IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Ringley Chartered Surveyors
Now there are even more reasons to have that survey carried out!
The first of an occasional In the Spotlight series, of our participating agents. This week we focus on SAVA and Kentish Town-based Ringley Chartered Surveyors
Mary-Anne Bowring and Jonathan Stickells are among the first 1,000 chartered surveyors in the country to receive personal accreditation to undertake homebuyers surveys, from SAVA, the Surveyors and Valuers Accreditation body.
Many prospective homebuyers are probably not aware that to get a first class surveyor it is no longer necessarily fair to assume that a qualified Building Surveyor, Building Engineer or Chartered Surveyor is enough. What most people probably don't know is that an organisation called SAVA has been set up to specifically accredit surveyors who specialise in this work and members are deemed to be competent.
Of course every prospective purchaser wants a competent surveyor but now they have the opportunity to look for a SAVA accredited one. Buying a new home can be a very trying experience, but SAVA accredited surveyors offer additional comfort to the homebuyer through their technical expertise and professionalism and via the newly designed hidden defects insurance. This is available when a SAVA accredited surveyor carries out a homebuyer survey.
SAVA has been set up primarily in response to some bad publicity and concerns both within the surveying industry and by consumers that although there are some 20,000 surveyors in London many may not be specialist enough in defect diagnosis and reporting.
Accrediting is not easy to achieve as there are onerous training requirements and annually surveyors have to be re-assessed by a panel.
The SAVA scheme, launched by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), is the first of its kind in the country and gives real benefits to consumers by setting new demanding standards in residential surveying and providing reassurance in the professionalism of surveyors. All those accredited have to undergo regular ongoing training to ensure technical and professional standards are maintained at the highest level.
Now there are even more reasons to have a detailed survey carried out. Not only will accredited surveyors be better trained they will offer free hidden defects insurance to all their clients.
Not only will the customer benefit from the surveyors expertise in tracing and establishing defects, but should concealed defects later emerge, there will be an insurance policy to cover any potential costs/claims.
SAVA accredited surveyors are also at the forefront of the proposed changes in the whole way we buy and sell homes in England and Wales. The last government announced a commitment to reforming the home buying process with the introduction of the Sellers Pack. Whilst the enabling legislation did not complete its course through Parliament before the election it will be reintroduced as soon as parliamentary time permits. The Home Condition Report will become one of the key elements of the pack.
We believe Suvey & Valuation is something different at Ringley Chartered Surveyors, says surveyor director Jonathan Stickells. How so you may ask, well for starters we appreciate that a property investment is probably the largest transaction that someone makes, also we believe just like you choose your solicitor and build a relationship so should you with your surveyor. We want to know our clients particular concerns: perhaps the floor is sloping, perhaps part of a wall is sloping, perhaps part of a wall has been rebuilt, or maybe the chimney stack is leaning, says Jon.
We are a dynamic and innovative medium sized firm, says managing director, Mary-Anne Bowring. Our clients range from High Street banks and financial institutions to national housebuilders and international telecommunications providers. In providing high quality advice to our clients we get involved in, most aspects of property including acquisition of development land, site appraisals, security and asset valuations, property management and disposals.
24 Hour Management
Ringley offers a six-month start-up service and provides a 24 hour helpline where residents can call with any query. After this period, emergencies are dealt with on 24-hour basis. The department is headed by Peter Joyce, who has over 30 years management experience and has developed many sites in the Greater London area. Peter often reminds his team that they should never forget that what they are managing is someone's home.
Most people do not know exactly what property management involves. Effectively, someone has to take responsibility for the common areas: to keep the lights and lifts working; kept the garden pretty and make sure the cleaner turns up. However, there is more to it than this, from preparing a service charge to ensuring it is collected, dealing with the legal aspects of management, insurance, redecoration's and so on.
Maximum security for management clients
Unlike many unregulated agents, resident money held by Ringley is guaranteed by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Ringley is able to write specifications for major works in-house, and assess the sum for which each block is insured periodically. Thus protecting residents from the adverse effects of an insurer hiking premiums by indexation. Ringley offers all clients the benefits of its block policy with Royal Sun Alliance.
Andrew Salton advises that premiums range from 7p to 12p per £100 sum insured (plus IPT).
A quick ready-reckoner to find out if your block is insured for the right amount, is shown in the table at the table at the foot of the page.
Andrew hastens to add that the accuracy of this will depend upon correct assessment of the sum assured initially, and that this was something that Ringley offers as a free service.
Peter Hogan promptly reminded us that not all new sites are even built. Ringley's clients range from the three leaseholders who clubbed together to collectively buy out their freeholder, to the likes of Berkeley Homes, Weston Homes, Furlong Homes who involve Ringley when a site is no more than a hole in the ground.
Buying out your freehold
Peter Joyce reminded us that because under English law, no more than four people can own a piece of land, a management company will usually need to be set up. Not unlike ICI or M & S, a management company still has many legal obligations, i.e. to hold an AGM, produce accounts and to compile an annual return, issue share certificates and maintain the company ledgers. Leaseholders can delegate these duties to Ringley, who in turn not only guarantee that should a fine be incurred (provided that all the information is available) they will pay for it.
Mary-Anne Bowring stated that above all Ringley is a family business, built on traditional family values and that the company's commitment to staff training has made the last three years growth possible. She believes Ringley will continue to go from strength to strength, the final message being that she and her team are happy to advise on all aspects of property, and everybody is invited to drop in.
x £0.07 = £ Premium + Insurance premium tax @ 5%
(Weekly, fortnightly or monthly)