What is a chartered surveyor

Who or what is a chartered surveyor, and how can one help you in Spain?

Chartered surveyors are trained professionals who cover all aspects of property: from conserving and restoring historic buildings; residential and commercial; industrial and retail to planning home extensions, homebuyer surveys and valuations, dilapidations, boundary disputes, energy efficiency and party walls. Chartered surveyors, and their professional organisation The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), are dedicated to promoting excellence and safeguarding public interest in all property related matters.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is based in London and has about 120,000 members worldwide, the vast majority, of course, living and working in the UK. However there are also a number of English-speaking chartered surveyors working in Spain and there is no Spanish equivalent.

All Chartered Surveyors have to follow strict rules of ethical conduct, which are enforced by the RICS. Chartered surveyors have to have professional indemnity insurance so that if they make a mistake that costs the client money, there is a fund there to recompense the client.

Chartered Surveyors cover a wide range of specialisations – QS, land, mining and even specialists in undersea surveys. Most people come across either Quantity Surveyors (a QS) – who focus on the construction process with services such as cost control and project management; OR general practice surveyors who tend to be more involved with existing buildings and their defects or the finance, the market value, created by the building, its land and location. When requesting a survey for a property purchase in Spain clients will deal with a general practice surveyor.