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BLOG: What’s Involved in a Surveyor’s Expert Witness Report?

Chartered Surveyors are best known for their work in helping homebuyers by way of property valuations and residential building surveys. At Lea Hough, we’re also quite well known for helping with commercial property acquisitions and tenancies by way of services such as pre-lease assessments, Schedules of Condition and dilapidations advice.

Due to our position as property experts, our services are called upon where a dispute has arisen between two parties regarding a property. The role of an Expert Witness is to provide an independent, objective and unbiased view to help the Court understand the matter and reach a sound and just decision.

As this area of our work is less well-known, we thought we’d put together a Q & A blog on what’s involved in acting as an Expert Witness and how our services in this area come into play.

Under What Circumstances are Chartered Surveyors Required to Act as Expert Witness?

Our services as an Expert Witness are most frequently required where there is a property dispute. Our advice is usually sought by a commercial litigation solicitor that is representing a client in a claim for defective building work, a boundary dispute, a dilapidations claim, a landlord & tenant dispute, a dispute relating to defects and disrepair or a general contractual dispute.

We can be appointed by a single party, or we can be jointly appointed as a Single Joint Expert by the Court.

What Does Acting as an Expert Witness Entail?

In the role of Expert Surveyors, we are typically asked to review documentation, inspect property and then prepare an independent report to give an impartial professional view.

Often, there is a particular element of the building or its construction that is in dispute, so this will be the area that is focussed on in the report. Often, the value of a property or land or a construction project will be at the root of the dispute – particularly if the actions of one party are suspected of having a negative impact on the attainable selling price. As such, providing an expert opinion on the losses resulting from the dispute at hand is often a key part of our report.

What Qualifies Lea Hough to Act as an Expert Witness?

As an experienced multi-disciplined firm of Chartered Surveyors, Lea Hough is ideally placed to act as an Expert Witness. As our firm is regulated by the RICS, we are under a duty to follow their Global Professional and Ethical Standards, which necessitate a duty to act with integrity and independence and provide a high standard of service.

The team at Lea Hough has extensive experience in undertaking Expert Witness Reports. Our RICS Registered Valuers and Chartered Building Surveyors are familiar with CPR Part 35 Protocol and the Expert Witness Reports that we prepare are set out in strict accordance with the requirements of the Court, Civil Procedure Rules and RICS Practice Directions.

For more information on our services in this area or to instruct us to conduct an Expert Witness Report, please contact us.

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"I have read your report again and I appreciate the level of detail and the effort you have gone to in surveying the property - thank you. You’re looking at properties every day and you know what you’re looking for – so you’ve seen things that I would never have spotted. You have opened my eyes on numerous defects on this property and am seriously thinking about leaving the idea of buying. The report was money wells spent!"

Guido Staffa, GS Tiling Contractors Ltd.