Building Surveyor Expert Witness

What is a building surveyor expert witness?

A building surveyor expert witness is a building surveyor who has developed specific experience to provide expert evidence in buildings and construction. There are various situations where the expert witness will need to be a building surveyor. Usually, these will involve a dispute over property. A building surveyor expert witness may be called in as a witness to give their valuation of a property, or to give a professional account of the condition of a building or of a specific issue with the property.

building surveyor expert witness

A qualified building surveyor is the ultimate expert in matters which relate to matters of land, property, and construction. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is a globally recognised professional body that sets standards in the valuation, management, and development of land, real estate, construction, and infrastructure. Building surveyor expert witnesses will have a qualifications RCIS which confirm assures their subject matter expertise. Separate training to become an expert witness provides the assurance that at building surveyor is highly and professionally competent able to prepare expert reports for example in respect of the accommodation needs of people who have suffered injury or trauma and housing disrepair, boundary disputes and building disputes and clients who are seeking compensation through the Courts.

The expert is governed by the requirements of the Civil Procedure Rules which set out the duties of an Expert Witness, which are:

  • To assist the Court
  • To give an impartial opinion
  • Not to make a judgement which is for the Court
  • To attend Court as a witness if required

Why might you need to instruct a building surveyor expert witness?

Disputes can often arise in the property world. It might be over the quality of construction works, the condition of a property, payments due under building contracts, conflicts about dilapidations or claims of professional negligence.
When the instructing parties cannot reach an agreement on technical and specialist issues on matters of land, property and construction a building surveying expert should be considered but with the permission of the court. The instructing parties must ensure that the expert witness is suitably qualified and capable of providing written and oral evidence to a high standard and in accordance with established legal requirements.
Examples of some incidents where a building surveyor expert may be instructed, include:

  • Accommodation needs
  • Housing disrepair
  • Boundary disputes
  • Building disputes
  • Party wall surveyor
  • A dispute over the quality and/or cost of construction works.

What is housing disrepair?

Building disrepair refers to a condition where a building or its components have deteriorated from their original state, often due to lack of maintenance, natural wear and tear, or damage. This can compromise the building’s safety, functionality, and aesthetic value. Here are key aspects that constitute building disrepair:

  • Structural issues: This includes problems with the building’s foundation, walls, floors, and roof. Signs of structural disrepair might include significant cracks, sagging, or movement in these elements.
  • Roof damage: Issues such as missing tiles, leaks, or damage to the roofing material can lead to further problems, including water ingress, which can exacerbate disrepair.
  • Plumbing and electrical systems: Faulty wiring, plumbing leaks, or malfunctioning fixtures and fittings can indicate disrepair, potentially posing safety hazards or causing further damage to the building.
  • Damp and mould: The presence of damp and mould can be a sign of disrepair, often resulting from leaks, poor ventilation, or inadequate damp proofing. This can lead to health problems for occupants and further deterioration of the building.
  • Windows and Doors: Problems such as broken windows, faulty doors, or damaged frames can compromise security and insulation, indicating disrepair.
  • Interior and Exterior Finish: Peeling paint, crumbling plaster, or significant wear and tear on surfaces can be indicative of disrepair.
  • Heating and Ventilation Systems: Non-functional heating, cooling, or ventilation systems can lead to uncomfortable living conditions and may signal neglect or disrepair.
  • Safety Systems: Issues with fire alarms, sprinkler systems, or emergency exits can also constitute disrepair, especially if they compromise the building’s safety.

What experts do Expert Court Reports have?

We have two experience building surveyors on our expert panel, Mr Iftkhar Ahamed and Mr After Hussain. Mr Ahamed has over 15 years of experience and is able to meet the surveying requirements of a wide range of domestic and commercial clients across a diverse range of projects. He is responsible for a varied portfolio within the commercial, private, and public sector. Mr Hussain has surveying since 2008 and his specialist area is Building Surveying & Project Management, with over 14 years’ experience within the construction and property industry and in preparing defect reports of this nature and he has an in-depth knowledge of building pathology, producing detailed CPR compliant reports and specifications, and analysing records and documents through the pre-action process.

Why use Expert Court Reports?

A good expert witness should come with years of experience as well as the correct qualifications and competencies to act as an expert witness. Both of our building surveyors have many years of practice and experience within their field.

How quickly can you provide a report?

At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession. We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be. However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale. The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny. All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.