The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) represents land and property surveyors not only in England and Wales, but throughout the world. With over 80, 000 qualified members in England as well as members, students and trainees in some 150 countries, RICS provides the world's leading professional qualification in land, property, construction and the associated environmental issues.
Established by Royal Charter, the Institution sets out standards for the qualifications required to become a member, as well as laying down requirements for the continuing professional development of its members. It sets out rules and regulations that its members must follow, and is especially involved in laying down standards applicable to such property-related matters as valuations and surveys.
Of particular interest to homebuyers is the RICS scheme for Home Surveys. This provides buyers with a simple way to obtain an independent professional survey on a property for a reasonable fee. Purchasers often save themselves money as defects are discovered which would not otherwise have been noticed.
Other areas where the services of a RICS member can assist homeowners is in helping to settle property disputes, in Planning matters, Party Wall awards, and in obtaining a professional valuation e.g. in connection with probate.
A valuation by a RICS member will also be required in connection a lease extension, especially when making a statutory application, or if leaseholders are considering buying their freehold.