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As Safe As Houses?

No doubt we all use the term on regular occasions to imply certainty and security in someone or something, but when it comes to building projects it pays to be cautious.
Whether you’re running a business or have an interest from a personal perspective, avoiding disputes tends to be a lot easier than resolving them. A bit of time invested in planning, doing your research, and performing some due diligence can pay dividends.
Residential Building Project Disputes And How To Avoid Them
As part of a recent case, the litigation team at Wilson Browne Solicitors did some research on small building companies and found that 70+% of small building companies have a net worth less than £20K. In the case, our client’s claim was (regrettably for him) worth £100k+. Hindsight is wonderful but he would have done well to know this before deciding to employ the builders.
Wise precautions to take.
1.     Know what you want. Have a detailed specification, drawings and working/building regulations drawings prepared. Consider employing a surveyor/architect at the tender stage.
2.    Choose a solvent and competent builder. Check them out…Seek references (and follow through on them), look at their work and don’t assume membership of a trade association guarantees anything. Consider a credit search to identify their financial stability, CCJs etc.  If a builder becomes insolvent or you fall out with them…no new builder likes finishing off someone else’s mess, so it will cost you dearly in a huge premium.
3.    Have a contract drawn up. This is crucial so that all parties understand their rights and obligations.  Consider purchasing a JCT residential building contract: written in clear language with sections for all of the individual elements.
4.    Consider purchasing structural/building defect insurance.
5.    Consider appointing a consultant to project manage
6.    Do not fall foul of the legislation surrounding party walls, building regulations and planning: if you do, you may have difficulty selling or mortgaging your property.
We’d rather help you avoid disputes (of all kind) in the first place and with a well resourced and experienced Commercial Law team, we have experts covering most areas of the law, ranging from M&A, Corporate & Commercial, Commercial Property, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Employment, Insolvency and Debt recovery. It’s no surprise that we’re becoming increasingly recognised as the “go to” team.
Whether you’re running a business or need legal advice on a more personal level, we say “we’re all the help you need”.
If you’re looking for advice on a dispute relating to a residential building project give John Gordon a call on 01536 410014. To talk to us about anything else relating to you or your business call us today on 0800 088 6004.