What does a building surveyor do?
Building surveyors offer professional advice on all factors affecting existing buildings such as building defects, alterations, renovations and extensions. They work mostly on site to monitor the performance of structures and devise ways to improve them or correct flaws in their design.
Surveyors work alongside local planning bodies, clients, construction workers, and other professionals to ensure projects meet the relevant safety, sustainability and preservation standards.
Typical activities of the role include:
- Advising clients about building/property issues including technical, financial, legal, environmental, building regulation and restoration matters.
- Undertaking property and land surveys and valuations.
- Monitoring the deterioration of a property and taking steps to abate it.
- Preparing plans, contracts, budgets and other documentation.
- Writing technical reports.
- Planning and overseeing building work.
- Managing projects and/or multi-disciplinary teams.
- Identifying building defects and offering advice about remedial work.
- Monitoring progress and ensuring work is completed in time.
Surveying is an active job role. While building surveyors are office based, they are also likely to make regular site visits and work outside whatever the weather.
Hours are usually 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, although extra hours may be required to meet report or project deadlines.
Typical employers of building surveyors
- Housing associations
- Large corporate organisations
- Local authorities
- The civil service
- Utility companies
- Property developers
- Construction companies.
Most surveyors choose to study towards chartership with one of the professional bodies (particularly RICS), who set the qualification criteria. ‘Chartered surveyor’ is a globally recognised qualification which opens up opportunities abroad, and can lead to greater responsibility and higher salaries.
Illegal gains through house purchases
The UK Government estimates that serious organised crime in the UK generates upwards of £24bn a year. Property professionals are a particularly attractive target for criminals seeking to disguise or hide the proceeds of crime.
The Money Laundering Regulations 2007 aim to help businesses identify the risks as well as detailing steps they must take to protect against criminal activity.
RICS has co-authored guidance to assist members in complying with the Regulations. Members may download this guidance below.
Work is taking place at the EU level to develop updated money laundering rules. The EU law sets the framework for the UK rules.
We are working to ensure that any changes to the legislation at either the UK or EU level would reflect a risk-based and joined-up approach to regulation and would not impose undue burdens on business.
Jeff Scott at HIS works very closely with CPB and local police authorities and is an accredited contact to help identify criminals intent on making illegal gains through house purchases.
As a much respected member of the RICS he is a member of the RICS Designated Professional Body (DPB) scheme, approved by HM Treasury, which enables RICS to regulate its members for general insurance mediation activities, on behalf of the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).