When it comes to investing in a property, confidence is key. Confidence in the property’s potential, confidence in its condition, and confidence in the professionals who help you make your decision. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) understands this need for trust and has issued a Practice Alert to its members, underlining the crucial importance of professional standards in the property surveying industry.
In recent times, concerns have been raised about the quality of home surveys, including those conducted by RICS members. The alert, therefore, serves as a reminder of the mandatory Home Survey Standard and the Rules of Conduct that all RICS members must follow.
Understanding the service and Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII)
It is crucial that property buyers understand the service they are purchasing. This includes understanding the differences between the levels of service offered and the full details of the terms of engagement. Furthermore, all RICS members must ensure that there is adequate and appropriate PII in place to protect consumers of home surveys.
Qualification and experience
The quality of a home survey relies heavily on the qualification and experience of the surveyor. RICS members must have the necessary knowledge and understanding of the tasks and risks involved in a home survey. If trainees or students are involved, they must work under the supervision of a qualified RICS member.
Knowledge of property location and type
A comprehensive understanding of the property’s location and type is integral to the quality of a home survey. This includes knowledge of the region’s housing styles, construction techniques, environmental issues, legislative requirements, and its social and industrial heritage. Surveyors dealing with older, more complex, or historical properties must have a broader and deeper technical knowledge.
Appropriate use of RICS templates
RICS Home Survey Templates support quality and consistency in reporting, but they are not a shortcut for thorough surveying observations. All RICS members are required to obtain RICS Home Surveys Licences to produce RICS branded home surveys. Reports must be factual, unambiguous, property specific, and logically structured.
Adherence to the rules of conduct
The Rules of Conduct form the cornerstone of professional standards for RICS members. They require honesty, professional competence, good-quality and diligent service, respect for others, and acting in the public interest. It’s crucial for professionals to take responsibility for their actions to prevent harm and maintain public confidence in the profession.
Why are professional standards so important when it comes to a home survey?
These professional standards are of the utmost importance for any property buyer. Home surveys play a critical role in the property buying process and buyers should be able to trust in the professionalism of RICS members. Not only does this ensure confidence in the RICS brand, but it also fosters trust in the profession as a whole.
For anyone considering a home survey, the Practice Alert serves as a reminder of the standards you should expect from your property surveyor. It’s not just about maintaining public confidence in the profession; it’s about ensuring that every home survey conducted is of the highest quality and serves the best interests of the property buyer.
Why are RICS Professional Standards considered the best guidance?
RICS provides practical guidance for the delivery of home survey reports. The RICS Home Survey Standard serves as the best practice benchmark in promoting and enforcing the highest standards in the residential sector. It provides a scope of inspection for level one, two, and three inspections, ensuring consistency and thoroughness in each evaluation. Furthermore, RICS provides a comprehensive checklist for equipment, health and safety issues, and vendor liaison tips, adding another layer of thoroughness to the process.
Why choose RICS Home Surveys?
There are many reasons why it’s worth paying for a RICS survey. Choosing a RICS surveyor for a property purchase can provide you with the reassurance that their impartial and transparent expertise will provide a clear assessment of the property’s condition. RICS surveyors undergo rigorous training and adhere to high standards set by the RICS code of conduct, providing you with a high quality of service. They are also covered with indemnity insurance, adding an extra layer of protection for you as a consumer. Choosing a RICS surveyor over a non-RICS surveyor means that the surveyor will have the ability to complete a RICS survey and use the acronyms AssocRICS, MRICS and FRICS (associate, member, and fellow of RICS respectively) after their name. This distinction highlights their professional status and commitment to their field.
What to expect from a RICS Home Survey?
A RICS Home Survey is a detailed inspection of a property conducted by a Chartered Surveyor who is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS is a professional body that provides rigorous training and enforces high standards in the residential sector. It is important to distinguish between a surveyor and a Chartered Surveyor, as the latter has undergone specific training, must adhere to RICS high standards, and is regulated by RICS. The Chartered Surveyor can carry out property inspections and complete a RICS survey, providing a high level of quality service. They will then generate a report, which will cover the condition of the property in detail, highlighting any potential issues or areas of concern that might lead to significant repair costs in the future. You can find out more about what to expect from a home survey in our ultimate guide.
Ultimately, if you are looking to invest in a property and need a home survey, remember that you are not just purchasing a service. You are placing your trust in a professional who should uphold the highest standards in order to provide you with accurate, helpful, and reliable information. The standards upheld by your surveyor today will pave the way for your successful property investment tomorrow.