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How to complain about your Chartered Surveyor

Here's what you can do if you are unhappy with your surveyor.

How to complain about your Chartered Surveyor

Here at reallymoving we work with a huge number of RICS-regulated surveyor firms. We ask all of our users to provide feedback on the firm they use, so that our customers can see how all the suveyor firms have done in the past.

We find our Chartered Surveyors receive excellent feedback.

How to complain

However, if you are unhappy with your surveyor, it's important that you make it known to them and take the appropriate action. Whilst you should feel free to let us know about your experience with one of our firms, there are some other steps you may wish to consider.

The RICS – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – expect their regulated surveyors to follow strict rules of conduct. These rules of conduct insist that RICS members have a Complaints Handling Procedure (known as a CHP) to deal with grievances against their firm.

Ideally, when you initially employed your surveyor, reference to their CHP should have been evident in the terms and conditions they sent you. If this was not sent with their Ts&Cs, and you are not happy with the service that your RICS Surveyor has provided, you should ask to see details of their Complaints Handling Procedure in writing. 

If you have asked for a copy of their CHP it's important to keep a copy of your request, whether it was by letter (send by recorded delivery), email (get a delivery receipt) or by phone (make a note of the date that you called the company and who you spoke to).

RICS require that your complaint is handled by a designator complaints manager or by a senior member of the firm. These individuals should try to resolve your complaint. 

If your grievance cannot be resolved internally, the surveyor should refer it to an independent redress scheme, ideally run by an ombudsman.

The Chartered Surveyor firm should let you know which ombudsman scheme they have forwarded your complaint to so that you can stay informed of its progress.

Go direct to RICS

An alternative method of complaining about your surveyor is to go direct to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. 

RICS Regulation is the regulatory arm of RICS and is accountable for ensuring its members observe the rules and regulations to which they have signed up. If RICS considers the member firm has fallen short of anticipated standards, the RICS will take suitable steps to stop the risk of additional misdemeanours. 

Here is a list of the areas in which RICS will investigate:

  • Failure to utilise a complaints handling procedure
  • Failure to disclose a conflict of interest
  • Misuse of clients’ money
  • Failure to answer correspondence
  • Working with a conviction of a criminal office

RICS cannot: 

  • Deal with non-RICS members
  • Pay compensation on behalf of a member, or instruct a member to pay compensation
  • Determine whether a firm has acted negligently – this is a case for the law courts
  • Become involved in any court action against a Member Firm

Further information can be found at the RICS website

Updated April 2020

Comments (18)

  • Geraldine Hagan

    posted on 20 Jul 2013

    I have a friend in Swansea, who employed a Chartered Surveyor and he left her in the lurch, asked her for money which she gave, and did not finish the job. He now refuses to take her telephone calls. Where does she stand? He claims to be a member of RICS.

    Derek hill

    posted on 28 Jan 2015

    Brought property last February after paying for survey. One week after moving into property damp was found along one wall affecting two bedrooms. The survey had no damp meter readings, bearing in mind the property was empty and the surveyor had easy access to all walls. If meter readings were in the report and picked up as high as they obviously were we would not have proceeded with purchase. We have complained and have had to drop our county court case due to the costs. But totally fed up with the arrogance of the surveyor. I will never have a survey done again, it has cost us thousands to fix the problem , a survey really isn't worth the paper it is written on!

    Alister Gillanders

    posted on 26 Jun 2015

    The house construction is wrongly described in the home report this could have an impact on the value of the house and people obtaining a mortgage.

    Andy Whitehouse

    posted on 6 Nov 2015

    Moved into our property in July and within weeks of moving in noticed damp patches rising from a basement bedroom. Paid extra for homebuyers report to cover this and no readings of damp were evident. Spoke to XXXXXXX and was amazed by the arrogance of the visiting surveyor, who dismissed all issues. Complained officially to XXXXXs who investigated and put cause down to condensation. Advised to place no furniture against walls to ensure circulation of air….. Obtained a second opinion that totally disagrees with diagnosis and confirms water ingress. CCTV survey confirmed crack drainpipe as cause. Fed back information to XXXXXXX who have written to say we can refer to The Surveyors Ombudsman where they will defend their position. Presume that this will be a closed shop and a waste of time. Survey not worth the paper it was written on. Feel duped and let down.

    Reallymoving response

    Hi Andy
    Thanks for your comments and sorry to hear the survey didn't pick up the damp from the drainpipe.  However, The Surveyor Ombudsman is an excellent service, run via the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and will, we are sure, provide you win an impartial report that will make recommendations on the next way forward. We strongly support going to the Ombudsman.  Incidentally, the company name has been removed so the investigation is not jeopardised.

    Gill Chescoe

    posted on 24 Jan 2017

    I would like to ask where I stand with regards a Chartered Surveyors who was taken on to work jointly with both the owner who is carrying out major works on his house and myself to issue a Party Wall Agreement? I was under the impression that should any damage occur a fair and reasonable compensation claim would be drawn up. This is clearly not the case. He took some photos which are so blurred it is difficult to ascertain where abouts in my house the photos were taken and how bad the cracks are that have appeared. He keeps changing the goal posts so I don't know where I stand. He told me the owner was very foolish to start work prior to the Party Wall Agreement being in place as no claim could be proven otherwise. He told me he would come in December and take some further photos to prove damage has occurred and would be back again in January to take some further photos. I wasn't aware he took any photos on his last visit in December and if he did I have not had the privy to see them. I suggested I walk round with him to show him the new cracks that had appeared but he said he would walk around first and then we would both go round together. The next thing I knew he "shouted up the stairs he was off now"I gave him the list of new cracks that I had documented. I asked him what happens if more damage occurs after the Party Wall Agreement award and he said it doesn't expire. I asked him to come back at the begining of January to see the significant damage caused by next doors works and he said he wouldn't be coming back but to send in the photos. This was duly done but then noticed how appalling his photos actually are in comparison to mine and I am a novice! He is obviously working in conjunction with the builder/owner so he only has to pay out a small amount in compensation if any. I am assuming he was given a small fee for the work done and not considering my rights as the person on the receiving end who needs to be paid for the considerable damage caused to my property. He said he has been paid £1,000 for the Party Wall Agreement but judging from these photos this is hard to believe. He has since refused to acknowledge any of my emails or telephone calls. When I told I was seeking legal advice this still hasn't spurned him into action. It says at the bottom of the Award he belongs to RICS so I am hoping you can advise me of how I proceed to take this further. Surely there must be a Code of Practice and standards that he is obliged to stick to? I have witheld his name but will readily give it to you plus proof of exactly he has done to date and all emails sent and received.

    Reallymoving response

    The RICS expect their regulated surveyors to follow strict Rules of Conduct, which insist that members of the RICS have a Complaints Handling Procedure in place. 

    You can go directly to the RICS to make a complaint and speak to professionals who can advise on your issue further. Take a look at the RICS website for more information.

    Angela Campbell-Stephen

    posted on 7 Mar 2017

    Employed the services of a surveyor to carry out a full structural building survey on a bungalow I was purchasing. After I moved in I noticed plaster was coming off the walls when stripping wall paper and the whole of an internal wall was moving (which has subsequently had to be rebuilt). The survey did not mention the moving wall and only stated in the report that there were some patches of hollow plaster which he stated "could be made good on redecoration". In fact not only did I have to have the internal wall rebuilt, I have had to take every wall back to brickwork, re plaster board and re plaster. I would not deem this as redecoration this is total refurbishment. When I complained to the surveyor he just sighted the fact I had signed his t&c's and he is not admitting any negligence whatsoever. The irony is the surveyor wouldn't carry out the survey or produce the report without his t&c's being signed so they have you over a barrel from the outset and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Surveys are not worth the paper they are written on or the money you pay for them. Definitely wouldn't have a survey again complete waste of time and money. The complaints process is utterly useless, if you want to get any money back you have to take them to court which means more expense and money you probably don't have as you have had to find additional funds to put right defects that you didn't know existed because your surveyor didn't pick up on them and gave you the confidence to buy a complete dump of a property. In my opinion complete shame of a profession and a disgrace!

    Reallymoving response

    If you are unhappy with the service provided by your Chartered Surveyor, follow the complaints procedure on the RICS website, a professional body responsible for ensuring that professionals and firms meet the requirements of their Rules of Conduct.

    As a Chartered Surveyor, one of the requirements of RICS membership is that a member must maintain a policy of Professional Indemnity Insurance from an RICS approved insurer as PII protects members of the public engaging a Chartered Surveyor's services from professional negligence.

    For further advice, read more information about what protection you have if something is missed in a survey.


    posted on 4 Jul 2017

    Hi we paid £780 for a building survey and we now have a dispute with the surveyor company regarding the overall quality of the survey due to the fact that the flat roof that the homeowner stored his Halfords car roof box on was identified on the survey by the surveyor as a roof lantern /skylight ! Report even said that it was in good satisfactory condition ! So not only has it been mistaken for a roof lantern they have also been dishonest and said it looks in good satisfactory condition . now anyone would notice that it wasn't a skylight if they went inside the room underneath the roof and looked up . Obviously they didn't look close enough from the outside and certainly didn't look from the inside . but they say that it was a reasonable mistake to make within the "limitations " of the survey . They offered me £200 compensation which I have refused as I wanted a full refund of £780 as I will now have to seek and pay for another company to do the survey before we buy. they have said if I go to the ombudsman that the ombudsman will simply agree with them that it was a reasonable mistake to make . In my opinion it was a ridiculous mistake and because of this I now doubt and question the rest of the survey and its quality . am I likely to get a refund or any kind of compensation for this poor survey ?

    Reallymoving response

    Dear Andy
    Thanks for your comments.  Hopefully the RICS Ombudsman will be able to adjudicate this situation.  It's not something that we can comment on. Sorry!  Hopefully it wasn't a reallymoving surveyor who made this mistake as we don't have your name registered with us.

    good luck and best wishes

    Tony cannings

    posted on 28 Jul 2017

    After having my survey done and appointing a builder to reword and carry out the removal of ceilings ect I was amazed to find out my property not only has woodworm but also rotten timbers in the roof. I am now going to meet with the surveyor and see what he can suggest. If I'm not happy I will be taking this matter further and sorting out a barrister and taking this further.

    Sue Lemasurier

    posted on 7 Sep 2017

    A Home Buyers Survey was carried out in August 2016 and we moved in March 2017. Major squelching water problem developing from day one resulting in insurance claim of £50,000 plus and downstairs still uninhabitable! Surveyors suggest problem occurred between their survey and our moving in despite winter 2016/17 having been the driest on record... No lintels above very wide windows and movement already to the bay, no mention in report. Now we've discovered a major roof problem with bowing and sagging to side roof thought to be due to re-roofing in the past with tiles that are too heavy for the size of the timbers - all evident even to a layperson but no mention in report. Complaint to surveyor so far getting nowhere so asked RICS to clarify whether reasonable the report didn't mention these matters, waiting a reply. Going to cost me £20-30,000 to put things right and house will be liveable by Christmas if I am lucky! It's disgusting! Anyone know a solicitor who specialises in such cases and doesn't ask for thousands up front?

    anne dodds

    posted on 12 Sep 2017

    After having a building survey report done, everything was okay, so we went ahead and bought the property only to find the whole house is full of wood worm. All of the wood in the house is affected and has to be replaced. We got back in touch with the surveyor only to be told he has passed away. We got in touch with the web page that the surveyor advertised on, was told he was a ltd company. Where do we go from here? Surely he was insured - how do we find who he was insured with?


    posted on 13 Sep 2017

    We paid for a home buyers report and found numerous discrepancies. Due to these discrepancies we have had to pay for repairs we were not aware of. We approached the firm who sent a senior surveyor who made excuses and stated we would hear from him within 10 days. After 2 weeks we contacted him and received an email stating we would hear his decision within the next 10 days. We emailed back saying we thought they had long enough to make his decision and that we would like to hear from him within 7 days. It is now 2 weeks and not heard from them what do we do now.

    Reallymoving response

    The RICS expect their regulated surveyors to follow strict rules of conduct, which insist that members of the RICS have a complaints handling procedure in place. You can go directly to RICS to make a complaint and take your issue further.
    Best of luck, 


    posted on 20 Oct 2017

    We recently put an offer on on a property. The sellers survey report showed no problems with the structure, external walls or blockwork. Just before the purchase we noticed cracks, etc in external walls. We had this investigated by several builders and turns out the property is built with bad blocks and is badly corroding (£60k fix). The property has now been taken off the market and seller will have to fix before it can be sold. The surveyor should’ve seen this. He is a one man company, how do we go about complaining about him?

    Reallymoving response

    Hi Janine,
    You've said the 'seller's' survey report - if the seller paid for this survey on their property, and you simply followed the details given, without hiring a Chartered Surveyor yourself, it is hard to know if you have any grounds for complaint. If, however, the surveyor was hired by you, you can go to RICS or Ombudsman services to discuss a complaint.
    All the best,
    reallymoving team

    Sophie hull

    posted on 6 Dec 2017

    A chartered surveyor employed by my buyer, caused unrepairable damage to the laminate flooring in my hall way after dropping a loft hatch from ceiling height. The surveyor is refusing to accept liability and is attempting to force me to claim on my home insurance, which has an excess and will increase my premiums. They accept that they caused the damage but claim that because it was accidental, it is not their issue. How am I suppose to proceed? The replacement of the laminate, confirmed by 3 independent companies will cost £3000, for his negligence.


    posted on 9 Feb 2018

    I am in the middle of renewing a lease and the surveyor employed by the freeholder who I have to pay for has come back with an outlandish valuation that is affecting the lease cost - he is not employed by me but i pay the costs? I also felt he was hinting at a gratuity to ensure the quotation he put in was low. Where do I stand with this?

    Catherine Whitby

    posted on 15 Feb 2018

    My buyers surveyor report lost us the sale of the house. The report was extremely malicious, inaccurate and contradictory. Is there someone i can complain to about this.


    posted on 17 Apr 2018

    I am in the process of selling my house. A survey done by a previous interested party 4 weeks ago can back at it being worth 170. Another survey by a different buyer has come back at being worth 155. The buyer has given me a copy of the survey and I noted the amount of bedrooms was one short and it did not mention my newly installed en suite. Also, the surveyor who came was a lady, however the declaration on the survey is signed by a man. I rang the surveying company who said the man and woman work together (she came on her own) , and they refused to address the bedrooms or incorrect parking space information (I have a drive for 4 cars not an allocated parking space) stating they workforce the buyer not myself. How's can I get the survey addressed? As the man that signed it did not view it how can he pass judgement on the house price? Many thanks for your advice


    posted on 20 Apr 2018

    My buyers surveyor has recommended they do not loan the mortgage to our buyer, stating the property is not acceptable to the lender due to adverse locational factors; a public housing estate, also stating that there is no evidence of any demand for owner occupation ' they have now pulled out of the sale and deemed my property worthless. Is there anything I can do to challenge this? The area is a thriving community, the property is structurally sound and modernised and very close links to public transport and local amenities. The property was purchased under RTB and the area is mixed tenure. I'm at a loss as to where to go or what to do, and the area is not rundown or in the throes of regeneration, it is in a prime location. Any guidance/advice you can give will be greatly appreciated

    Reallymoving response

    Hi Suzanne,

    This doesn't sound like this is a Chartered Surveyor, but rather a valuation done by the mortgage lender. As such this will be down to terms and conditions with that individual lender. This does not mean you won't be able to sell your property, but just that it's not in line with what that particular lender wants. Make the estate agent aware of this, as they can ask other potential buyers who they have their mortgage in principle with. You could also ask this question on our forum to see if anyone else has had a similar issue.

    All the best,
    the team at reallymoving.


    posted on 5 Jun 2018

    My buyers surveyor did damage to my property, they then pulled out the sale and he refuses to comment on the damage which has been done. It appears a damp meter with 2 prongs has been pushed into the walls and skirting boards about every 30cm. Knocking off bits of plaster about finger nail size. This has also been done into a wall which was ranked and I am concerned it may have been damaged. At present it looks like it will fall to me to fill the holes and repaint. Is this normal practice?

    Reallymoving response

    It is probably best to contact the surveyor directly to discuss the damage done, as the buyer, especially having pulled out of the sale, will not be responsible. If the company will not acknowledge any damage, you can move forward to discuss the issue with the RICS.

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