Expert witness

In the case of legal proceedings or disputes, there is often the need to provide assistance to the Court on a particular matter or set of issues. Kingston Morehen is able to provide Expert Witness Reports for Building Surveying matters and in respect of Valuations.

We may be appointed by one party or to act as a Single Joint Expert. In either case, reports must follow a particular format and have certain contents required by law.

Matters range from simple, single issues through to those that are multi-faceted and complex. It is essential that our reports state where matters are facts or opinions, and include confirmation of the sources of information.

Licences to Alter

Leases, both for residential or commercial property, normally contain clauses stating whether alterations are permitted, and if so, what might need to be the subject of consent from the Landlord. Granting consent is normally done formally in the form of a Licence to Alter. This is a legal document setting out the details of the alteration and certain conditions relating to what may need to be checked in advance, how the work is to be done and confirming the responsibility for maintenance and repair, or possibly removal at lease expiry.

Depending on the alteration involved, the work required in order to produce a Licence to Alter may be short or may entail exhaustive inspections, checks and communications.

As part of the process, a Schedule of Condition may be required, normally in advance of the alteration being undertaken.

Kingston Morehen can give advice on the relevant lease clauses, referring to lawyers if necessary, and can deal part or the whole of the process, either on behalf of a Landlord or Tenant.

Landlord and Tenant Consultation

In the residential property sector, for certain works exceeding a financial threshold there is a legal requirement for a Landlord to formally consult with the tenants (leaseholders) in advance of works being undertaken. This is commonly referred to as Section 20 Consultation.

The law requires consultation where any one leaseholder’s share of the cost of the proposed works would be £250 or more. This figure thus determines an overall consultation threshold for a property, depending on the numbers of units and largest lease apportionment for any one dwelling.

The process involves serving an initial Notice of Intention, setting-out the nature and reasons for proposed works, and inviting leaseholders to make observations and nominate suitable contractors.

In most cases, once prices have been obtained, a second notice is served, known as the Statement of Estimates, giving leaseholders details of the prices and other information. The 30 day period following the issue of this consultation document must end before works can commence.

Sometimes it is necessary to issue a Statement of Reasons, explaining why the cheapest price for works is not being selected.

There is a similar set of procedures for long-term agreements; these may be for instance ground maintenance contracts, lift maintenance contracts and so forth, which are for a period of more than 12 months and for which any one leaseholder may be required to contribute £100 or more towards per year.

Kingston Morehen is experienced in Landlord & Tenant Consultation, although normally this is dealt with by a Managing Agent, where one is employed by a property. In this case we can assist with any responses to questions or objections received during the consultation periods, or in assessing the suitability of a nominated contractor.