their website.
Many non-registered RICS surveyors are extremely talented and highly qualified to help you with whatever you need, so don’t let that put you off. At the end of the day, the decision ultimately resides with you, however an in depth survey and report of the condition of the property will always be recommended.
Article provided by Tim Greenwood Associates, a company of experienced Chartered Surveyors formed in 2012 by Tim Greenwood – based in Gatwick, West Sussex.