3rd surveyor’s award of ‘grossly excessive’ expenses, overturned. Welter v McKeeve November 2018

This is about an appeal against a 3rd surveyor’s award. It deals with recompense of expense incurred by the Adjoining Owner to rectify defects in the construction of underpinning to a party wall that was previously undertaken by the Building Owner.  The matter that the 3rd surveyor had to consider, was whether the cost incurred of about £148,000.00 comprised the proper amount to be paid, given that the Building Owner’s surveyor was making the point that the costs are ‘grossly and extremely excessive’. Despite this he awarded that amount. The Judge took the view that he could find no evidence continue reading

Read the rest of this article

Gray v Elite Town Management – Party Wall Surveyors Designers? Independent?

In the case of Gray v Elite Town Management (July 2015) and later at appeal (November 2016), the courts had to consider, whether the provision in the Party Wall etc Act 1996 that the party carrying out the work must not cause unnecessary inconvenience to the Adjoining Owner, created an obligation on the appointed party wall surveyors to consider all possible designs that might achieve the Building Owner’s objective. The Courts decided that this provision only related to the manner in which the works were carried out and not the actual scheme. The scheme did not have to be the continue reading

Read the rest of this article

High Handed developer gets comeuppance

In Ottercroft Ltd v Scandia Care 2016 the Court of Appeal upheld the County Court decision to grant a mandatory injunction (requiring removal of a newly constructed part of a building) instead of damages. When the defendant started building a new staircase which would interfere with light to kitchen windows in the claimant’s restaurant, the claimant commenced and then stayed proceedings to stop the works because he was offered undertakings from the defendant that his right to light would not be infringed. In the event, the undertakings were ignored. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision, despite the continue reading

Read the rest of this article

Too gloomy to bath, Scott v Aimiuwu

In the case Scott v Aimiuwu  2015, despite their neighbour’s  previous earnest requests to modify the design the defendants built an extension to their house, which interfered with their neighbour’s right to light. The neighbour sought an injunction, but was awarded damages of approximately £31,500.00 instead. This was the 1st time the question of whether to award damages rather than an injunction for breach of a right to light was aired in court, since the decision in Coventry v Lawrence 2014 (see earlier news item). In determining the appropriate remedy, the judge took the particular facts into account:- The properties were continue reading

Read the rest of this article

Special Foundations Or Not?

In Chatuachinda v Fairholme (Sept 2015), the seemingly never ending argument between practitioners about what constitutes a special foundation, necessitating  Adjoining Owner’s consent under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 section 7 (4) was addressed. Special foundations have become a significant bone of contention in the last decade or so, due to the huge increase in basement construction to terraced houses. An oft held view, has been that if the party wall is extended downwards and the base of that wall, in contact with the subsoil, is to be of concrete containing reinforcement (as is the most practical method), then continue reading

Read the rest of this article