An independent chartered surveyor is an essential part of the homebuying process. These surveyors represent you and not the lender, so they always have your interests at heart.
However, they can also act for you in a number of ways, and you don’t even need to be buying a home. Anderson Associates are leading independent chartered surveyors providing services in Suffolk, Essex and Kent, as well as east and south east London. Here we outline some of the key roles which surveyors can fulfil.
The biggest role that surveyors can play is helping people buy a home – and allowing them to feel confident that they won’t hit any expensive problems later. Many prospective buyers might be tempted to rely on a lender valuation, where the surveyor is working for the person who is providing the mortgage.
However, an independent surveyor works for the buyer and concentrates on your interests. The full building survey will give you a comprehensive report into all aspects of the property and provides a list of any defects, and how much they will cost to put right.
Independent surveyors can play a crucial role when homeowners have called the builders in for an improvement project. They can act as project/site managers to avoid problems from the outset.
Services can include preparing tender documents, sending them to suitable contractors, supervising the work, agreeing any additional work not included in the original tender, and authorising monthly contractor payments based on work satisfactorily completed.
Even if they have not been involved from the beginning, surveyors can still help prevent costs from escalating. Often disputes arise over the cost of the project, particularly if there hasn’t been a detailed quote for the cost, the quality of the workmanship or the length of time to project is taking to complete.
The surveyor can effectively act as an arbitrator, drawing up a list of the problems and outlining what needs to be put right, and agreeing price with the builder for completing the work. It need not be for a one-off project either – we can make a report on the overall condition of a property and draw up a schedule of works.
The Party Wall Act
Another area of potential conflict, although involving neighbours rather than builders, is when work is being carried out on a party wall. This is one you share with a neighbour, so is important for owners of semi-detached properties, or if you are renting a flat, in which case it can apply to the ceiling and floors as well as the walls.
You must tell the neighbour if you are going to carry out certain types of work on or near this shared wall. Don’t worry if all you are doing is putting up some shelves or fixing some electrical sockets, as you don’t need anyone’s permission for this.
However, if you are making some major structural changes, putting in a damp-proof course, or digging foundations within a certain distance, then you are subject to the provisions of the Act (which is officially known as the Party Wall etc. Act).
An independent chartered surveyor will list the work that needs to be done, how it will affect both properties, and determine who pays in the event of any damage. This puts the whole thing on a solid legal footing and avoids any unnecessary disputes between neighbours.
Anderson Associates – Independent Chartered Surveyors
Anderson Associates carry out all types of building survey for customers in Suffolk, south and east London, Kent and Essex. We can also deal with party wall issues and neighbour disputes, and we can also provide building maintenance planning and project management.
Principal Paul Anderson has more than three decades’ worth of experience in both the public and private sector. He is a member of both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Building. If you would like to contact him and learn more about the company’s full range of services, follow this link and fill in the online form.