What is a chartered building surveyor and when might you need one?
A chartered building surveyor is a person who is professionally qualified to provide advice on all aspects of property and construction. Chartered Building Surveyors work on the restoration and maintenance of existing buildings but can also work on the design and development on new buildings. They are trained in aspects of building and construction law including compliance with Building Regulations.
A ‘chartered’ surveyor is someone who is registered with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the world’s leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property and construction. Others who may describe themselves as surveyors bt are not qualified and may not have received any specialist training at all included double glazing “surveyors”, timber treatment “surveyors” and the like.
A chartered surveyor might work with engineers, architects and builders to assess whether a building complies with safety standards, is accessible and is energy efficient.
One reason that you might need a chartered surveyor is when you are buying a house and need to determine the existing condition of the property or need to check that the valuation matches the price that you are paying. All mortgage companies require a survey of the property you are hoping to buy to check that the property is worth the money they are lending you, this survey is for their use and you may not see a copy – it will be done by a chartered surveyor.
Another reason that you might employ a surveyor is if you are looking to do work on your property such as an extension or conversion. Aa surveyor can help you determine what you can do, how to do it and who you need to contact. This will usually include planning consent and building regulation approval and a surveyor can help you prepare the necessary drawings, details and applications. If you are looking to build an extension or do any work on an existing wall or structure shared with another property then you will need to issue a party wall notice. This tells your neighbour about the work that you are planning to do and gives them to opportunity to make sure that their property is not compromised.
Its’ not just residential buildings, Chartered Building surveyors are qualified to look at a wide range of buildings across the built environment including schools, hospitals, shopping centres and commercial buildings. They may act as expert witnesses and can be called upon to give expert evidence in court when work has been carried out without the proper consents being acquired or when there is a dispute with the a contractor over the cost or standard of works cmpleted.
Whatever work you are doing and however small the job, it is always a good idea to contact a chartered surveyor before commencing, to check that you are doing everything correctly and to check what applications need to be made. Collier Stevens is a firm of chartered surveyors providing a wide range of residential and commercial building and property surveying services including help with party wall matters and building surveys
Bill Weston writes about moving house and Chartered Building surveyors. For more information visit www.collier-stevens.co.uk