What is a Chartered Surveyor?

What is a chartered surveyor?

24 Jan What is a Chartered Surveyor?

Prior to buying or selling a property, you’ll possibly never have heard of a chartered surveyor or know what their role is in the purchase/sale process. In this blog post, we will explain all aspects so that you are fully informed.

A Chartered Surveyor is a highly trained and experienced property professional. They offer impartial, specialist advice on a variety of property related issues and the services which they provide are diverse.

Chartered Surveyors work in all fields of property and building consultancy. At the most basic level, their duties include valuing property and looking for structural defects in buildings. They also provide expert consultancy advice in property, construction and related environmental issues.

The representative professional body is the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

What does a Chartered Surveyor do? 

The surveyor will visit the home you are thinking of buying, assessing all areas of the property and identify any problems or potential issues that may turn out to be a problem the future. They will then compile all relevant information into a report for you and from the surveys findings, you can then make an informed decision about whether or not you want to go ahead with the purchase.  If there are one or several issues, it might give you scope to renegotiate the sale price based on the findings within the report. If issues are found with the property that are likely to cause you to have to fork out for repairs, e.g. £6K, you could negotiate the price of the property down by that amount.

When do I need a Chartered Surveyor?

You would use a chartered surveyor if you wanted a valuation for a future or existing project or renovation. Surveyors can value land, buildings, or machinery however, most will normally choose to specialise in one area of work. For example, a rural surveyor would value a farm and its assets, whereas a building surveyor might value an urban apartment complex.

In addition to this, chartered surveyors can give assistance to companies or individuals at the design and implementation stages of a construction project, often suggesting how to maximise the land available and helping consult with the planning authorities.

A surveyor can also assess the condition of an existing building or site and produce a report for a client, detailing problems (including structural or environmental), potential solutions and their costs.

If you are selling a property, you will also need a surveyor to carry out the Home Report which is required in order to get your property on the market.

What are the benefits of using a Chartered Surveyor?

Using a chartered surveyor means that you are getting a professional opinion on an important and expensive investment like purchasing a house.

Surveyors are property experts and will have had experience with the local authorities. They are well placed to advise you on valuations, the condition of a property, and how to deal with local authorities.

The experience and expertise of chartered surveyors mean they will conduct a more thorough and accurate investigation than anyone else can, which in turn means that you get the best advice on how to act. This is really important when you consider the huge value of buying a property. A surveyor will also have access to services and information that you may not be able to uncover easily such as details of rights of way, affecting a property.

What services should a Chartered Surveyor offer?

You will need to choose a surveyor who specialises in your area of work. In most instances when buying a house, you’d need a building surveyor. They can advise on the design considerations and the construction of new buildings and repairs/restorations for existing buildings. However, you also get surveyors which specialise in ‘construction’, ‘environment’ and ‘rural surveyors’ which value rural properties and their assets (like farms and farm machinery/

They offer an array of services in different fields, but the most common services offered by building surveyors are:

RICS Condition Report

identifies any risks and potential legal issues and highlights any urgent defects. It’s most suitable for new-build and conventional homes in good condition; no advice or valuation is provided in this survey.

RICS HomeBuyer Report

a survey suitable for conventional properties in reasonable condition. It will help you find out if there are any structural problems, such as subsidence or damp, as well as any other unwelcome hidden issues inside and outside.

RICS Building Survey

The Building Survey provides the same level of in-depth inspection as a building survey but uses a simple a clear presentation style and a 1, 2, 3 rating system to ensure that you can easily identify the most serious issues. This is mainly aimed at larger or older properties.

Building or full structural survey

the most comprehensive survey and is suitable for all residential properties. It’s very extensive and in some circumstances worth the extra money but it does not usually include a valuation

New-build snagging survey

an independent inspection to look for any issues with the property.

Mortgage valuation survey

the mortgage valuation is to satisfy the lender that your desired property is worth the price you’re paying – or at least the amount it’s lending, before they approve your mortgage. it won’t point out repairs or structural problems that you will have to pay to fix.

Home Report (Scotland only)

In Scotland, a seller is legally required to produce a Home Report prior to your property going onto the market. Buyers have access to it free-of-charge.

It consists of:

What qualifications do Chartered Surveyors have?

RICS is the main professional institution, and membership is essential to become a chartered surveyor. To become a member of RICS, surveyors usually need to take a degree or postgraduate conversion course accredited by RICS.

Where to find a chartered surveyor

It’s very important to use a qualified surveyor. You can usually find one through recommendation from your lender, solicitor or estate agent. Always choose someone who is RICS regulated means you know they have to follow the guidelines of that organisation. Chartered Surveyors may offer different advantages, as some can offer a very quick turnaround time on reports.


If you are looking to sell your property, the first thing you’ll need is a Home Report. We are RICS Charted Surveyors specialising in Home Reports across Scotland from as little as £85. Get in touch today to arrange a time to suit you. We offer early morning or evening and weekend appointments. Call us on 0131 608 0175 or email us at info@homereportcompany.co.uk


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