Martin Hauxwell

is an English char­tered sur­veyor, res­i­dent in the Char­ente, pro­vid­ing bi-lin­gual prop­erty ad­vice and com­pre­hen­sive pro­ject management ser­vices.

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Check your sur­veyor is a fully qual­i­fied mem­ber of the Royal In­sti­tu­tion of Char­tered Sur­vey­ors by vis­it­ing the In­sti­tute’s web­site www.rics.org. As a mem­ber, they should hold com­pre­hen­sive pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance and act­ing in your sole in­ter­est, of­fer en­tirely im­par­tial ad­vice.

Doubts re­gard­ing the prop­erty? Re­quest that your no­taire in­sert a “clause sus­pen­sive” at the ‘com­pro­mis’ stage of pur­chas­ing. This af­fords you and your sur­veyor valu­able time to re­search and re­solve is­sues as well as put­ting you in a stronger po­si­tion dur­ing pur­chase price ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Ven­dors must pro­vide a “dossier di­ag­nos­tic tech­nique” re­port­ing on the pres­ence of ter­mites/as­bestos/lead, con­di­tion of elec­tri­cal/gas in­stal­la­tions,

en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and waste drainage. DDTs don’t ver­ify the struc­tural sta­bil­ity of walls, floors, roofs or other el­e­ments which are es­sen­tial to the health of your prop­erty and pro­tec­tion of your in­vest­ment.

Your res­i­dent sur­veyor will have a unique in­sight into the pol­i­tics of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, con­struc­tion eti­quette, sym­pa­thetic build­ing styles and ar­ti­sanal tech­niques as well as un­der­stand­ing cur­rent prop­erty trends and build­ing pro­ject prices.

Ap­point­ing your sur­veyor as pro­ject man­ager, within easy reach of your site, the chal­lenges which in­vari­ably arise dur­ing build­ing works are quickly and ef­fi­ciently man­aged. In your ab­sence, they rep­re­sent you at the mairie and with other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, whilst co­or­di­nat­ing your team and keep­ing you fully ad­vised through­out.

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