Sometimes the easiest way to explain the exact function of a Chartered Surveyor is to describe the variety of surveys on which their expertise is considered vital. As you will be able to see, their knowledge can be requested by a number of different parties, depending on the situation.
The following four categories will typically occupy the majority of the surveyor’s working week.
These are carried out on behalf of a bank or other mortgage lender. These surveys, though paid for by the borrower, are really for the benefit of the lender, since they are undertaken to ensure that the lender’s money is safe. A mortgage survey in Spain, unless it is carried out on behalf of a UK or Gibraltarian bank, has to be carried out by a tasador acting on behalf of one of the Sociedades de Tasación approved by the Bank of Spain. These companies have to place a substantial ‘bond’ with the Central Bank, which would appear to be a kind of indemnity fund where lenders can be compensated in case of gross error by the tasadores. This central control can lead to the Sociedades being used to influence the market, such as the recent example where they appeared to have received instructions to undervalue in an attempt to reduce mortgage lending and slow the rise in values. So their valuations deliberately may not accurately reflect the price that the property could command on the market. Continue reading