What is RICS and why choose a RICS surveyor?
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – or RICS – is a globally recognised governing body for surveyors. It offers and enforces consistent professional qualifications and industry-leading standards globally. This means all members are held to the same standards, regardless of the territory in which they operate.
RICS members may use any of the following letters after their name:
- Associate – AssocRICS
- Member – MRICS
- Fellow – FRICS
Members and Fellows are also known as Chartered Surveyors.
What is RICS?
As a governing body, RICS traces its roots back to 1792 with the Surveyors Club.
Most historians categorise the Industrial Revolution as the period from about 1760 to 1830. During these years, steam power and iron production spread like wildfire around the world, vastly increasing countries’ productivity levels.
Inevitably, the surging economies needed to be met with infrastructure, housing and transport upgrades and expansion, with Britain being no exception.
The Institution of Surveyors – which would eventually become RICS – was set up at this time to represent surveyors and the expanding market of property professionals.
As a governing body, RICS traces its roots back to 1792 with the Surveyors Club. The organisation as we know it today was first seen (as a defined, legal body) in 1868, with Mr John Clutton being elected the first-ever president. Following his election, the company leased offices at 12 Great George Street. These offices still function as RICS’ headquarters today.
Why choose a RICS surveyor?
A RICS surveyor comes with reassurance. They are vetted, highly-qualified professionals, held to strict standards, ethics codes and practices, and must complete professional development training on an annual basis. On top of this, all RICS members are insured, so you can have peace of mind when a RICS surveyor inspects a property for you.
Although it’s not a professional requirement to get accredited by RICS, most surveyors do. This is because a RICS membership is rightly seen as a guarantee of high standards, exceptional quality and trustworthy reports. Potential homebuyers are also often looking for their chosen surveyor to have insurance, something provided by RICS.
Other surveying professional bodies exist, but RICS is the largest, most well-known, and most respected in the UK.
The danger of choosing a surveyor who isn’t RICS-regulated – or, perhaps, isn’t regulated by any professional body at all – is the lack of guarantee. Of course, they might do some sterling work for you and be a completely reliable, trustworthy surveyor. However, the reverse might also be true. You could end up with a cheap survey that largely ignores many problems with the inspected property.
What does a RICS surveyor do?
A RICS home surveyor travels out to a property you are thinking of buying at a time convenient for all involved parties.
They’ll then conduct a thorough home inspection at one of three levels, now known as Level One, Level Two and Level Three (conveniently). The higher the inspection level, the more in-depth the survey. They generally take us between one and three hours at GB Home Surveys.
The surveyor is looking for any issues (or potential future issues) with the property. These issues may devalue it to some extent or even convince you to withdraw your offer in severe circumstances. For example, common problems a surveyor might find could include:
- Structural integrity issues (such as compromised timber)
- Soil subsidence
- Japanese knotweed
After the home survey inspection, the RICS surveyor will write up a detailed report of their findings. You should receive this report within a maximum of two weeks. Here at GB Home Surveys, we aim to complete and deliver all reports to you within seven days of the survey.
Once you’ve received and read the report, you’re very welcome to continue asking the surveyor questions about what they’ve discovered. They’ll be more than happy to comply and help you out with expert recommendations.
This information can be used to make an informed decision as you go forward – or not – with your purchase.
Are GB Home Surveys’ surveyors RICS members?
All our highly experienced surveyors and valuers are RICS members. Many also hold extra qualifications and specialise in niche areas of the property market.
If you’re looking to buy a new home, a home survey could potentially save you thousands in hidden future costs. For RICS accredited inspections and top-quality work, please feel free to contact us for an initial, free consultation.