Party Walls and Adjacent Excavations
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 entitles building owners to
The Act also requires a building owner to
In the event of a dispute arising out of these rights, the Act obliges both parties to appoint at least one surveyor (and usually two) to settle the dispute impartially.
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Determination of Boundaries
Section 60 of the Land Registration Act 2002 states that title plans and descriptions of registered land show only "general boundaries" and therefore the legal boundary may differ in its position.
The process by which land titles have come into effect in the UK is a very long one and as such the system does not allow for the precision often expected of it.
However, also under section 60 there is provision for the creation of a determined boundary to be established subject to the provisions of the Land Registry Rules 2003. The rules are not quite as demanding in terms of precision as, say, the Torrens System which was first introduced in Australia in the late 19th century. Torrens is used in New Zealand and twenty-one US states, as well as New Brunswick, Canada plus a number of other countries.
However, adoption of the Torrens principles in regard to accurate setting out can be applied to the process of determination of a boundary in the UK and this is the benchmark we aim to work to.
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Using a Surveyor as an Expert Witness
If you need a professional opinion to be given under oath to a tribunal or court in the UK, you can instruct a surveyor to produce a report that complies not only with the civil procedure rules set out by HM Court Service but with the stringent requirements of RICS as well.
Instructions to a surveyor can be given with or without the use of a solicitor and for some disputes a solicitor's involvement might be disadvantageous. In matters concerning party walls, adjacent excavations, boundary disputes and simple construction disputes, no solicitor is needed.
If matters have to go on to a tribunal or court, surveyors can instruct barristers for you, again avoiding the need to engage solicitors.
Click here for examples of expert witness reports we are commonly called upon to produce.
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