Do you need one of these?
Yes, if you have a dispute over building works; a boundary line or are involved in legal proceeding over building works or boundaries. Hough & Co. are extremely experienced in producing expert witness reports and offer clients a highly professional service.
Unfortunately disputes sometimes arise about design matters, quality of materials, workmanship or contractual situations related to buildings and structures. It is preferable to avoid such situations in the first place by employing a professional to take care of your building contracts. However, when there is a dispute, it is best resolved quickly, and not allowed to develop into protracted arguments and counter-arguments leading to litigation.
We recommend that you take professional advice on the dispute at an early stage. Initially, we would inspect and investigate the problem and prepare a preliminary report. This will deal with the strengths and weaknesses of the dispute and allow you to decide on the best way to proceed. Experience shows that a well-researched and professionally presented report in the early stages of a dispute often leads to a quicker resolution, avoiding the need for court action. Should the matter proceed further, are able to collect evidence, advise your solicitor, prepare a full Expert Witness Report and present this to the courts should this be required.
Legal disputes involving buildings and land can take many forms. For example; two neighbours may disagree on the precise position of their boundary, a builder and his client may disagree whether building work has been done correctly and should be paid for, or somebody may have been injured in a dangerous building. The opponents may simply want an independent expert to give advice and guidance, or they may be taking legal action and need expert reports or an Expert Witness.
We will visit the premises, and take photographs and accurate dimensions of existing buildings, fences, hedges and other boundary markers, and prepare a record drawing as existing for comparison with original deeds, Ordnance Survey data and other evidence of the true boundary line. Often, the historic evidence is incomplete or inconclusive. Small-scale plans, even from the OS, are not as precise as users would like them to be and there may be no written dimensions. If we don't know the precise position, we will give you the likely range and a reasoned assessment of our own opinion.
Acting for builder or customer, we will examine all contract documents, specifications and drawings, and compare them with a detailed survey of the building as actually constructed. Exploratory opening-up and laboratory testing may be arranged subject to permission of the building owner. Our report will give a detailed criticism of the building in relation to contract documents, current legislation and good building practice.