Building Surveying York. Glossary of surveying terminology

Brief definitions of surveying terminology to help understand our services. AWP Chartered Surveyors and Project Managers experts in  Building Surveying York, Harrogate and Yorkshire.

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Access for Disabled People

Access issues arise in both project work and building surveying York. In both situations, surveyors will be able to provide an understanding of the fundamental barriers that affect disabled users as well as any regulatory requirements for equality and social inclusion.

Access rights

Incorporating the legal rights for access to another person’s property, surveyors will be able to help ascertain the existence of a public right of way, as well as any obligations to maintain and manage them.

Also known as Public and private rights of way disputes


With expertise in consultancy and planning, real estate, environmental management, rental and lease reviews, auctioning and valuation, surveyors provide advice to farmers and landowners on unlocking the value of their assets, selling livestock, diversification, change of land use and rural management.

Antiques and fine art

In surveying this relates to valuation, buying and selling, auctioning and managing antiques and fine arts.


Managing the process of planning, designing, and sometimes constructing buildings and other physical structures, surveyors or architects will be able to provide advice on use of space or building aesthetics.


While undamaged asbestos need not carry an immediate risk, asbestos has been found to cause cancer by inhalation, so should be treated with care. A surveyor would be able to provide an asbestos inspection to highlight any risks and also assist with an asbestos management plan.


If you’re selling a property at auction, you may want to use an auctioneer who is an RICS member. If you’re looking to buy a property at auction, an RICS surveyor can ensure the investment you make is a sound one.

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Boundary issues

Often a source of neighbour dispute, surveyors can help you with defining or identifying boundaries, interpreting plans in both conveyances and at the Land Registry, and act as an expert if your dispute needed to progress to a court. The causes of a dispute in this area often involve one or more of the following: hedges, party walls, boundary lines, planning permission, or a change in ownership.

Also known as Boundary demarcation and disputes

Building control

Building control is now mostly enfoced through the Building Regulations. A surveyor will be able to advise you on the correct application of the Regulations to help ensure that all relevant building work accords with the government’s objectives of securing the health and safety of building users, promoting energy efficiency and making access easier for disabled people.

Building information modelling (BIM)

BIM is the process of Building Information Modelling and is the action or the creation and maintenance of a database of information relating to a building. This data is digital and is recorded in such a way as to serve as a useful tool for the future life of the building. For example, recording details of the structure and specifications of windows would make the task of replacing windows quicker and easier. Surveyors will be able to advise you in setting up a BIM as well as helping to interpret the data to inform maintenance decisions, potentially saving time and money over the full lifecycle of a building.

Building maintenance

Building components deteriorate with time or use and at some stage their performance no longer meets a required standard. Maintenance is an intervention so that the component can perform to the required standard. Surveyors will be able to provide a visual inspection and give advice on testing, cleaning, repairs, replacement and improvement.

Building surveying

Building surveying is one of the widest areas of surveying practice. Chartered building surveyors are involved in all aspects of property and construction from supervising large mixed-use developments to planning domestic extensions. This varied workload can include everything from the conservation and restoration of historic buildings to contemporary new developments.

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Capital allowances

Capital allowances are used by the government to provide an incentive to invest in capital equipment, including commercial property, by allowing the majority of taxpayers a deduction from taxable profits for certain types of capital expenditure. A surveyor will be able to help you identify opportunities to reduce the amount of tax you pay. Capital allowances provide tax relief for capital expenditure by prescribing a statutory rate of depreciation for tax purposes, instead of the one used for accounting purposes.

Carbon management

According to the Carbon Trust, carbon management is a systematic approach to managing the risks, and realising the opportunities, that climate change presents. Surveyors can help with looking at both the revenue and cost sides of real estate ownership and occupation in relation to carbon, and involving areas outside the scope of a normal energy or operational efficiency review.


Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to the requirements of churches.

Commercial property

Commercial property includes many types of property, including offices, retail premises, hotels, warehouses and garages. Surveyors can help with leases, dilapidations, ren

Commercial property includes many types of property, including offices, retail premises, hotels, warehouses and garages. Surveyors can help with leases, dilapidations, rent review, service charges, empty property, rating and all areas of property management.

Also known as Commercial and industrial international property, Commercial building surveys, Commercial land agency, Commercial property agency, Commercial property dispute resolution, Commercial property management, Commercial property valuation

Compulsory purchase

Surveyors acting in this field will be familiar with the powers and limits of compulsory purchase and what can be acquired under a compulsory purchase order (CPO) – whether they are acting for an acquiring authority or for landowners/potential objectors. Certain types of land may be protected and the appropriateness of a CPO needs to be carefully assessed. Surveyors will help you follow relevant procedures, from the handling of objections through public inquiries to proceedings in the Upper Tribunal.

Also known as Compulsory purchase and compensation

Condition surveys

A condition survey considers the condition of a building, part of a building, estate or portfolio compared to a predetermined standard, to identify any actions necessary to bring the property up to that standard and keep it there. For owners, occupiers and managers, a condition survey identifies maintenance and repair work, and the timescale for undertaking that work, thereby permitting budgeting, the assessment of compliance and strategic planning. For investors, a condition survey serves as an audit measuring the condition of their asset, while for purchasers, such a survey assists in asset valuation by identifying repair and dilapidation liabilities.

Also known as Schedules of Condition (SOC)


According to English Heritage, conservation is the process of maintaining and managing change to a heritage asset in a way that sustains and, where appropriate, enhances its significance. Surveyors will be able to advise on current levels of heritage protection, conservation plans, applications and legislative requirements.

Also known as Historic building conservation


Surveying specialists in construction will be able to help and advise across a broad range of services, including contract administration, building control, quantity surveying, cost management, procurement, safety, disputes, feasibility and planning, as well as site investigation and statutory matters.

Also known as Construction management monitoring, Construction value management, Plans, specifications and supervision of building works

Contaminated land

Contaminated land is any land which is causing harm or pollution. With an increasing move away from greenfield development, it is becoming more difficult for investors and tenants to avoid owning or occupying some form of potentially contaminated land. Surveyors can help with contaminated land legislation, environmental auditing and documentation, as well as advising on remediation.

Contract administration

Surveyors can help and advise on the administration of contracts, particularly in relation to construction projects, by performing the role of contract administrator. Specific advice may include collateral warranties, insurance, defects, extensions of time, letters of intent, loss and expense, payment, planning and programming, practical completion, and termination.

Also known as Building design and contract administration

Contract management

Surveyors can advise on the management of contracts within a construction project including working with FIDIC, JCT, NEC, and non-standard forms of contract.

Also known as Construction contract claims

Cost planning

An essential role of a quantity surveyor, cost planning provides a means of controlling the design process to meet the budgetary requirements of the client. It allows the quantity surveyor, with the design team, to design a building to a cost, rather than costing a design after it has been completed. The control of costs can only be achieved through the actions of the whole project team, including the client. It is the role of the quantity surveyor, using cost planning techniques, to facilitate this and achieve the client’s requirements within the agreed budget.

Also known as Construction cost consultancy

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Damp (or dampness) in a material usually refers to its content of free moisture (i.e. non-chemically bound), often to the state of a material when it is in a condition between being dry and being wet. Damp is an often misunderstood term. It tends to have a rather negative connotation, i.e. that if a material is damp there is an element of risk of material degradation or threat to health, whereas in reality all porous materials subject to the UK climate will contain some moisture from the air. Each porous building material used in house construction generally functions satisfactorily within its own particular safe range of moisture content, dependent on the location of the material in the construction and the function it is required to carry out. In construction, dampness is unwanted moisture or moisture that should not be there.


A material, component or finish is defective usually when it does not meet its expected performance criteria. Common defects include: leaking roof material, condensation, gutter and rainwater leaks, decoration and finishes, plumbing, slipped or missing roof tiles, leaking drains, cracking, lack of ventilation.

Development monitoring and advice

Development monitoring is carried out on behalf of investors, such as fund managers, to inform them of risks associated with a project. Their role is to provide advice on risk and return on a financial investment. Without an understanding of the risk and the overall risk/reward relationship attached to transactions, poor decisions may arise that can ultimately underline your business performance.


In almost all tenancies there will be obligations concerning the form and condition of the premises. A failure to comply with such obligations will give rise to a claim for what is commonly known as dilapidations. For any sizeable dilapidations claim both the landlord and the tenant will appoint professional representatives, usually building surveyors, because of the degree of construction knowledge required. For the dilapidations process to be successful the appointed surveyor must also have a reasonable understanding of the often complex legal principles in this area of law. It is not uncommon for solicitors to be involved in dilapidations claims, perhaps in the formal service of the claim itself, or in the interpretation of the lease covenants.

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Dispute resolution

When a dispute arises, careful consideration should be given before embarking on a course of dispute resolution. Is it worthwhile spending time and money on it? Can the opposing party afford to pay out? If dispute resolution is the only option there are a number of options available including adjudication, arbitration, litigation, mediation or negotiation, any of which a surveyor may be able to help with.

Also known as Alternative dispute resolution, Arbitration work, Construction dispute resolution, Mediation training vacillation

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Empty property

Liability is placed on owners of empty properties. A surveyor could help you assess your liability, particularly in relation to rates and their exemptions.

Energy assessment

Surveyors will undertake energy assessments of all buildings being sold or let in order to provide an energy performance certificate. EPCs must also be produced for all newly-constructed buildings and form part of the Building Regulation approval process; a Building Control Completion Certificate cannot be issued until the EPC is in place.

Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)

Energy performance certificates are similar to the energy stickers placed on white goods that have a range of A+ to G, with A+ being the most energy efficient. Along with the certificate, surveyors will provide a Recommendation Report, which gives proposals for improving the energy rating of the building.


Engineering surveying is a critical part of any engineering project, because without an accurate understanding of the size, shape and nature of the project, there is a risk of failure. A surveyor will be able to help assess an engineering project to reduce the chances of expensive and time-consuming errors or even catastrophic failure.

Also known as Civil engineering, Electrical and mechanical engineering, Engineering cost service, Engineering services, Engineering surveys


Environmental surveyors are specialists in all aspects of the management, monitoring and assessment of the environment in the context of real estate, land and construction. Surveyors will be able to help with everything from environment audits and assessments through to contamination and wildlife.

Environmental impact assessment

An EIA is a formal process completed by a surveyor or other specialist whereby the environmental impact of a development are systematically assessed to determine whether there will be any unacceptable impacts during either the construction or operational phases.

Also known as Environmental audit/assessment

Estate agency

Estate agents include any person who, in the course of a business (including a business in which he is employed), is instructed to dispose of or purchase an interest in land. RICS estate agents will be able to provide advice or services including residential and commercial property, letting, sales, and property management.

Also known as Land disposals and acquisitions, Ombudsman for estate agency, Relocation agents

Expert witness

Expert evidence can be required in disputes across land, property and construction. RICS expert witnesses are able to assist the court on the matters within their expertise across areas including building surveying, commercial property, compulsory purchase, dilapidations, planning, development, retail and valuation.

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Facilities management

Facilities management (FM) is the discipline that ensures all the different buildings and services of a company work as efficiently as possible. FM professionals make a huge difference to the efficiency and productivity of a company, its staff and even its clients. Using best business practice, a company’s operating costs can be reduced while its productivity is increased.

Farms and livestock

With expertise in consultancy and planning, real estate, environmental management, rental and lease reviews, auctioning and valuation, surveyors in this area give advice to farmers and landowners on unlocking the value of their assets, selling livestock, diversification, change of land use and rural management.

Also known as Farm/livestock quotas and management, Livestock valuation

Fire safety

Fire safety specialists will provide advice on legislation and requirements relevant to the provision of fire and life safety within a building or property, outlining its application and enforcement, recognised levels of provision, and means of achievement. General considerations the surveyor will be able to advise on include maintenance/management arrangements, responsible persons, means of escape, consultation, automatic suppression, and fire engineering.

Also known as Fire risk assessment

Flat roofs

Defects in roof coverings are often due to inappropriate selection and use rather than a failure of the material itself (save for the expiration of normal life expectancy). Surveyors will be able to help you with identifying failures, affects and possible solutions, but will also be able to provide advice on selecting appropriate roofing materials.


Flooding impacts upon land and property values, investment and planning decisions, and the nature of property development, refurbishment and protection schemes; it can also affect the ability of residential property owners to obtain mortgage finance and insurance. With a knowledge of the sources and causes of flooding, surveyors can help assess risk or remediation options.

Also known as Flood risk assessment

Forestry and woodland

Woodland forests are made up of a wide range of woodland types, ages and sizes. Surveyors can help with regulatory matters around forests and woodland, as well as with valuation in this specialist area.

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Geomatics is the science and study of spatially related information focusing on the collection, interpretation/analysis and presentation of the natural, built, social and economic environments. Surveyors will be able to help with implementing new technology and approaches around geomatics, as well as with the integration of geomatics with traditional forms of real estate management, land administration and construction.

Also known as Geographic information systems

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Hazardous materials

When investigating hazardous and deleterious materials surveyors can provide practical guidance to the identification and treatment of problems associated with some types of building materials. Surveyors will be able to provide advice on the nature of the material, its normal use, problem areas, methods of diagnosis and analysis, and methods of repair.

Health and safety

Employers, employees, landlords or tenants will all have responsibilities in relation to health and safety. From gas appliances to lone working practices, surveyors can provide advice to protect all parties on the legal responsibilities for health and safety.

Also known as Health and safety risk assessment, CDM (health and safety advice)

Hospitals and medical premises

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for inspection, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to the requirements of hospitals and other medical premises.

Also known as Health care properties, Medical premises

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Industrial property

In relation to industrial property, surveyors can advise on the condition and suitability of proposed premises for occupation and investment, as well as advice on liability and risk assessment.

Also known as Industrial property agency, Industrial property surveys, Industrial property valuation


Infrastructure surveyors are specialists in the basic physical and organisational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function. These include major roads, rail, airports, ports, electricity, gas, communications, water and sewerage, waste, and flood risk management.


Surveyors are increasingly involved in insolvency based transactions, working towards the principle of promoting a culture of rescue, rather than recovery. Surveyors will be able to advise in insolvency situations across all areas of instruction, including competence, professional indemnity, conflicts of interest and documents, inspection, reporting, and liability.


Every situation involving property insurance has unique considerations. Surveyors are aware of insurance liabilities for their clients, and can advise on the most appropriate insurance to meet regulatory or other requirements.

Also known as Household contents valuation, Insurance loss adjustment and claims, Insurance reinstatement cost assessment, Property insurance assessment


Property investment takes many forms, ranging from the traditional, direct ownership and trading of tenanted land and buildings, to contemporary capital markets where property revenues are traded as securities or indeed derivatives. Surveyors can advise on how risks can be managed or mitigated more effectively.

Also known as Property investor advice

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Japanese knotweed

While the most common problem presented by invasive plant species is environmental (particularly affecting native flora and fauna), some are known to present an issue to human health. Two species in particular stand above all others when it comes to issues of disposal and the disruption they cause to building projects: Japanese knotweed and Giant hogweed. Surveyors will be able to help with identification and treatment options.

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Land use

Surveyors can advise on securing the optimal use of land and its associated resources.

Also known as Land surveying, Land use planning

Landlord and tenant

Surveyors can advise on landlord and tenant arrangements across areas including leases, lease renewal, rent review, dilapidations, easements, service charges and disputes.

Lease renewal

The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 is the primary legislation governing lease renewals in England and Wales. Landlords must be aware of their rights and obligations under the Act to ensure they maintain and improve investment values. Surveyors can advise landlords or tenants on issues including termination, rent review and opposed renewals as well as any exemptions.


In the field of letting, surveyors will be able to provide advice on everything from deposits, references, disrepair and managing the tenancy, to ending the tenancy, problems and special tenancies.

Lifecycle costing

Many designers and clients apply lifecycle costing intuitively when making choices about materials and the structure of a building. They are planning for cost efficiency over the life of the building rather than short term cost savings. Surveyors will be able to help you formalise this approach to take into account both initial and future costs. For buildings and structures this usually means considering not just capital costs but relevant costs in use or operational costs.

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Management consultancy

Management consultants provide independent, impartial advice in all areas of the business and real estate lifecycle. They mainly identify and implement business solutions to real estate problems. Management consultants provide advice for strategy building and tactical planning as well as the consultancy skills to implement these for property or general business. Management consultancy chartered surveyors are trained in economics, business and management skills and to communicate their technical skills for the benefit of customers.


Architects, surveyors, planners and most property practitioners use maps in their day-to-day professional lives. The vast majority of these maps will be directly or partially based upon Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping data. Whether these maps are accurate, up-to-date, correctly scaled or even licensed may be unknown and it is down to the user to ensure the maps are fit for purpose and that they are adequately licensed. Surveyors will be able to advise in the area to reduce the risk of using incorrect maps.

Also known as Digital mapping and data processing

Measured survey

Measured surveys involve taking measurements of sites or buildings in order to produce accurate drawings to scale. They are usually specified to an agreed level of detail, to acceptable accuracy tolerances, scale, delivery times and costs. Surveyors will provide the ‘building block’ of core information upon which all subsequent phases of planning, design and development are based.

Also known as Measured surveys of buildings by traditional methods, Measured surveys of buildings with edm equipment

Minerals and waste

Extracting minerals and managing waste requires sensitive planning from the initial prospecting stage to the ultimate restoration and after-use of each site. Together with practical management during the operational phase, surveyors will be able to help with negotiation and consultation with landowners, the general public and other professionals, including planners, environmental specialists, lawyers and accountants.

Mobile phone masts

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, regeneration, and other services tailored to the requirements of mobile phone masts.


Mundic is the old Cornish name for pyrites, a mineral found in abundance in some of the geological deposits in Cornwall and some parts of Devon. In the early 20th century, waste products from the area’s mining industries found their way into blocks used for housing, and some of this waste material contained unstable sulphides (pyrite being one of the main culprits), which deteriorated after the concrete became carbonated, and in damp conditions. Surveyors will be able to test suspect buildings and advise on next steps.

Also known as Mundic testing

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A valuer or surveyor who carries out professional work will almost invariably owe a duty of care and skill to the client, either as an express or implied term of the contract under which the work is to be done or, in the common situation where there is no such express term, as a term implied into that contract. If the work is not carried out to the required standards of reasonable care and skill, this will constitute a breach of contract. The client may also be entitled to claim under the tort of negligence. Surveyors will be able to advise on duty of care, breach of duty, defences, and mitigation and contribution in negligence cases, and provide advice on the extent of liability for negligence; damages for negligent surveys and the ‘margin of error’ approach to establishing negligence against valuers.

Neighbourly disputes

Surveyors can advise on issues arising from boundary disputes, including how boundaries are defined and how they can be identified. Surveyors can explain the role of plans in both conveyances and at the Land Registry and give detailed practical advice on measuring boundaries. They can also draft an expert’s report and appear in court if required.

Also known as Easements

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Overseas property

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to requirements of overseas property.

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Park (mobile) homes

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to requirements of mobile homes.

Party walls

A party wall divides the buildings of two owners with the boundary usually, but not always, positioned at the centre of the wall. The Party Wall Act 1996 recognises two forms of party walls: a wall that stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners and a wall that stands wholly on one owner’s land, but is used by two (or more) owners to separate their buildings. Surveyors will be able to help identify a party wall or with any disputes, as well as any obligations to maintain and manage them.

Period property

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to requirements of period property.

Permitted developments

The concept of ‘permitted development’ is one of the most complex and potentially confusing areas of the planning system. However, it is central to the system, and clarifies what forms of development are permitted without the need to apply to the local planning authority (LPA). Surveyors will be able to help you interpret permitted developments in your circumstances to identify the scope of the permitted development, any developments specifically excluded, and provide guidance on the interpretation of the permitted development rights and any conditions that apply.

Planning and development

The Planning and Development field is a specialist area where practitioners have a significant impact on the shape of our environment and how it is used. Practitioners can be called upon to creatively address the challenges of climate change, population growth and economic development in delivering long term benefits.

Also known as Property development

Planning applications

Planning permission is not needed for all development. A surveyor will be able to assess your situation and advise on which changes require planning approval. Practitioners will be familiar with planning policy, both local and national, as well as the procedures for the preparation, submission and decision-making processes.

Also known as Planning advice and appeals

Planning control

Planning control covers development, planning permission, determining planning applications, and enforcement. Practitioners will be familiar with planning policy, both local and national, as well as the procedures for the preparation, submission and decision-making processes.

Planning enforcement

An enforcement notice is a document issued by a local planning authority (LPA) that is served on the owner and/or occupier of land when the LPA believes there has been a breach of planning control. Surveyors will be able to provide advice on complying with enforcement notices or appealing against them.

Plant and machinery

Surveyors can advise on the valuation and sale of both tangible and intangible assets throughout the world. In the same way that property surveyors advise and act on property use for business purposes, machinery and business assets surveyors provide valuation and agency services for all aspects of machinery and business assets in the industrial, commercial and government sectors.


A procurement strategy selected for a particular project will depend on a number of criteria: the client body, the project type and size, the time available, the cost certainty required and the responsibility for design. These criteria will often be in conflict with one another, but a chartered surveyor will be able to advise on the most suitable procurement strategy.

Project management

Project managers occupy a central role in the development process, driving the successful completion of projects. Typically, project managers will be appointed at the beginning of a project and will assist the client in developing the project brief and then selecting, appointing and coordinating the project team. He or she will then usually represent the client throughout the full development process managing the inputs from the client, consultants, contractors and other stakeholders.

Property management

This is the activity that ensures that land and building matters are dealt with so that they operate efficiently and effectively. In effect a surveyor will advise on the strategic asset management objectives for land and buildings. It is sometimes referred to as ‘operational’ and it is the activity of undertaking the professional/technical work necessary to ensure that property is in the condition desired, in the form and layout and location desired, and supplied with the services required. This is together with related activities such as the disposal of surplus property, the construction or acquisition of new property, the valuation of property, and dealing with landlord and tenant and rating matters – all at an optimum and affordable cost.

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Quantity surveying

Quantity surveyors are the cost managers of construction. They are initially involved with the capital expenditure phase of a building or facility, which is the feasibility, design and construction phases. But quantity surveyors can also be involved with the extension, refurbishment, maintenance and demolition of a facility. Quantity surveyors may also work in process engineering, such as chemical engineering plants or oil rigs, and will understand all aspects of construction over the whole life of a building or facility.

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Rating advice

Factors that influence whether an owner or occupier of rateable property is liable to pay rates, and establishing how much he or she is liable to pay, can be subject to challenge. A surveyor will be able to advise on starting the rating appeals process, and how to approach the various types of dispute that can arise.

Also known as Rating advice and appeals

Real estate management

Surveyors will be able to advise on best practice in the execution and delivery of real estate management services, subject to local legislative requirements and local market specifics.

Also known as Commercial real estate management, Corporate property real estate

Renewable energy

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to requirements of renewable energy services.

Also known as Windfarms

Rent review

The purpose of a rent review is to adjust the rent to reflect changes in the value of money and the value of the property. Unsurprisingly, these can often cause disputes between landlords and tenants, with the former seeking the highest increase at rent review and the latter the lowest. Surveyors can advise on rent reviews and assist with negotiation if a dispute arises.

Also known as Commercial rent reviews (and lease renewal)

Repair and restoration

When repairing or restoring property, surveyors will be able to advise on current levels of heritage protection, conservation plans, applications and legislative requirements.

Residential surveys

Residential building surveys involve the comprehensive professional assessment of a property and its condition. Included within the category of residential property there are a wide and diverse number of building types and the survey will normally incorporate the building’s structure, fabric, finishes, outbuildings and grounds, and includes the surveyor’s unbiased, balanced professional opinion on the detail and style required by the client, with reference to visible defects and guidance (as appropriate) on maintenance and remedial measures.

Retail property

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to requirements of retail property.

Also known as Convenience stores, Retail property agency, Retail property management, Retail property valuation

RICS Building Survey

The RICS Building Survey is recommended for large, older or run-down properties, buildings that are unusual or altered, and properties that will be subject to major works. It costs more because it gives detailed information about the structure and fabric of the property. It includes a thorough inspection and detailed report on a wider range of issues, a description of visible defects and potential problems caused by hidden flaws, an outline of repair options and the likely consequences of inactivity, and advice for legal advisors and details of serious risks and dangerous conditions. A building survey does not include a valuation, but this may be provided as an extra service.

RICS Condition Report

The Condition Report is a ‘matter-of-fact’ assessment of the condition of a property, without any advice. Like the other RICS surveys, the Condition Report is based on a thorough visual inspection, but in this case, the scope is slightly reduced and information is presented in a minimalist style. This report format is recommended for conventional houses, flats or bungalows built from common building materials and apparently in reasonable condition. It focuses purely on the condition of the property. The condition report does not include a valuation.

Also known as Home condition surveys

RICS Home Surveys

The RICS Home Surveys suite is designed to help tackle problems and issues around residential surveys. The suite includes the RICS Building Survey, RICS Condition Report and the RICS HomeBuyer Report.

Also known as HomeBuyer survey and valuation, Residential building surveys

RICS HomeBuyer Report

The HomeBuyer Report is recommended when more extensive information is needed on conventional houses, flats or bungalows built from common building materials and apparently in reasonable condition. It costs more than the Condition Report, but includes a more extensive inspection, the surveyor’s professional opinion on the ‘market value’ of the property, an insurance reinstatement figure for the property, a list of problems the surveyor considers may affect the value of the property, advice on repairs and ongoing maintenance, issues that need to be investigated to prevent serious damage or dangerous conditions, legal issues that need to be addressed before conveyancing is completed, and information on location and local environment.

Right to light

Surveyors will be able to help you determine if a rights to light easement exists, the calculation and assessment of rights of light, the remedies available, and circumstances where damages may be available instead of an injunction. They will also be able to take you through the typical process for agreeing a negotiated financial settlement.

Risk management

The purpose of risk management is to identify uncertainties (whether threats or opportunities) which could impact on business, programme or project objectives, to increase benefits from opportunities and to mitigate or eliminate negative impacts. Surveyors will help you identify, analyse, manage and review risk through all phases of a programme or project. Risks must be managed and tracked throughout a project lifecycle, and mitigation and contingency plans can also be developed and implemented.

Rural property

The countryside is ever evolving and professional advice on how emerging regulations and practices affect a client’s business plans has never been more valuable. The work of a rural surveyor draws on a wide range of professional and technical skills and knowledge in key areas including agriculture, management of the natural environment and landscape, property management and valuation.

Also known as Equestrian Property, Rural Practice (RU), Rural Property Estate Agency, Rural Property estate management, Rural Property valuation, Rural services

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Schools and educational premises

Surveyors can help with assessment and recommendations for conservation, repairs, maintenance, accessibility, regeneration, and other services tailored to the requirements of schools and educational premises.

Also known as School properties

Service charges

The complex area of service charges is notorious for generating friction between landlord and tenant. Lease terms are critical in determining an outcome of a claim around service charges and surveyors will be able to provide advice on current practice, legislation and legal precedents.

Also known as Commercial property service charges, Service charge advice

Site inspections

A site inspection gives a contract administrator, project manager or funds surveyor the opportunity to inspect the ongoing progress of works undertaken on a construction site. The purpose of the inspection might be to value the site, to assess progress or to award extentions of time. At the point of practical completion, an inspection will highlight any snagging issues to be dealt with. As well as providing the inspection, the surveyor will be aware of the safety aspects of the site, both for themselves and for the site in general, including safe storage of materials.

Also known as Site surveys

Ska Rating

Fit-outs represent more than 10% of the construction industry. Ska Rating was designed to encourage good practice in fit-out work and to provide a mechanism for assessing and benchmarking fit-out in the context of sustainability. Surveyors will be able to advise on the good practice measures and Ska accredited assessors will be involved from the start of the project, advising which measures will be in scope for the project.

Social housing

Surveyors will be able to provide advice in situations for right to buy, right to acquire and equity sharing of social housing.

Also known as Affordable housing

Solar panels

Surveyors can provide a valuable service advising installation companies whether roofs are suitable to accommodate solar panels. They will also be able to offer a range of roof-inspection services tailored to clients’ needs.

Stamp duty

Stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is self-assessed and there are stiff penalties for concealment or fraud. It is a compulsory tax on UK land transactions. Surveyors will be able to help explain how the tax applies to transactions and advise on how to structure transactions in a tax-efficient way.

Stock condition

Surveyors will be able to provide stock condition surveys for a range of purposes; from the strategic level to inform high level asset policy and planning, to the operational level where detailed information on component, location, condition and costs provides the basis for maintenance plans and implementation.

Subsidence and settlement

There could be movement in the ground beneath your home if you find: new or expanding cracks in plasterwork; new or expanding cracks in outside brickwork; doors or windows sticking for no particular reason; or rippling wallpaper that isn’t caused by damp. A chartered surveyor will be able to work out whether or not there is subsidence and what the likely cause is. They will also be able to provide specialist geological and drain surveys should you need them.


As a profession, surveying has two qualities that make it uniquely placed to support the transformation towards greater sustainability in land, property and construction. Surveyors will be able to assist in areas including energy performance, mainstreaming sustainable buildings, green procurement practices, lifecycle costing, affordable housing and urban planning.

AWP Consulting Independent Chartered Surveyors

Taxation allowance

Surveyors will be able to advise on taxation issues, including tax arising on any capital gain made by an individual or a company following the disposal of an estate or a major interest in a property; income and corporation tax on rental income; inheritance tax arising on the transfer of a property or a major interest in land; Stamp Duty Land Tax arising on any transaction involving land and buildings; and Value Added Tax applying to transactions involving land and buildings.

Trees and TPOs

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) are intended to prevent damage to, or destruction of, trees and to bring any authorised work to trees under planning control. Their objective is not to prevent all work, but to protect the amenity provided by the tree. Surveyors can advise on processes and regulatory requirements around TPOs, as well as any penalties or compensation due.

AWP Consulting Independent Chartered Surveyors


Accurate valuations are vital to a healthy property market and a stable economy, forming the basis of performance analysis, financing decisions, transactional or development advice, dispute resolution and taxation. RICS surveyors follow robust practice standards to deliver high quality valuations. Specialist valuers operate across a wide range of asset types, working in both the public and private sector, though the most common asset classes include commercial, residential or rural property.

AWP Consulting Independent Chartered Surveyors

Waste management

A consumer-led society needs careful waste disposal/management. Minerals and waste management surveyors will have technical skills and a broad and practical knowledge of mining and quarrying, minerals economics and valuation, mining law, planning law, environmental legislation, and geology to assist you with your waste management issues.

AWP Consulting experts in Building Surveying York, Harrogate and Yorkshire, contact us today to see how we can help.

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Our services

Residential Surveying Yorkshire
Commercial Surveying Yorkshire

Building Surveys York, Harrogate and Yorkshire

Acquisition Surveys York
Disposal Surveys York
Defects Surveys York
Condition Assessment Surveys York
Maintenance Surveys York
Dilapidations Surveys York

Buildings and Property Services York, Harrogate and Yorkshire

Building Maintenance York
Building Pathology York
Party Walls York
Dispute Resolution York
Issues with Neighbours York
Performance Management York/
Reinstatement Cost Assessments York
Building Surveys York

Development and Construction Services York, Harrogate and Yorkshire

Development Monitoring York
Procurement Management York
Project Management York
CDM Services York

Landlord and Tenant Services York, Harrogate and Yorkshire

Dilapidations York
Schedules of Conditions York

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