As Chartered Surveyors we have represented our clients in the appraisal, analysis and negotiation of building contract claims under JCT and NEC forms. We have also represented Contractors and Subcontractors.
In defending or presenting claims it is essential to understand the cause and effect. We use Microsoft Project and Primevera P6 planners to assist in the interrogation of the delays and the critical path analysis.
Whilst it is hoped that disputes can be resolved by presentation and negotiation, it is sometimes impossible. We have in those circumstances represented our client at mediation, adjudication and litigation proceedings.
When renting a property the lease usually places obligations on both the Landlord and the Tenant to perform various duties, but in particular require the Tenant to keep the property in good repair, suitably decorated and to reinstate the property back to its original condition prior to any installations or alterations undertaken as part of the Tenant's occupation.
Failure to comply with these obligations is likely to result in the Landlord making a dilapidations claim for the damages he has suffered. This claim will include the cost of repair, redecoration or any reinstatement works but also any Surveyors or Solicitors costs incurred. Subject to the timing of the service of the schedule and progress with any negotiations, it is possible that the costs could include loss of rent, rates and service charges.
Our Building Surveyors knowledge of building pathology and material performance, coupled with an ability to interpret the relevant lease clauses enables us to advise on the appropriate works required to comply with the lease obligations. This can be on behalf of the Landlord in preparing the original Schedule and Claim or alternatively defending a claim on behalf of the Tenant.
We are familiar with the current protocols concerning dilapidations and the need to seek to enable the parties to resolve their dispute without the need for litigation by the early exchange and provision of full information.
Whilst parties undertaking construction work do not intentionally seek to enter into disputes during a project, it is not uncommon for there to be matters that are incapable of resolution without redress to the available dispute resolution options.
The Civil Procedure Rules, which govern such matters, actively encouraging alternative forms of dispute resolution e.g. Mediation and Adjudication to try and avoid the cost associated with more formal hearings such as Arbitration and Court Trials.
Our Specialist Consultancy team are familiar with all the options and in conjunction with your Legal Advisers can work with you to seek to resolve the dispute in the most cost effective manner. Should formal hearings be unavoidable, we are familiar with providing expert evidence and appearing in court.
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 exists to regulate communication and agreement between neighbours when works are to be carried out which could potentially effect adjoining properties or land.
The person or company carrying out the works (known as the Building Owner) is obliged to serve a Notice on the Adjoining Owners, if their land or property falls within distances specified in the Act. Each side can then agree in the appointment of one Surveyor or if they choose their own Surveyor to complete the process defined in the Act and produce a 'Party Wall Award'.
Synergy can assist in preparing Notices and acting for the Building Owner, respond to Notices on behalf of an Adjoining Owner or be appointed as 'Agreed Surveyor' (to act impartially for both sides).
Sometimes despite all the efforts of the parties it is not possible to resolve a dispute without the need for litigation. Even then a well prepared report, supported by a court appearance can help the Judge reach an early decision on how to resolve matters.
Our Expert Witness team are experienced professionals who combine working on live projects with their expert witness work which keeps their knowledge current, relevant and practical. They work with various solicitors within the obligations and duties under Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules and the Protocol for the Instruction of Experts to give Evidence in Civil Claims. Whilst many of their cases are resolved based on our reports we also have experience of appearing in Court, giving expert evidence under oath.