Making significant home alterations or investing in commercial property development can be as stressful as it is expensive, even when things go to plan. When things go wrong, the stress and expense is greatly exacerbated, and disputes regularly arise over issues such as defective workmanship, design errors and extensive delays. Our team of expert building dispute resolution solicitors have a wealth of experience in dealing with issues involving builders and other tradespeople, regularly acting for both homeowners and property developers. They provide high quality, straightforward advice free from legal jargon and will strive to ensure your matter is resolved swiftly and in the most cost-effective way possible.
Our solicitors can help you with all building dispute resolution matters from our offices in Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Please call us now on 01603 672222 for a no-obligation conversation today or Click Here To Make An Online Enquiry.
What Issues Do Building Disputes Commonly Involve?
The issues which commonly result in building disputes are often the same in respect of both residential home improvements and commercial property development. They include:
- Defective works;
- Non-compliance with planning or building regulations;
- Failing to adhere to specifications;
- Defective materials;
- Design errors;
- Payment disputes
Methods Of Building Dispute Resolution
Nobody wants to become embroiled in a building dispute and it is always sensible to seek a resolution of the issues with the other party directly wherever possible. Sometimes, though, disputes cannot be avoided, and action needs to be taken to remedy defective works, ensure completion of the project and recover financial losses. Many of our clients envisage having to endure lengthy, time consuming litigation and are often relieved to hear that there are numerous alternatives which are quicker, more cost effective and far less stressful than going to Court. Some of the methods our building dispute solicitors regularly employ include:
Sometimes, the escalation of a building dispute through the involvement of legal representatives is enough to focus the parties’ minds and encourage settlement. Following an initial letter in which your position is comprehensively set out, our building dispute solicitors will engage with settlement discussions with the other party with a view to achieving your desired outcome as quickly as possible, and with the minimum of costs.
If settlement discussions between the parties fail to achieve a settlement, Mediation is often the next port of call. Mediation is a method of dispute resolution whereby an independent third party – the Mediator – seeks to assist the parties to reach a mutually agreeable settlement of the issues between them. Mediators specialising in building disputes are professionals with vast experience in the building and construction industries, and a thorough understanding of the applicable law. Whilst Mediation is actively encouraged by the Courts, it is a voluntary process and the results are not binding, unless the parties wish them to be. Mediations can take place in any format – by an around the table meeting, the Mediator liaising between the parties in separate rooms, or a combination of approaches. Our building dispute solicitors will be with you throughout the process, helping you to effectively present your position to the Mediator and advising on any proposed settlement terms.
Mediation offers a relatively quick, cost effective and flexible means of settling building disputes and often achieves settlements which are agreeable to all parties.
Arbitration is sometimes used as an alternative to litigation in building disputes. It differs from Mediation in that the chosen Arbitrator decides the issues in the same way as a trial Judge, and their decision is binding on the parties. Arbitration, however, is often less formal than litigation and affords the parties a higher degree of control over the proceedings. They can choose the Arbitrator, decide on the time and date of the hearing, and select a venue. As a result, many clients find that arbitration is a less stressful experience than litigation and is usually cheaper. Except in exceptional circumstances, Arbitration awards cannot be challenged or appealed to Court.
Whilst litigation is very much a method of last resort, sometimes the circumstances of a building dispute are such that a trial is required to decide them. In such cases, our building dispute solicitors will thoroughly and comprehensively prepare your case and guide you through the process.
Building Dispute Resolution Costs
The level of costs you can expect to incur in connection with a building dispute depends entirely on the circumstances of the case and the time required to effectively address them. Our building dispute solicitors will always strive to achieve settlement as quickly as possible and choose the least acrimonious, most cost-effective method of resolution possible. They will keep you updated on costs, providing regular estimates and breakdowns, and will be on hand to answer any queries. You may have an insurance policy which can assist with legal fees, and the majority of building professionals are insured, making the recovery of damages and costs from them easier.