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When is the best time to appoint a building surveyor?

By: Kelly Bellerson
Commercial Articles

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a landlord, or have lived in your home for a few years, one thing’s for sure – you will need a Building Surveyor.

A Chartered Building Surveyor has a wide range of knowledge, experience, and expertise, allowing them to assist property owners confidently, regardless of the issue or even property type. But when should you appoint one?

Understanding your property

Building Surveyors are the key to better understanding your property and its needs. They are there throughout the property journey to advise and assist homeowners in every way, starting with home buyers.

Knowing whether a property has any significant issues before a purchase should be a homebuyer’s number one priority as this can provide clarity around what types of works are needed and any costs associated with them.

If you have a new build, or are looking to purchase one, they are typically in better shape than a lot of older builds. However, it’s not uncommon to find snags following completion.

Additionally, if your property is over fifty years old or has recently been renovated or looks dilapidated in general, then this is a sign that you need a Building Surveyor.

Furthermore, if you’re thinking about renovation works, a Building Surveyor is an essential part of the construction process, helping to bring your ideas to life whilst also ensuring your project keeps in line with all building regulations and planning permissions.

Overall, understanding your property will allow you to unlock its full potential but you should always seek the help and advice of a Building Surveyor if you are worried about the condition of your home.


There are a number of different types of services a Building Surveyor can provide, all with different purposes. Here are some of the main surveys you should be considering as a homeowner:

Valuations: Property owners looking to sell or remortgage their home can appoint a Chartered Building Surveyor to carry out a mortgage valuation to get an accurate cost estimate for their property.

Level 2/Level 3 Building Survey: Also known as the “Home Buyers Survey”, a “Residential Building Survey”, and even a “Pre-Acquisition Survey”, this type of survey is usually advised before a purchase is finalised so that you have a clear understanding of the property’s condition. A Level 2 and Level 3 survey can be done with or without a mortgage valuation, it will just depend on your individual circumstances.

Monitoring Surveying: This survey is essential if you are looking to undertake extension work or any other construction projects as a property owner. A Building Surveyor can supervise the project ensuring it meets not only your specific requirements but also the requirements of the latest building regulations, keeping within the realms of your planning permissions too.

Cost Management: For larger residential building projects, it is important that quantity surveyors are employed to help understand and manage the costs involved in the successful completion of the project.

Party Wall services: Building Surveyors are also your lifeline when it comes to the Party Wall Act. As an owner or occupier that is proposing works to a shared wall, on a boundary line or near adjacent buildings/structures you will invariably be required to comply with the requirements of the Act.

Important landlord and tenant services

Schedule of Condition: A Schedule of Condition protects both the landlord and tenant when it comes to determining who is responsible for repairs to the property. This means both the tenant’s repair obligations in the lease, as well as the Schedule of Condition, can be referred to in instances of damage or repair to a property.

Schedule of Dilapidations: A Building Surveyor can also help both landlords and tenants at the end of a lease by undertaking a Schedule of Dilapidations. The implications of a dilapidated property, including one when the tenant hasn’t complied with the lease covenant, can cause significant loss to the landlord and issues with re-letting.

Tenants may also request a Schedule of Dilapidations too as it’s their responsibility to ensure that when they vacate a property, they return it to the landlord in its original, pre-let condition.

Expert Witness: In rare instances where a dispute cannot be resolved, a Building Surveyor can be called upon as an Expert Witness in court with their findings, referring to any reports they have devised for either the landlord or the tenant (or both).

Consider the time of year

Each season brings with it different types of issues for homeowners. Depending on the severity of the weather and the condition of the property, this will determine the service type and when you might need a Building Surveyor.

In recent years the UK has begun to experience more and more extreme weather. From flooding to immense heat in the summer, to below freezing winters and stormy nights, sometimes you might not even know when you need a Building Surveyor until it’s too late and damage has been done.

So, like a car MOT, a Building Surveyor can be appointed to carry out a survey on your home to check that it’s as weather resilient as possible and in good working order for the future.

So, when is the best time to appoint a building surveyor?

It’s always best to appoint a Building Surveyor if you are concerned about your property. You can appoint a Building Surveyor when you think necessary or if there are any doubts in your mind about a project or compliance. Building Surveyors are always here and are happy to help you and your home be the best it can possibly be.

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