Even with an experienced contractor and client, building disputes can sometimes arise. With an inexperienced and “first time” client, building disputes are more likely particularly when design and contract documentation are sparse.
Why do they happen?
Building disputes can arise even with the best intentions between the parties. There may be insufficient information leading to wrong assumptions, unexpected complications, poor labour or contract management, bad weather, changes in client requirements, slow decision making or lack of financial management.
The law offers Mediation, Adjudication, Arbitration or Litigation. All have their place but often a building dispute can be resolved informally. Metcalfe Briggs Surveyors assists with many building disputes often facilitating a resolution out of Court. Equally we are at home being introduced by either party to a building dispute as an expert witness or by the Court as a Single Joint Expert.
We find that an inspection and report by an experienced Chartered Building Surveyor which sets out the issues clearly in the context of the contract as envisaged at the outset will break the log jam. Often it enables the parties to find common ground and resolve their building dispute, opening the way to negotiation and agreement. Nonetheless it's not too late if a legal approach has already started. If litigation is in progress Expert evidence will assist the Court in reaching judgement.