Chartered surveyors are highly trained and experienced property professionals. They offer impartial, specialist advice on a variety of property related issues.
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. Chartered surveyors are represented by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
The RICS offers three different levels of survey, each one more specialised or suited for a particular type of home. If you are buying a home, it will be helpful to know what each type of survey includes.
Level 1: The level one survey report is the least expensive report. As the lowest level of report, it is the least detailed of the surveys, providing you with a brief summary of the condition of the property, with no advice on how to carry out repairs. This kind of survey is better suited to newer builds.
Level 2: A level two survey will assess in greater detail the condition of many aspects of a home, with the surveyor spending more time investigating the property and the everyday operation of its services. It will again not offer detailed advice on any repairs needed, but more issues may be highlighted. This level of survey is suitable for a range of properties, although it may not be comprehensive enough for older buildings, buildings that have been extensively altered, neglected properties, or properties built out of unconventional material. If you're not sure whether this level is right for your property, your surveyor will be able to advise you.
Level 3: The Level three survey is the most expensive and will provide the most comprehensive assessment of a property. As well as assessing accessible areas, a RICS surveyor will enter concealed areas of a property (if they are safe) to investigate their condition. They will also observe the normal operation of services within the property. Necessary repairs and future maintenance will be discussed along with the issues found. As the most detailed survey, this level is suitable for a property that is old, made of unconventional material (like thatch or timber), or has had significant building work done to it.