Surveyors in France

Surveys across France from East to West

>No blog posts for 6 months !

That’s because I was kept very busy through the autumn of 2010, travelling to all points of the compass to carry out pre-purchase surveys for property buyers across the southern half of France.
Trips over to the east, sometimes criss-crossing the Swiss border either side of Lake Geneva, were for surveys that included alpine chalets.


Trips to the west were to properties in the foothills of the Pyrenees – where the peaks were already becoming snow covered early in October.
And once again I found myself working in Ceret, a town known for its modern art, located in the prime cherry-growing region of France, and very popular with British buyers.

To the north I carried out surveys in Lot-et-Garonne, Dordogne and Haute Vienne: I’ve lost count with the number of times I’ve driven up and down the A20, but the scenery always makes it a pleasant journey.
More about Haute-Vienne in my next post.

Make sure you get the right kind of surveyor in France

>Unlike the word Doctor, or solicitor, there is no restriction on the word Surveyor. Anyone can call themself a Surveyor !

However, Chartered Surveyors, i. e. members of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are qualified by examination and experience and have to conform to a strict Code of professional conduct. At the present time there are about 95,500 qualified Chartered Surveyors worldwide, all with the letters MRICS or FRICS after their names. What isn’t always appreciated, however, is that Chartered Surveyors train and qualify in one of seven disciplines, and the sort of work undertaken by one kind of Chartered Surveyor can be quite different from that undertaken by another. This is rather like doctors with the same letters after their names; they may have quite different specialties – and you need to make sure you are dealing with the right one.

Those who have trained and qualified as Chartered Building Surveyors understand how building materials are best used, how buildings are constructed, how building problems occur – and how they are resolved, how buildings should be repaired and maintained, and so on. These are the surveyors who deal with the “nuts and bolts” of buildings – and building problems.

Anyone can call themself a building surveyor, and some chartered surveyors might belong to a building surveying faculty. But relatively few are qualified as Chartered Building Surveyors.

At the present time there are about 9,250 qualified Chartered Building Surveyors worldwide. Only 24 are registered in France.

Ian Morris is a Chartered Building Surveyor …. a building pathologist.

And he is registered in France.
For more details visit

Surveyors in France: Frequently asked questions

>I’m not too sure whether I need a survey. Is it really necessary ?

A pre-purchase survey is not exactly necessary but is probably advisable. Carried out by a properly qualified and experienced surveyor it will identify any problem areas, or potential problems, which might involve you in expense now or in the foreseeable future. It will also put any such problems into context, telling you which are serious and which are not. If nothing else it will give you confidence and peace of mind about your intended purchase. Building construction (including water supply, electricity services and, above all, drainage) in France differs from that in the UK and you should therefore choose a surveyor with proven experience and a good track record of surveying French property

Surveyors in France: Frequently asked questions