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How to choose a commercial building surveyor

Written by: Ian Harrington on Thursday 31/03/2016

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If you’re looking to buy or lease a commercial building you’ll need to commission a full structural survey. The surveyor’s job is one of the most important aspects of any property transaction and will safeguard against problems further down the line. We look at how to choose a commercial building surveyor.

What does a commercial building surveyor do?

According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), surveyors offer ‘expert advice on construction and property related matters’. This simple description belies the expertise and responsibilities which go into the work that a commercial building surveyor does and makes the role seem less hands-on than it actually is.

A surveyor’s responsibilities can be far-reaching and encompass:

  • Assessing the condition of building, prior to purchase or lease, to identify and analyse any defects, and suggest necessary repairs
  • Offering advice on managing and supervising building maintenance
  • Providing up-to-date advice on building regulations and legislation relating to property matters
  • Managing projects to ensure they are completed to schedule and on budget
  • Offering advice on sustainable construction, energy efficiency and the environmental impact of a project or redevelopment
  • Advising on disability access and on health and safety related matters
  • Preparing a Schedule of Condition and getting involved in any negotiations for dilapidations

How to choose a surveyor

As with many professions, word of mouth is always a good place to start. Ask around among your friends and professional colleagues to find out who, in their experience, offered good service at a reasonable price.

If you’re approaching the task of finding a commercial surveyor from scratch, it is vital that you source a firm which employs professionally-qualified individuals. Look for companies which advertise themselves as ‘Regulated by RICS’ and ensure that any surveyors you contact have the following qualifications: AssocRICS (Associate), MRICS (Member) or FRICS (Fellow). This will guarantee that the people you engage are not only suitably qualified and trained but are regulated by RICS, follow strict rules of conduct and adhere to best practice to offer the highest levels of service. RICS members also have comprehensive professional indemnity insurance to protect their clients in cases of professional negligence. The RICS website (http://www.rics.org/uk/) has details of over 80,000 UK-based surveyors so sourcing one in your area who has local expertise should be simple.

Here at Eddisons, all our surveyors hold accreditation from RICS and are experienced in both domestic and commercial surveying, as well as many other aspects of their profession. If you need advice about a commercial building survey or need to source a suitably-qualified surveyor, talk to one of our team.

Written by: Ian Harrington on Thursday 31/03/2016

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