Principal: Steve Butler MRICS Chartered SurveyorSteve Butler Chartered Surveyors Marcus House, Park Hall Business Village, Park Hall Road, Stoke on Trent, ST3 5XA
Open 8.30am to 6.30pm
Disputes with builders and other contractors
Where a person does not have capacity and is under the protection of the courts.
Bankruptcy and insolvency
Lease renewal and other landlord and tenant disputes.
Negligent mortgage valuations and surveys.
Boundary and Right of Way Disputes
Terms of appointment for an RICS Expert Witness Survey and Report can be downloaded here.
Expert Reports for County Court are prepared in a special format ensuring that the Surveyor has for filled his duty to act impartially on behalf of the court. They also ensure that matters that the Surveyor has decided for him self, matters of fact and opinion and information received from other parties are all clearly explained to the court.
Steve Butler can also attend the Court to give evidence if the circumstances of the case require.
Steve Butler has given evidence at the Birmingham Crown Court in a Fraud Trial: R v Ronald Reeves and Others 2015 and acted as an advocate before the First Tier Property Tribunal: Land Registration in a Right of Way matter: Dawson v Smith 2014.
Chartered Surveyors CPR 35 compliant Expert Witness Report for Stoke on Trent County Court
This Stoke on Trent RICS Surveyors Expert Witness Report related to an Orangery constructed in the place of an existing conservatory that was relocated. Unfortunately when relocating the conservatory very shallow foundations were just poured on to ground that had not been prepared leading to a high risk of differential settlement. The new Orangery floor was laid at too high a level with a sudden slope down to meet a door opening. However even this level was too high to accommodate under floor heating. Channels retrospectively cut to house the heating were set too far apart to enable the floor to heat properly and much heat was likely to be lost to the ground due to inadequate insulation under the heating elements. The frame of the roof structure had not been bolted to the house or substantial timbers to each other. Steel lintels were sitting on out of plumb bearings which are likely to cause the bearing to try and rotate. A bock wall rocked when pushed with a hand. Our Expert Chartered Surveyor thought that the Orangery would have to be demolished.
This otherwise immaculate Stoke on Trent house was written off by insurers following cracking due to a leaking lead pipe. Insuers refused to carry out repairs as the leaking lead pipe was in an adjacent uninsured property. The insurers paid the owners of the house its market value, which was determnined by our Expert Valuation Surveyors, before the cracking and also let them keep it! The adjacent property was made subject to an order prohibiting habitation.
RICS Surveyors Expert Investigation into structural movement of a Stoke on Trent 1900 terrace building for insurers
Our RICS Expert Surveyors found that structural movement and cracking of this property had occurred in three locations. The types of movement had three different causes and were all unrelated to each other. The first type of movement was cause by poor foundation on what had been an outhouse that had been converted to a utility room. The structural movement probably occurred just after the property was constructed. The second type of structural movement appeared to approximate to a drain. The cracking also appeared to be old as our survey inspection showed that the drain had been replaced with a modern plastic one. The third type of structural cracking reported on was due to thermal expansion of a long wall. If a wall is too long and does not have expansion joints bricks move with heat on hot summer days until they snap because they have exceeded their elasticity. As the property was in an area of underground lime stone mines our RICS Expert Surveyors suggested that a mining report be obtained as a precaution against mining subsidence.
Our RICS Expert Witness Surveyors prepare a CPR 35 report for court on a breach of the boundary causing damp at a property in Derby. Here the neighbour had constructed a raised paved area and rather than construct their own retaining wall has used the neighbour’s garage. Fortunately our boundary surveyors were able to demonstrate that the paved area projected beyond the boundary line.
Stoke on Trent RICS Expert Witness Surveyors report on a collapsed retaining wall due to over loading
This case is unusual in that both parties were trying to deny ownership of the collapsed retaining wall. Most boundary disputes are about people trying to expand their boundaries. Our RICS Chartered Surveyors were easily able to resolve the question of ownership by reference to the title deeds. The owners of both properties abutting the boundary wall then blamed the other for its substantial and expensive collapse. Our surveyors were able to demonstrate with a few trial pits constructed against the wall that the movement of the wall had occurred entirely above ground level on the lower side of the wall. This confirmed that the wall had collapsed because it had been unable to cope with the weight bearing against it rather than because the foundations had rotated due to supposedly leaking drains on the adjacent property as the owner of the walls structural engineer had tried to claim. As the boundary wall remains unrepaired and unstable it is likely that the property on the lower side of the wall is not mortgagable knocking many thousands of pounds off its value. Our surveyors were able to prepare an expert witness report for the court suggesting that the value of the affected property had been reduced by some £40,000.