RICS' Dispute Resolution Service (DRS) can assist in any kind of dispute relating to land, property and construction.
DRS has developed a toolkit to provide guidance on the different types of alternative dispute resolution and the processes involved in resolving these matters.
The toolkit guides available for download below mainly cover the jurisdiction of England and Wales, but some fact sheets also cover the position in other jurisdictions.
Adjudication is a simple and efficient method of settling disputes, whereby an adjudicator uses his/her own knowledge and investigations, while weighing the evidence presented by the parties, in order to reach a decision that is legally binding until such time as the original dispute is referred to arbitration or the courts, or is settled between the parties themselves.
A non-legally qualified surveyor’s right to act as Advocate is limited. He has no such right of audience in court. He may appear by prior leave in Lands Tribunal and has full rights before Arbitrators and in representing parties in Construction Adjudications, Rent Assessment Committees, Leasehold Valuation Tribunals, Valuation Tribunals, Planning Inspectors. This is a specialist area of practice that should not be undertaken lightly.
Arbitration is a procedure whereby two parties in dispute agree to be bound by the decision of an independent third party (the arbitrator). The role of an arbitrator is similar to that of a judge, though the procedures can be less formal and an arbitrator is usually an expert in his/her own right.
Boundary disputes crop up everywhere, typically, although not exclusively, in suburbia throughout England and Wales. Such a dispute is usually the visible manifestation of many years of animosity between neighbours. The role of the chartered surveyor is to examine the problem objectively.
The construction industry is often regarded as claims oriented and a fertile ground for conflict and dispute. Given the expense and disruption to a business when a dispute arises, not to mention the potential damage to business relationships, dispute avoidance should be paramount.
ENE is an alternative dispute resolution technique. ENE is voluntary, confidential and conducted on a 'without prejudice' basis. The 'evaluation' is non binding and aims to help clarify and define legal and factual issues in the dispute, identifying risks and likely outcomes before further significant resources are spent on the dispute.
The Dispute Resolution Professional Group influences surveyors education and professional knowledge through the issue of guidance on specific subjects and accreditation of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at universities.
Expert Witnesses provide opinion evidence on matters which fall within their area of expertise. Their role is to assist the Court or other tribunals, such as Lands Tribunals, Arbitrators and Construction Adjudicators, Rent Assessment Committees, Leasehold Valuation Tribunals, Valuation Tribunals, Planning Inspectors, Mediators, and others involved in alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
Expert determination in the UK and other territories is a process in which an independent third party, acting as an expert rather than as a judge or arbitrator, is appointed to decide a dispute (as an independent expert or 'expert determiner' - not to be confused with an 'expert witness').
Leasehold reform legislation enables lessees to buy their freehold and extend their leases. Surveyors need several specialist skills, including familiarity with the role and duty of an expert witness.
The generally accepted description of commercial mediation is a voluntary, non-binding, private dispute resolution process in which a neutral person helps the parties to reach a negotiated settlement. A core principle of mediation is that the parties 'control' the outcome, rather than it being imposed upon them.
The town planning system in the UK operates to regulate the use and development of land and buildings. The planning and development surveyor will be called upon to act for clients in both the public and private sectors, either to establish what is the lawful use of the land or buildings concerned or to be part of the process of creating a new use or development.
The legislation governing agricultural property tenancies and leases is very specialised and the training of the chartered surveyor is extremely detailed to cover all aspects of the problems that arise in practise.
The Technology and Construction Court (TCC) of England and Wales is a specialist court. It deals with claims (i) that involve technically complex issues or questions (or for which trial by a TCC judge is desirable) and (ii) that have been issued in or transferred into the TCC specialist list.
This fact sheet outlines the structure of the court system in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have different court systems and, in many cases, different legislation. All, however, being part of the UK, are required to recognise the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and incorporate European Legislation into their law.
The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal handles a wide variety of cases from enfranchisement issues, to right to manage, disputes about insurers, reasonableness of service charges and variations to leases.
The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) is the successor to the Lands Tribunal and is an independent and specialist judicial body. The judges and members decide certain disputes concerning land in England and Wales, particularly the valuation of land. There are equivalent bodies for Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The Valuation Tribunal is an independent appeals tribunal, funded by Parliament, to handle council tax and rating appeals. These functions are all handled slightly differently in England, Scotland and Wales. They provide a free service and local hearings.