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Who is involved in Property Development?

Property development is an area which requires a lot of skilled professionals working together to complete a project. You may not be aware of just how many people may be involved in this process. This article summarises the main experts who work in this field.

Developers may not have the skills and expertise to successfully carry out a development.  Therefore depending on their requirement, it is recommended that developers employ and seek the advice of the professionals below.


An architect is trained and licensed in the planning and designing of buildings, and participates in supervising the construction of a building.  An architect will tell you if your plans are both feasible and legal, and advise on how profitable your project could be.  Only use architects or architectural technicians registered with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Chartered Surveyors

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is the governing body that regulates chartered surveyors.  Members have to be experienced and qualified.  The RICS operates a code of conduct and its members are obliged to update and enhance skills, knowledge and competence throughout their working lives.  A RICS Surveyor is more likely to offer you a professional standard of service and independent advice.

Valuation Surveyor

A valuation surveyor can be used to find the development opportunity and advise the developer about a wide range of issues including, the rental return or sale price that the completed development will achieve.  We recommend you use valuation surveyors who are Members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (mRICS).

Building Surveyor

Building surveyors cover many specialist areas of construction.  They provide professional advice on all aspects of property and construction. They work on site with new buildings and are concerned with the aftercare and performance of existing buildings.  We recommend you use building surveyors who are Members or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (mRICS).

Quantity Surveyor

Quantity surveyors, in simple terms ‘building accountants’, provide advice about the cost of the project and prepare the bill of quantities and specifications.  Their role consists of advising on the procurement strategy, costing architects plans and managing the building contract tender.  We recommend you use quantity surveyors who are Members or the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (mRICS).

Structural Engineer

‘Structural engineers combine expertise with innovation to meet any building challenge. Key creative members of every design team, structural engineers are committed to sustainably developing a safer built environment’.

Structural engineers are employed to work with the architect and quantity surveyor to advice on the design of the structural elements of the building.  The Institution of Structural Engineers is the world’s largest membership organisation dedicated to the art and science of structural engineering.  We recommend you use Structural Engineers who are accredited by the Institute of Structural Engineers.

Civil Engineer

Civil engineers will be employed where major infrastructure works and/or ground work is required.  They are needed for contaminated land situations where a project is likely to have a significant environmental effect and for more complex earthworks, drainage, highways or water supply problems. The Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) is the governing body that regulates the training and standards within the civil engineering profession.  We recommend you check that the company is on the ICE’s list of approved employers.

Planning Consultant

Planning consultants negotiate with local planning authorities to obtain the most valuable permission for a development.  In the case of a planning application being refused, planning consultants can be employed to present the case for the developer by acting as an expert witness.

Project Manager

Project Managers have the responsibility of planning, executing and closing a project.  Project managers are normally employed when undertaking large, lengthy and expensive projects.  Property Developers very often act as the project manager, however, if the developer feels he/she does not have the relevant expertise, and then it is recommended to employ a project manager.


Accountants can be employed to provide advice on the complexity of tax and Value Added Tax (VAT).  Accountants may also advise on the structure of partnership or financing agreements.


Conveyancing is the legal business of buying and selling a property.  Solicitors are needed throughout the development process starting from acquisition through to completion of leases and contracts of sale.  It is recommended to employ a solicitor.

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