Latest figures show that there are more than 65,000 chartered surveyors in the UK, but who are they, and what do they do? Anderson Associates, a chartered surveying practice close to Ipswich, explains the finer points of the profession and why it’s a good idea to use one – particularly when you are about a buy a house.
Surveyor or Chartered Surveyor?
In the UK, anyone can call themselves a surveyor. They can operate without training, experience or supervision. In practice, though most surveyors work for reputable organisations (big and small) and work to high professional and ethical standards.
In contrast, a chartered surveyor must have qualifications recognised by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), have the relevant experience and get regular updates and assessments, which is one of the key reasons to use one.
The recognised qualifications include a RICS-accredited degree. There are more than 300 such courses at universities in the UK, covering areas such as land, construction and property surveying. It is also possible to enter the profession via the apprenticeship route, or by doing a ‘conversion degree’.
Once you have finished your course, you then spend time in employment undergoing your Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). You are only granted Membership to RICS after your APC Final Assessment has been successfully completed.
Only members and fellows of the RICS are allowed to call themselves ‘chartered’ surveyors and use MRICS or FRICS (Member or Fellow of the Institution) after their names.
There are five rules of conduct laid down by the RICS. Members (or fellows) and the companies they work for must:
Chartered surveyors act for you and nobody else. This is contrary to those that could be recommended by mortgage lenders who may not have your best interests at heart because they want to get you to buy the property. So you ideally need an independent chartered surveyor if you want clear, unbiased advice regarding any house purchases.
Their Additional Services
It’s not just the condition of the house, property, building or structure that they can report on. If there are any issues, they can provide an idea of how much any problems are likely to cost to put right, and a schedule of the works (if required). And, if you are thinking of altering the property (such as by adding extensions, or removing walls), they will be able to advise on that as well.
All of this could save a lot of money in the long run - not just on the purchase price of the property, but also avoiding costly repairs and mistakes, such as carrying out illegal works, or falling foul of the Party Wall Act of 1996 (where you share a wall with a neighbour). RICS members are required to have insurance which will also protect you financially, and they also have formal complaints procedures in the unlikely event of a problem.
Anderson Associates – A Chartered Surveyor Practice Based Near Ipswich
Principal Paul Anderson has worked in the profession, both in the private and public sector, for more than three decades and has worked for small and medium-sized building and civil engineering contractors, private chartered surveying practices, local governments, and housing associations. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB) as well as the RICS.
He can advise on a wide range of property issues, including party wall problems, and operates as a surveyor in south east London, Kent, Essex and Suffolk. If you would like to know more about his services, follow this link and fill in the online contact form, or call us directly on 01473 623656.