Building Survey – Grade 2 Listed Property – Chislehurst

We conducted a vital pre-purchase survey for a Grade 2 listed house. The restored and extended property met the highest standards, with hidden roof issues uncovered using drones. Listed buildings require consent for alterations, and non-approved changes can result in penalties. It’s crucial for buyers to verify past alterations’ approval.

Collier Stevens clients required a pre-purchase building survey of this substantial grade 2 listed house.

This delightful, detached house had been extensively and sympathetically restored and extended by the vendor to the highest standards. Historic building components had been remanufactured and conservation architects had designed and overseen extension works that were seamless with the original building.

We used our drone which allowed us to complete detailed assessments of the roofs and chimneys. Some deterioration and maintenance works were identified that were not visible from the ground.  

Our clients purchased the property with confidence.

Listed buildings are considered to have special architectural or historic interest.  ‘Listing’ a building protects the whole of the building (inside and outside)and the curtilage (area of land around the house).  

If you want to demolish, extend or alter your building in any way that would affect the character or setting you must obtain listed building consent (LBC).  Failing to obtain consent for any alterations of a listed building may result in a fine or imprisonment.

Local authorities can serve an enforcement notice for unauthorised work requiring owners to restore the building to its former state.  These notices can also be enforced for works carried out by previous owners, something purchasers must be aware of.  

Listed building consent is crucial and it is essential that, before exchanging contracts, you check that any works carried out by the previous owners have been approved, that consent was granted and that the works were carried out in accordance with that approval.

Whilst a new owner cannot be prosecuted for any previous unauthorised works, they can be forced to rectify them at their own expense.

Collier Stevens provides full building surveys which we believe are especially important for anyone considering buying a listed property. If you require a building survey in Chislehurst or the surrounding area, please contact us.

Property Inspection – Expert Witness Report – Ashford

We assisted clients with a construction dispute involving a poorly designed and constructed extension. Their expert report led to legal action against the builder for compensation. The case highlighted the importance of using experts for construction projects to avoid costly and stressful disputes. Collier Stevens offers expert witness services and project management for building works in Ashford and surrounding areas.

Collier Stevens clients arranged for a building contractor to build an extension. 

They became concerned with the cost and quality of the work undertaken and wanted to make a claim against the contractor. To do this, they needed a CPR35 compliant expert’s report.

Collier Stevens were asked to inspect the property and we discovered one of the worst examples of construction we had ever seen.  

The contractor had taken on an architectural and structural design role with no expertise. The result was a badly designed, badly constructed, structurally unsound extension which did not, in any respect, comply with building regulations or the safety requirements associated with electrical, water and gas installations.  

Our advice was to demolish and start again. This left our client substantially out of pocket as they had already paid for the work completed to date.

Our client took their case to the Civil Court using our report to support their claim, for compensation against the builder.

Expert witness reports are expensive and taking legal action against a contractor will be costly, stressful and time consuming, often taking years to conclude.

Our advice for any homeowners undertaking any extension or loft conversion, is that they should always use an architect or designer. Very few building contractors have any design or structural qualifications.  

In addition, unless you are confident you know how buildings are constructed and have a knowledge of the building regulations, you should employ a project manager.  

Remember the building inspectors’ job is not to check the quality of construction, simply to ensure the minimum standards of the building regulations are met.

Collier Stevens provides expert witness services and project management for building works. Get in touch if you are undertaking a building project in Ashford and the surrounding area, and you think you might need support for, and if you are concerned about an existing project’s progress or quality, we can advise you on what steps you might need to take.

Building Survey – End of Terraced House – Bromley

Collier Stevens conducted a building survey on a 1930s end-of-terrace house in Bromley. The property exhibited signs of neglect, including perished roof tile lining and defective rainwater goods leading to internal dampness. The case underscores the importance of regular property maintenance and getting a building survey when purchasing a home.

 

Collier Stevens carried out a building survey on this property in Bromley for a prospective purchaser.

The property was a typical 1930s three-bedroom end of terrace house. It had off street parking to the front and a garden with a detached garage to the rear.  

The construction was traditional, with solid load bearing masonry walls, timber joist and boarded floors and an older replacement clayware interlocking tile roof.

We found that this house was in a neglected condition. The lining to the roof tiles was perished, which meant it could allow rainwater to enter, especially in severe weather conditions. The gutters and other rainwater goods were defective, causing some dampness at high level internally.

Poorly maintained properties should always ring alarm bells for potential buyers. If you are a homeowner, you should have a maintenance plan in place – small repairs matter

If you are buying a property, do not take it on face value. We always recommend a building survey to find any potential hidden problems, including damp. If you need a building survey for a property you are looking to buy in Bromley and the surrounding areas, please contact us for a quote.

Take a look at another case study on a recent building survey we have completed, here.

 

Party Wall Services – Terraced House – Greenwich

Collier Stevens managed a rear extension project on a Victorian house. We reviewed plans, served notices to neighbours under the Party Wall Act, and recorded neighbouring property conditions before the project began. Ongoing, we’ll ensure the works don’t damage neighbours’ properties.

The building owners wished to construct a rear extension to their traditionally constructed Victorian house. 

Collier Stevens reviewed the drawings provided for the scheme and served notices to the neighbours (Adjoining Owners under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996). Each neighbour appointed one of our surveyors as Agreed Surveyor.

Some re-design of the proposed scheme was needed to comply with the party wall legislation. Our surveyor recorded the condition of each adjoining property before the works started. 

Awards under the terms of the Party Wall etc. Act were prepared and served. 

This project is ongoing.

When works are completed, an inspection will be made to ensure that the building works have not caused any damage to the neighbouring properties.

Party wall notices must be served correctly when you undertake any work that might impact on neighbouring properties. It’s up to you whether to use a qualified party wall surveyor, but you can also use our templates.

We’ve written a variety of articles about what work requires a party wall notice to be served and how to do them. See our advice hub for more information. 

Collier Stevens Chartered Surveyors are professional and experienced Party Wall Surveyors, regulated by RICS.

If you are a building owner in Greenwich or the surrounding area, wishing to undertake work that affects a party wall, or you are a neighbour affected by work on a party wall, get in touch and we can help you.

Building Survey – Semi-detached House – Hythe

A homeowner in a chalet-style property sought advice and a defect report on spray foam insulation. Such insulation can lead to moisture issues, causing timber deterioration and affecting mortgage lending criteria. In this case, the spray foam didn’t benefit the bedrooms’ insulation, and its installation posed structural risks, advising removal.

The property was arranged chalet style with the first-floor rooms built within the roof line and the sloping sections of the ceilings were not insulated. Our client had been persuaded to install spray foam insulation but was now concerned at the possible risk to their building and requested advice and a defect report.

Spray foam insulation installations have been the subject of much recent research and have become a matter of general concern for homeowners. The difficulty is that roofs can be susceptible to condensation on the underside of the roof pitches or adjacent to the rafters, and when applied the spray foam insulation can trap this moisture within those areas. This can, in certain circumstances, lead to catastrophic timber deterioration, ultimately requiring partial reconstruction of roofs. For this reason, recently many mortgage companies have adjusted their lending criteria to decline any properties where spray foam insulation has been fitted. 

Enhancing the insulation in the sloping ceilings of the bedrooms was the primary reason for commissioning the spray foam. However, the spray foam did not actually extend into the sloping ceiling and so offered no benefit. The attic space was already substantially insulated with a mineral fibre insulation laid over the joists.  

Our advice to the homeowners was that the spray foam offered little tangible benefit and the risk to the structure arising form the manner of installation was significant.  We advised that it should be removed.

It is important to note that notwithstanding the foregoing, there are no restrictions on the sale and installation of spray foam insulation systems. In certain circumstances, they can provide useful and beneficial enhancements to a property’s thermal performance. 

If you live in the Hythe, Folkestone and surrounding areas of Kent, and you are concerned about any aspect of your home, whether it is a damp issue, structural worries, poor workmanship on a project, party walls work, get in touch and we can undertake a building survey and provide expert advice to put your mind at ease, or to help you resolve any issues.

Take a look at another case study on a recent building survey we have completed, here.

Building Survey – Planned Maintenance Survey and Report – Victorian Apartments – Folkestone

The owners of a converted former school sought a planned maintenance schedule for the exterior, roof, and common areas. Collier Stevens provided a five-year plan, prioritising works and predicting future service charges. Such schedules are essential for managing residential blocks and ensuring fair service charges for tenants.

Collier Stevens clients own the freehold of this former school which had been converted into flats. They required a planned maintenance schedule that identified defects for which the freeholder is liable – the exterior, the roof and common parts. This was required to predict future maintenance expenditure and service charges to the leaseholders.

The exterior was in deteriorating condition and this was causing water penetration affecting individual flats. The gutters and downpipes were failing and leaking, and the roofs required attention.  

We were able to provide a costed and prioritised plan of recommended works over the next five years with an indication of cyclical maintenance beyond that. This plan was used to predict future service charges and to assist residents in understanding the required works and expected costs.

Understanding future maintenance costs is essential for proper management of buildings and, particularly residential blocks where the costs need to be covered by a service charge.  

A maintenance surveyor identifies the condition of the building at a point in time and enables a prediction to be made as to what maintenance will be required over a period of time.

It is important that landlords and freeholders have a full understanding of what the future maintenance costs might be to ensure a fair, but also realistic, fee is applied to the tenants. As well as undertaking PPM inspections and reports for landlords, we have worked with tenants who have wanted to challenge leasehold service charges.

Collier Stevens undertakes planned property maintenance (PPM) inspections and reports across East Kent, including Folkestone and Dover and the surrounding area. Get in touch if you require a planned property maintenance inspection and report to be carried out, or you wish to gain expert support and advice in this area.

Take a look at another case study on a recent building survey we have completed, here.

Building Survey – Housing Disrepair Survey – Third Floor Apartment – Margate

Tenants of a flat experienced dampness and condensation issues, leading them to seek action against their landlord. Collier Stevens’ inspection revealed inadequate ventilation and water leaks due to a broken shower. A CPR35 compliant report detailed the landlord’s failure to maintain the property per the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

Collier Stevens were asked by the tenants of this flat to assess issues of dampness and condensation. They were hoping to take action against their landlord and an expert report was required.

Our inspection found that the flat was suffering condensation as a result of inadequate and broken ventilation.  

Water had been allowed to leak through the flat because the shower was broken and the landlord’s remedy of taking the shower out left our client with no adequate washing facilities.  

We provided a CPR35 compliant report which detailed the landlord’s failure to keep the property in a good state of repair as required by section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985.

Section 11 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1985 says that the landlord must keep in repair the structure and exterior of the dwelling house. They must also keep in repair and proper working order the installations in the dwelling house for the supply of water, gas, electricity, sanitation, space heating, and heating water.

Collier Stevens is often asked to help in condensation and damp problems – often in relation to landlord / tenant disputes – here’s another article, this time from the landlord’s perspective, looking at advice on a condensation dispute

Whether you are a homeowner, tenant, or a landlord, if you have concerns about damp in your property, we can assess and provide a report outlining what the issues are caused by and how to remedy them. 

An expert report can be written if you require evidence for a claim. 

Get in touch if you need a house disrepair survey, or expert services, and advice for damp problems in Margate or the surrounding area.

Take a look at another case study on a recent building survey we have completed, here.

Schedule of Condition – Industrial Unit – Folkestone

Our clients planned to lease an industrial unit in Folkestone and needed a survey to identify necessary repairs and a schedule of condition to limit future dilapidation claims. We conducted a detailed survey and provided a written and photographic record of the building’s condition, including roof inspections using a cherry picker or drones if needed.

Our clients were intending to enter into a fully repairing lease on an industrial unit in Folkestone.  They required a survey to determine essential repairs that the building needed and a schedule of condition to record its condition and limit their liability for a future dilapidation claim at the end of the lease.

Collier Stevens attended and carried out a detailed survey and prepared a written and photographic schedule of condition as a record of the building’s condition.  We inspected the roofs using a cherry picker as it is essential to make a close inspection of roof coverings on buildings of this nature. We can also use our drones to complete assessments of this type.  

If you’re looking for a Schedule of Condition in Folkestone – then get in touch, we’d be more than happy to discuss your requirements.

Expert Witness – Service Charge Dispute – Central London

The leaseholders of a central London building disputed unreasonable service charges for major works due to improper processes. We reviewed the work, quotations, and documentation, finding incomplete and unsatisfactory elements, tender process flaws, and issues with the consultation process. An Expert Witness Report was submitted to the Tribunal, leading to a reduction in the service charge from £37,500 to £8,850.

Work Required:

The leaseholders of this building in central London were concerned that service charges relating to major works had not been reasonably incurred.  The section 20 consultation process had not been properly followed and the work had not been properly tendered, supervised or carried out.  

Collier Stevens were instructed to undertake a review of the works, the quotations and other documentation and to prepare an Expert Witness report for submission to the First Tier Property Tribunal.

Outcome:

Collier Stevens reviewed all work undertaken. We identified a number of elements that had not been completed but had been charged – as well as works completed to an unsatisfactory standard. A review of the documentation and estimates identified shortcomings in the tender process and the section 20 consultation process. We were also able to conclude that the works had not been adequately supervised.  We prepared an Expert Witness Report for the Tribunal, which was found in our clients favour, agreeing that the service charge was unreasonable.   The tribunal decision reduced the service charge demand from £37,500.00 to £8,850.00

If you think that a service charge has been unreasonably incurred or that the work to which it relates is unsatisfactory, and need an Expert Witness Report in Central London, we’d be more than happy to discuss this with you. Get in touch for more guidance.

FTPT expert witness surveyors report landlord and tenant

Success at the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) – South East London

As chartered building surveyors, we often get involved with managing agents and block management companies in specifying, tendering and overseeing building and maintenance works. In this case we operated as Expert Witnesses in South East London.

The First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) exists to settle leasehold disputes between landlords and residential leaseholders. Commonly these disputes are about service charges being levied unfairly, maintenance works being carried out to a poor standard (or not at all) and management charges. More information about the FTPT can be found at the direct.gov website or at the incredibly useful Leasehold Advisory Service.

As chartered building surveyors, we often get involved with managing agents and block management companies in specifying, tendering and overseeing building and maintenance works. The process is very prescriptive and any error in consultation (often referred to as Section 20 procedure) or process can result in the lessees seeking adjudication at the FTPT as to the correctness of service charges levied.

It is a risky business for freeholders to get their procedures wrong as any error can result in service charges being levied at a maximum of £250 per unit. In other words, if there are major works to a block of 5 flats costing say £10,000.00 and procedures are not administered correctly the freeholder may only be able to recover £1,250.00 the shortfall being found by them. This applies equally to self-managed blocks where the lessees also own the freehold so take care!

Perhaps unsurprisingly Collier Stevens are occasionally required by our freehold clients to attend at the FTPT and give expert evidence about the works that have been carried out, why they were necessary, tender procedure etc. It is fair to say that for every allegedly errant freeholder there is a lessee who ‘tries it on’ so these hearings are more frequent than may be imagined.

Less frequently we are asked to act on behalf of leaseholders, prepare expert reports and attend at the FTPT to give evidence on their behalf.

Collier Stevens acted on behalf of a group of leaseholders living in a block of flats in Lewisham, south east London. Their local authority freeholder had served a section 20 notice of intention to do major works and the lessees felt that some of these were unnecessary – particularly the replacement of the roof covering.

service charge dispute - evidence at FTPT

At an early stage we were asked to inspect and it was clear that the roof covering was in good order and had, in fact been replaced relatively recently. As an additional issue (which we did not give evidence on) it was proposed to replace the common parts electrical installation which again had only been carried out recently. Despite corresponding with the managing agents we and the lessees were ignored.

The works formed part of a borough wide programme to update local authority buildings to meet the “decent homes” standard applicable at the time and on that basis the freeholders felt they had a right to brush aside any lessees observations and get on with the works. They proceeded to undertake their works and these with the other works resulted in each lessee getting a service charge demand for approximately £10,000.

The leaseholders pursued the service charges to the (at the time Leasehold Valuation Tribunal) and we were asked to attend and give evidence. We are pleased to note that the tribunal preferred the evidence we gave (I was described by them as “a credible and helpful witness”) to that of the freeholder (“a less than credible witness”).

The freeholders’ surveyors were unable to evidence their inspections and reports and were unable to provide any evidence that the roof had failed or was leaking. A similar decision was found in respect of the electrical installations and some other more minor works with the outcome being a reduction in the service charge payable of nearly £6,000.00 per lessee.

The lessons here are clear, if you are a lessee and dispute the need for works get an early report – ideally before works start and within the statutory consultation periods. If you are a freeholder do not expect to ride roughshod over lessees with a valid case and finally if you are a lessee faced with excess service charges to not be put of challenging these at the First Tier Property Tribunal (FTPT) if you feel you have a reasonable case. (If you are chancing your arm with what might be a vexatious case, the FTPT are not stupid and will see straight through it, so take care!)

Can we help you with your service charge difficulties – if we can or you need some brief advice give us a call on our usual number – 020 8295 1200

(Originally published by Steven Way, 7 October 2011)

Planned & Preventative Maintenance Schedule – Folkestone

Our client acquired a neglected block of four conversion flats in Folkestone and needed a planned and preventative maintenance inspection and survey to plan necessary works and a service charge budget. We conducted an inspection, and prepared a maintenance schedule with cost estimates over five years for service charge assessment and contractor tendering.

Work Required:

Our client had recently acquired the freehold of a neglected block of four conversion flats in Folkestone. The four conversion flats had not been well maintained. A planned and preventative maintenance (PPM) inspection and a survey were required to determine the necessary works and prepare a service charge budget.

Outcome:

Collier Stevens reviewed the lease and identified the extent of the freeholder’s repairing responsibility. We made a site inspection and prepared a maintenance schedule identifying necessary works. These were then costed and prioritised over a five-year period enabling the freeholder to assess the probable service charges. The schedule was subsequently used as the basis of a specification and tender process for contractors.

If you need a planned maintenance schedule in Folkestone, Hythe or Dover, contact us.

Party Wall Awards – Folkestone

Our clients conducted residential development near the Royal Victoria Hospital site, requiring party wall notices and agreements with neighbouring properties. We successfully reached Party Wall Awards with 14 affected neighbours, acting as Agreed Surveyor in some instances. We also completed schedules of condition for the affected buildings, allowing construction to proceed as planned.

Work Required:

Our clients undertook major residential development work on the former Royal Victoria Hospital site. The works involved piling near neighbouring properties, so party wall notices needed to be served, and party wall awards agreed with affected neighbours.

Outcome:

Party Wall Awards were agreed upon with 14 affected neighbours. Collier Stevens liaised with the surveyors appointed by neighbours and acted as Agreed Surveyor in some cases. Schedules of condition of affected buildings were completed.  Construction was able to proceed on programme.

If you need a Party Wall Surveyor in Folkestone, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

Oaklands, Hythe, Disabled Access Project and path improvements

Replacing paths in Hythe to improve disabled access

We were appointed by Hythe Town Council, to improve the Oaklands public open space in Hythe, by redesigning and overseeing the reinstatement of footpaths. The existing paths were unsafe with broken paving slabs, posing accessibility challenges. They widened paths, re-graded ramps, and improved accessibility, ensuring compliance with the Equality Act and BS8300 guidelines.

Chartered Surveyors, Collier Stevens, were appointed by Hythe Town Council to design and oversee the reinstatement of footpaths to the Oaklands public open space in Hythe, Kent.

The existing paths were laid in the mid-1970s and were constructed of broken paving slabs which had become misaligned with numerous trip hazards from lifted slabs. This made it difficult for people with walking difficulties or visual impairment, and near impossible for  wheelchair users.

Unfortunately, the open space incorporated a sensory garden which was designed with raised beds specifically to benefit wheelchair users. Access to this area (which was also paved in broken slabs) was by a steep ramp with double gradients.

The paths and ramps did not meet best practice for Equality Act compliance and accessibility for all needed to be improved.

How we improved accessibility

  • Designed replacement paths finished in a smooth red asphalt with a contrasting kerb.
  • Arranged for the ramp into the sensory garden to be re-graded and to fall one way only – we couldn’t quite get the ramp down to 1:15 because the existing site environment precluded this.
  • Widened the main path to 1800mm as recommended by BS8300 and added passing places for wheelchair users to the narrower path.
  • Repositioned bins and benches to improve accessibility and added wheelchair standings adjacent to benches.

We were unable to remove the bollard to the main path as this is necessary to protect the route from unauthorised vehicle access.

The improvements offered benefits to all users of the park whatever their ability.

Oaklands hythe project management of accessible paths
Replacement paths finished in a smooth red asphalt with a contrasting kerb
Oaklands hythe project management of accessible paths
The main path was widened to 1800mm
Oaklands hythe project management of accessible paths
Improved accessibility to benches.

What BS 8300 says about access routes

It is important to restrict the number of barriers, restrictions or other hazards that disabled people encounter on their approach to and from a building and within the built environment. Low-level bollards and chain- linked posts, for example, are particularly hazardous to blind and partially sighted people.

For disabled people who need a generous amount of space when moving about, the provision of narrow approaches creates difficulties. Uneven surfaces, surfaces of loose materials (for example, unbonded gravel) and large gaps between paving materials cause problems for wheelchair users, blind and partially sighted people and people who are, generally, unsteady on their feet.

Street furniture, flower tubs, litter bins and signposts are all intended to improve the environment but, whether free-standing or projecting from a building, they are hazardous if not carefully designed and positioned.

For blind and partially sighted people, the presence of warnings that can be detected during the sweep of a cane, the absence of projections and overhangs, and good visual contrast with the background, will reduce the risk of colliding with items located along the access route.

For further insight into our Disable Access services, get in touch with us today.

(The information in this case study is for guidance only. There is no substitute for advice specific to your situation. If this is an old post, the law may have changed since it was written.)

More about our Disabled Access Service.

alterations to house for disabled access in kent

Residential Disability Alterations in Kent

In Kent, a client sought our expertise for converting an existing outbuilding into a wheelchair-accessible ground floor bathroom. Our services included a measured survey, design drawings, and specifications, encompassing door widening and external ramps, ensuring accessible and inclusive facilities.

Conversion of outbuilding into wheelchair accessible bathroom – Kent

We were asked by a client in Kent to provide the design and specification for the conversion of an existing outbuilding into a ground floor, wheelchair accessible bathroom, including associated alterations comprising door widening, external ramps etc. Our disabled access work included a measured survey, design drawings and specification.

For more information on the Disable Access services we provide, get in touch with us today.

Basement Construction in London - Party Wall problems

Party Wall Matters – Basement Construction in London

Collier Stevens served as the Building Owner’s surveyor for a London terraced house’s basement construction, involving two Adjoining Owners. The project entailed typical excavation, temporary support, and underpinning of both party walls, ensuring compliance with party wall regulations and successful project completion.

Building Owner’s Surveyor – Basement Construction, London

Collier Stevens were retained to act as Building Owner’s surveyor for the construction of a basement to a terraced house in London which had two Adjoining Owners. A fairly standard scheme of excavation, temporary support and underpinning to both party walls was required.

For help with your own party wall matters, get in touch with us today.

Alterations to install a Lift in a house

Residential Disability Alterations in Bromley, London

Collier Stevens was engaged to design and oversee the installation of a wheelchair lift in a three-bedroom semi-detached house in Bromley. The project involved structural design, securing building regulation approval, and project management. Additional modifications were also made to the property.

Installation of wheelchair lift – Bromley, London

We were retained to design and manage the installation of a wheelchair lift in a three bed semi in Bromley. This included all necessary structural design, building regulation approval and project management. Associated alterations included widening of door openings, extension to accommodate an accessible WC and external ramps to facilitate wheelchair access.

For further information about our Disabled Access services, get in contact.

Housing Disrepair Expert Witness Section 11 Condensation

Expert Witness Report – Single Defect in London

Collier Stevens was tasked with conducting an on-site inspection and preparing an Expert Witness Report on behalf of tenants’ legal advisors. The report aimed to ascertain liability for housing disrepair due to severe dampness and extensive condensation damage.

Expert Witness Report – Dampness & Condensation in London

On behalf of tenants legal advisers we were asked to attend site, inspect the property and prepare a CPR35 compliant Expert Witness Report to assist in identifying housing disrepair liability for dampness and some of the worst condensation damage we have seen in our career.

Get in touch for more advice and guidance.

Schedule of Condition - house - Suffolk - before building work

Schedule of Condition for Coastal Properties in Suffolk

We conducted a schedule of condition for three buildings situated on the vulnerable Suffolk coast. This documentation was essential to capture the pre-construction condition of the buildings, as significant sea defence projects were planned for the area.

Collier Stevens completed a detailed schedule of condition of three buildings, including a Martello Tower in an exposed location on the Suffolk coast. Major sea defences were to be constructed and Schedules were necessary to record the building condition before works started.

For further insight, get in touch with us today.

Refurbished front facade of central London building

Project Services Residential Repair in Knightsbridge, London

This was a comprehensive programme of external repair and redecoration to two high value residential apartment blocks in Knightsbridge, London.

External Repair and refurbishment – Knightsbridge

This was a comprehensive programme of repair and redecoration to two high value residential apartment blocks in central London. This included inspection, specification, tendering and project management. Particular challenges were the negotiation of scaffold licences with neighbouring occupiers and complicated access over an operating restaurant to allow access to the rear elevation.

If you’d like more information about the services we provide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Loft Conversion in London - Party Wall Problem

Party Wall Matters – Loft Conversion in South London

Collier Stevens were commissioned by the building owners to act as party wall surveyor for a loft conversion and rear outrigger extension in South London.

Building Owner’s Surveyor – Loft Conversion (London)

Collier Stevens were the Building Owner’s Surveyor, for a loft conversion and rear outrigger extension in South London. Notifiable work included raising the party wall, internal alterations and structural steels being place in the party wall.

Get in touch to see how we can help you with loft conversions and party wall matters.

ISVA level two homesurvey report end of terrace house bromley

ISVA Homebuyer Survey – Victorian Flat Conversion in Kent

Collier Stevens was asked to undertake an ISVA Level 2 Building Survey for a buy-to-let purchaser of a Victorian ground floor conversion flat in Kent.

Ground Floor Victorian Conversion Flat in Kent

Collier Stevens were asked to undertake an ISVA (Independent Surveyors & Valuers Association) level 2 survey of a ground floor conversion flat in a Victorian house. Our client was particularly interested in the suitability of the property for use as a buy-to-let investment. Our survey revealed extensive dampness and condensation as well as issues relating to sound separation and fire separation. They decided not to proceed with this acquisition.

For more information on how we can help you, get in contact.

subsidence caused by tree outside property - single defect report

Expert Witness Report – Single Defect in Kent

Collier Stevens were asked to inspect a bungalow and determine the cause of fracturing to outer walls. The tree had something to do with it…

Defect Assessment – Structural Movement, Kent

On behalf of a Housing Association in Kent we were asked to inspect a bungalow and determine the cause of fracturing to outer walls. Conducting a Witness Expert Report we were able to identify the cause as subsidence caused by the roots of adjacent trees.

For more information on how we can help you, get in touch.

Building works to house in London - party wall awards and agreements

Party Wall Matters – Rear and Side Extension in London

We were commissioned to act as Building Owner’s Surveyor in London for construction of a side and rear extension to the boundary line.

Building Owner’s Surveyor – Rear & Side Extension in London

Collier Stevens were the Building Owner’s Surveyor – our client was constructing a single storey rear extension to his detached thirties house in London. Party Wall – Notices were required for building on the boundary line and adjacent excavation for foundations and to reduce ground levels.

Get in contact with us today to help with your own party wall issues.

Works Adjacent to a Flank Wall Requiring a Party Wall Award

Party Wall Matters – Building Work in Kent

We acted as Building Owner’s Surveyor, for a complicated scheme of demolition and reconstruction of a neighbouring property.

Building Owner’s Surveyor – Complex Adjacent Building Work in Kent

Collier Stevens were the Building Owner’s Surveyor, for a complicated scheme of demolition and reconstruction of a neighbouring property requiring temporary works and the introduction of a substantial structural steel frame and columns immediately adjacent to a neighbouring property, as obliged by the Party Walls Act.

For more information on how we can help you with party walls, please get in touch.

building work requiring party wall agreement

Party Wall Matters – Residential Redevelopment in London

This project demonstrates our role in resolving a party wall dispute where significant structural damage was caused to a neighbouring property because of an error in construction.

Building Owner’s Surveyor – Residential Redevelopment, London

Collier Stevens acted as Building Owner’s Surveyor for a scheme in London with multiple Adjoining Owners. It required demolition and extensive residential redevelopment.

It was notable for significant structural damage being caused to a neighbouring property because of an error in construction. The entire remedial work and settlement which ran well into six figures was resolved to all parties’ satisfaction within the provisions of the Party Wall Act and without recourse to lawyers.

To see how we can help with your own party wall matters, get in touch.

level 2 ISVA Homesurvery in Hythe Kent (equivalent to Homebuyer Report)

ISVA Homebuyer Survey of Period Building in Kent

This Level 2 ISVA Homesurvey was undertaken for a client in Kent who was concerned about both the flat itself, as well as the building as a whole.

First Floor Conversion Flat in a Period Building, Kent

This level 2 ISVA Homesurvey was undertaken for a client who was concerned about the general decorative and maintenance repair of the building as a whole, as well as the standard of conversion and condition relating to obligations under the lease.

To see how Collier Stevens can help you, please get in touch.

photo of window

Expert Witness Report for Window Installation

We were instructed by the manufacturers and installers of replacement windows after a complaint had been received.

Window manufacturer and installer / client dispute

In this case we were instructed by the manufacturers and installers of replacement windows. Their client had rejected the product as poor quality and having been installed inadequately and wished to negotiate the agreed price.

Our Witness Expert report found that the windows were constructed in accordance with relevant standards and in the majority of cases had been satisfactorily installed. Any shortcomings were minor and easy to rectify.

Our report assisted the small claims court in finding in favour of our client.

For more information on how we can help you, please get in touch with us.

Photo of Conservatory

Expert Witness Report – Conservatory Installation

A dispute over a poorly constructed and leaking conservatory led to our client taking legal action against the installers. 

Client / Conservatory installer dispute

A dispute over a poorly constructed and leaking conservatory led to our client taking legal action against the installers.

We were able to prepare an expert witness report identifying the shortcomings and design errors that assisted the parties in reaching an out of court settlement.

For more information on how we can help you, get in touch with us today.

Bungalow in Hythe, survey, disabled alterations

Disabled Access Survey – Pre-purchase Residential Survey

Pre-purchase survey of a bungalow with specific instructions to assess suitability for wheelchair use and necessary alterations.

Pre-purchase survey for wheelchair user

Our client was purchasing a bungalow and asked us to carry out a pre-purchase survey with specific requirements to consider the alterations that would be required to allow full use by a wheelchair user. The disabled access survey included measurement of corridors, practicality of internal alterations and cost assessment.

For further insight on the Disabled Access services we provide, and how we can help you, get in touch.

Photo of Block of Flats

Expert Witness for Block of Flats

We were instructed by the leaseholders of a local authority block of flats disputing the scope and cost of work claimed in the service charge. 

Local authority service charge dispute

We were instructed to conduct an expert witness report by the leaseholders of a local authority block of flats disputing the scope and cost of work claimed in the service charge.

Our detailed inspection and report assisted the property tribunal in finding on their behalf and having the service charges reduced.

For more information on how we can help you, get in touch today.

Basement conversion, chislehurst, neighbours, party wall agreement

Party Wall Matters – Basement Conversion in Chislehurst

Collier Stevens were the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor, where a neighbour was excavating, enlarging and altering an existing coal cellar.

Adjoining Owners Surveyor – Basement Conversion, Chislehurst

Collier Stevens were the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor, where a neighbour was excavating, enlarging and altering an existing coal cellar/basement to form additional habitable accommodation. This included works to chimney breasts, underpinning and the introduction of a substantial structural steel frame.

To see how we can help you with your basement conversion, get in touch.

double glazed Window Condensation, failure

Single Defect Report for Damp and Condensation in London

We were engaged by tenants’ legal advisers to assess a property, resulting in an Expert Witness Report linked to dampness and condensation damage primarily attributed to insufficient ventilation and inadequate insulation, providing valuable insights for the case.

Dampness & Condensation, London

On behalf of tenants’ legal advisers Collier Stevens were asked to attend site, inspect the property and prepare a CPR35 compliant Expert Witness Report to assist in identifying housing disrepair liability for dampness and condensation damage. Principally due to a lack of ventilation and inadequate insulation.

To see how we can help you, get in touch with us today.

Image of exterior of third floor flat

ISVA Homebuyer Survey of Purpose-built Coastal Flat in Kent

Collier Stevens carried out a Level 2 Building Survey of a purpose-built flat in a modern timber framed structure in an exposed coastal location in Kent.

Purpose-built Third Floor Flat, Kent

Collier Stevens were asked to undertake a Level 2 Building Survey of a purpose-built flat in a modern timber framed structure in an exposed coastal location.

To get your own building survey done, get in contact with us.

Building survey of Three bed Semi detached house in Bromley, London

Full Building Survey – Semi Detached House in Bromley

Our client wished to understand the condition of the property and that the structural alteration and extension work had been satisfactorily undertaken.

Full building survey – semi detached house, Bromley

We were advised to conduct a building survey for a semi detached house in Bromley. Our client wished to understand the condition of the property and that the structural alteration and extension work had been satisfactorily undertaken. A detailed full building survey was able to confirm that all structural work was in satisfactory order and that the property was suitable for purchase.

To get your own building survey done, please get in contact with us.

Building survey of Edwardian house, Hythe Kent

Full Building Survey of Edwardian House in Kent

Our client wished to return this Edwardian property of three self contained flats to a single dwelling.

Full building survey – Edwardian House, Kent

This substantial Edwardian house was converted to three self-contained flats during the 1950s and had not been the subject of any modernisation for at least 30 years. Our client wished to return the house to a single dwelling.

They required a building survey to identify the current structural condition, the scope of structural work necessary to reinstate the property and an assessment of the potential cost of all of the work, including reinstatement to a single dwelling. Our survey identified concerns with the roof, water penetration, the services and asbestos.

For your own building survey, please get in touch.

building survey of flat roof bungalow, Hythe, Kent

Full Building Survey of Bungalow in Kent

This was a detailed survey on behalf of a prospective purchaser of a bungalow constructed in the mid-1960s in Kent.

Building survey of bungalow, Kent

This was a detailed survey on behalf of a prospective purchaser of a bungalow constructed in the mid-1960s in Kent.

Our client had particular concerns regarding the performance and expected life of the large flat roof and wished to understand the costs of modernisation. Our survey also identified the presence of asbestos board in various locations and irregularities with the plumbing installation.

If you’re in need of your own building survey, please get in touch with us.

Project management - freeholders major works Canterbury

Project Services for Property Repairs in Canterbury

Collier Stevens inspected, specified and managed a programme of external repair and decoration works at a purpose-built development in Canterbury.

External repairs and redecoration – Canterbury

Collier Stevens inspected, specified and managed a programme of external repair and decoration works at a purpose-built development. Our project management service included the redesign of defective external construction details, financial control and liaison with residents and third parties.

The works were subject to section 20 consultation process of the Landlord & Tenant Act. The consultation process formed a part of our instructions.

For more information, please get in touch.

Refurbishment of Haslemere community centre - project management

Project Services – Property Extension in Surrey

We provided design, specification and project management services for the extension and refurbishment of a community centre in Surrey.

Community Hall extension and alterations in Surrey

Collier Stevens provided design, specification and project management services for the extension, internal alteration and refurbishment of a community centre in Surrey. We incorporated enhancements to meet Equality Act obligations.

For further insight on what Collier Stevens can do for you, please get in touch with us.

Access Audit in London Offices

Disabled Access Audit of Office Building in London

Our clients required advice as to whether the accommodation they intended to occupy was suitable for access by those of all abilities.

Disabled access audit of office accommodation, London office building

Before entering into a lease, our clients required advice as to whether the accommodation they intended to occupy was suitable for access by those of all abilities.

As a business they employed one person of limited mobility and received regular visits from members of the public. We were able to add value to their decision-making process by undertaking a Disabled Access Audit and advise our client of their obligations under the Equality Act.

For further help with Disabled Access audits, get in contact with us.

DDA Roundabout for Children

Disabled Access of Local Parks and Open Spaces in London

Retained by a London local authority to inspect and audit their parks, open spaces and pathways to ensure they were accessible to all

Disabled access audit – parks & open spaces

Collier Stevens was retained by a London local authority to inspect and audit their parks, open spaces and pathways to ensure they were accessible to all by undertaking a Disabled Access Audit. The scope of audit and inspection encompassed children’s play parks, café and common spaces, as well as the paths, entrances and direction signage.

For more information, get in contact with us today.

Police Station Disabled Access Audit

Disabled Access Audit for Kent Police

Collier Stevens undertook an access audit of their estate, specifically on sites where there was a first point of access to Police services.

Police Force – disabled accessibility to first point of contact

Collier Stevens were engaged by a Kent Police Force to undertake a disabled access audit of their estate. We were required to concentrate specifically on those sites where there was a first point of access to Police services, principally police stations.

Our audits were used to prioritise a programme of improvements to ensure equal access to services for all abilities wherever possible. We were subsequently retained to provide design advice where alterations were appropriate.

For further information, get in touch with us.

building where schedule of condition undertaken

Schedule of Condition for Apartment Building in London

A schedule of condition was prepared of the flats above and below a unit in London where major structural building work was proposed.

Schedule of condition, apartment building in London

A schedule of condition was prepared of the flats above and below a unit where major structural building work was proposed. Although the works were not subject to the party wall process, our clients were keen to ensure that an accurate record of condition was taken before they started their refurbishment. This could be used to consider liability for damage to neighbouring properties were it to occur.

For more information about your own schedule of condition, please get in touch with us.

 

Schedule of condition of industrial unit

Schedule of Condition for Office Lease in Kent

We conducted schedules of condition reports for an industrial unit lease in Kent. The inspections covered both internal and external aspects, resulting in a detailed written and photographic schedule. This documentation serves as a crucial agreed record, helping mitigate potential dilapidation claims throughout the lease term.

Lease of Office Premises, Kent

Collier Stevens was asked to undertake before and after schedules of condition reports for the lease of an industrial unit in Kent.

We conducted an internal and external inspection of the condition of the premises and prepared a written and photographic schedule of condition to be appended to a new fully repairing lease.

We provided an agreed record of the condition of the premises at the outset so that future dilapidation claims may be mitigated.

For more information on schedules of condition, please get in touch with us.

Photo of old brickwall

Schedule of Condition for Historic Wall in Ashford, Kent

This schedule of condition of an historic wall in Ashford, Kent was undertaken before work commenced on a major building project.

Historic Wall, Kent

Collier Stevens conducted a schedule of condition report for an historic wall in Ashford, Kent.

Our client was undertaking a major commercial development and prior to commencement required a detailed record of historic structures to the perimeter of the site. We assessed the stability of the structures and prepared a detailed written and photographic record of their condition. This meant that any claim for damage on completion could be reasonably assessed.

For help with a schedule of condition, please get in touch with us today.