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News & Events: Residential Surveying Explained


What is a Residential Surveyor?

The surveying profession covers land, property and construction and it can be very confusing to understand the exact role of a surveyor in these very broad sectors. Consequently, we thought it would be sensible to introduce Residential Surveying and explain what a Residential Surveyor does.

Let’s start with the very basics, residential means dealing with the places where people live. This includes houses, flats, bungalows etc but doesn’t include shops or commercial premises, except in those instances where a flat might be built above a shop, for example.

A surveyor working in the residential sector can be involved with many different aspects of the valuation, sale, purchase, letting and management of residential property. However, the term ‘residential surveyor’ usually refers to surveyors involved in the sale and purchase of houses and the Residential Survey and Valuation route to RICS membership focusses on this.

Residential surveyors will be involved with the inspection of property prior to purchase, often carrying out condition surveys to assist buyers. There are several types of survey and the one used will usually depend on the type of property. Report types include, a Home Buyer Survey, Building Surveying, Home Condition Survey & Condition Report. The typical aspects of a survey include:

  • Background to the property and information for the legal adviser
  • How the property is built and the condition of the structural elements
  • Damp
  • Health and safety issues including possible presence of asbestos and radon gas

Why become a Residential Surveyor?

Residential surveying is a highly respected career path and surveyors are usually members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Reasons to become a residential surveyor include:

  • Property is fascinating
  • Great career prospects
  • Residential surveyors are in high demand
  • Range of employment opportunities, including self-employment
  • Well respected career path
  • Challenging and always changing
  • Not desk based

“I was thinking of embarking on a new career to bring more fulfilment and satisfaction, but ultimately was not sure what path to go down. Over the following weeks, I did many hours of research into the industry and felt a career in Residential Surveying would be right for me. Nearly 3 years on from that decision and I haven’t looked back!”

– Stephen Anscombe, graduate of the Diploma of Residential Surveying and Valuation

How to become a Residential Surveyor?

There are many routes into residential surveying. The most traditional is via university to study all aspects of surveying for 3 years before specialising in residential, working for a firm of surveyors and joining the RICS after at least 2 years of experience and having undertaken the Assessment of Professional Competence.

Sava offer a vocational diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation which specialises in the residential pathway and teaches learners everything they need to become a qualified residential surveyor in 24 months. The course is approved with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, so learners are eligible for Direct Entry as soon as they have completed the course.

You can read more about the Diploma in Residential Surveying and Valuation qualification here.