The renting and purchasing or property, be it for personal or business use, represents a huge commitment.  In order to ensure that you find a suitable property there are many considerations that need to be ticked off the list.  Then, once you have secured a suitable property, there are other circumstances that could arise and prove to be problematic.  In order to sail through these murky waters it is wise to seek out the assistance of a chartered surveyor.  Here we take a look at the services that chartered surveyors provide in order make it clear as to how they could help you.


There are three standard types of survey that are most commonly provided by chartered surveyors, relating to the purchase and rental of a property:
•    Building Survey – This is usually requested by someone who is considering purchasing a new property.  The survey is quite extensive and takes into account the overall condition of the property, highlighting any structural damage which may need repairing and an estimate of the cost of remedying the problem.  Building Surveys are not usually needed for purchases of newer properties and are more suited to those with a history of structural problems and also listed properties.  This document will assist the would-be buyer in making a decision over whether the property is suitable and if the asking price is realistic.

•    Home Buyer Survey Report – Again, this survey is carried out for potential buyers, but is less in-depth than a Building Survey.  The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has designed a standardised form that is to be used for a Home Buyer Survey Report.  These surveys are suitable for properties that are less than 150 years old, which have been erected using conventional building methods and where there are no obvious signs of structural damage.

•    Commercial Survey – This service is utilised by those that are looking to either purchase or rent a commercial property.  As commercial properties tend to be more expensive than residential properties they are quite detailed.


Over the course of your life there are many reasons that you may require an accurate valuation of your property.  For instance you may intend to do a part exchange on another property, or perhaps to make capital gains tax calculations.  In the event that you separate from your partner you may even need a Matrimonial Valuation in which an independent chartered surveyor provides a valuation of the property.  In such instances this figure can be used during any ensuing legal proceedings.  In contrast a Probate Valuation takes place after the owner has died.  The valuation of the will allows the executioner of the will to see if the deceased’s debts can be covered by the value of their estate.

Guidance and Advice

In addition to surveys and valuations there are other services that a chartered surveyor can provide which people are less aware of.  For example they are able to act as an expert witness during a court case to provide guidance where two parties are at disagreement.  Or they could be used in the event that a rented property has been handed back to the landlord in a poor state of repair.  In such an instance they would provide the landlord with a report on what needed to be fixed and cost of repairs.  This information can then be provided to the tenant in the form of a Schedule of Dilapidations, which highlights the damage that they must repair or money they must pay to cover the cost of repair.  A more common service is to provide advice during Rent Reviews, providing the tenant with an idea of what is a fair price.  In some instances a chartered surveyor can even undertake rental negotiations.

As an owner of several rental properties, Andrew James regularly uses the services of chartered surveyors to check the condition of his buildings.  Andrew recommends that anyone requiring the services of a surveyor in Leeds or anywhere else in Yorkshire should contact David Moor.