building surveying

TFT at RICS Building Surveying Conference

Last week TFT decamped to the Royal Lancaster Hotel to join the 2019 RICS Building Surveying Conference (May 2), an industry gathering with a full programme of seminars and panels tackling the state and future of surveying.

Katie Brooks, Associate Building Surveyor, chaired three sessions on two topics across the day, hosting almost 600 people as part of her role in the RICS Conference Working Group which shaped the day’s agenda and content.

Katie’s first session was on offsite and modular construction, a topic which is regaining recognition in the industry due to the cost saving opportunities it offers, and the scale which modular building techniques can provide. A recent RICS report on Modern Methods of Construction declared modular methods could be a route to accelerate home building for the Government’s target of 300,000 homes per year by 2020.

Katie chaired a presentation and Q&A by Tim Prosser of Hawk Technical, who examined the pros and cons of modular and off-site construction methods. Tim drew on case studies he has witnessed over the past few years, and weighed up the benefits for different kinds of developer, and he also showed how differing approaches would result in implications for building sequence, logistics, sustainability and design process on top of the core considerations of time, cost and quality.

The second session on Katie’s agenda was a presentation on the building regulations, and specifically enforcement. A presentation from David McCullogh (who chairs the RICS Fire Safety Leaders Forum and sits on CIC’s specialist Grenfell panel) reminded the audience that the industry has a duty to self-regulate, and to take responsibility for proposing improvements.

We also saw TFT Partners David Mann and Chris Gibbons take the stage to give an update on Technical Due Diligence (TDD) as the RICS prepares to launch the latest Guidance Note on TDD. The pair presented best practice updates on assessing risk, how to approach surveys for different building types, how to use technology such as drones to maximise access and value from a survey, and what clients expect from the best surveyors.

In summary, those are: sharp detective instincts, a commercial perspective on what impacts value the most, and clear, timely communication of the key facts.

Introducing The TFT Purple Book: A Guide to Dilapidations in the UK

The TFT Purple Book is an important guide that shines a light into dilapidations’ darker recesses, identifying the legal context, best practice, the background to how and why dilapidations is dealt with as it is, and addresses areas of legal uncertainty. It is written by a surveyor for surveyors and will also appeal to anyone else who needs to understand this often-complex subject (e.g. lawyers and academics). This comprehensive guide also highlights important topics which are often overlooked. It aims to serve as a single point of reference from which the reader can develop a solid foundation of knowledge. It even considers cattle, children and ‘chattels-vegetable’ – and not many text books can make that boast.

The TFT Purple Book is now available to pre-order on Amazon (available in-store on 18 October 2018) and was written by TFT Technical Partner Jon Rowling, a leading dilapidations specialist and independent expert, expert witness, mediator and arbitrator.

To contact or read more about Jon, click here 

This is the first edition of a book about dilapidations in the UK. You will know that there have been other books written about dilapidations, so why another one you might reasonably ask. It is a good question so I take the opportunity of these opening paragraphs to attempt to explain my impertinence.

My aim has been to provide a reference book that I would have found useful when starting out and practising in the field of dilapidations; a succinct but reasonably thorough romp through the various principles, procedures, reasons, uncertainties and dilapidations-related topics. This isn’t a legal text book; this isn’t a guidance note; this isn’t an attempt to state the law (albeit the law as understood at July 2018 is applied); I’m not a lawyer; I’m not a valuer and, whilst I am a building surveyor, I don’t attempt to tell the reader how to survey a building.

What this book does do is distil a good number of years of acknowledging that the subject is complex, of learning, reading, practising, getting things wrong, trying again, checking constantly, and attempting to get to a position where I understand the subject well enough to explain it to others.

If there is one thing you pick up over the years, it is a gnawing realisation that the more you get to know, the more you realise you don’t know; and that what you thought was certain, almost certainly isn’t certain after all…

Jon Rowling, Author

Reviews include:

This is an excellent guide to the law and practice relating to dilapidations in the UK and will be invaluable to the practitioner whether surveyor or solicitor. Of particular assistance is the helpful way the author approaches the thorny issues of how items should be classified (chattel or fixture?) and supersession. This ‘go to’ guide should save clients both time and money.

John de Waal QC – Barrister and Mediator, Hardwicke

As a book which is intended to draw together the many and complex strands of dilapidations practice, The TFT Purple Book is an accomplished piece of work. I’m recommending it as vital reading to junior members of our team, but it’s also illuminating for those of us with several years’ experience on the legal side who still have more to learn about building surveying and valuation practice within this field.

Tim Reid – Senior Associate, Hogan Lovells International LLP

The book offers a comprehensive and one-stop reference in respect of all things dilapidations. As well as being to the point and easy to understand, it also deals with the different approach adopted in Scotland given the absence of the Landlord and Tenant Acts. This textbook will certainly have a place in our office.

Philip Knight – Managing Associate, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

All too often in practice it is relatively straightforward to establish the answer to any particular problem or to express an opinion.  What can be far more difficult is to be sure of how to achieve that outcome.

TFT’s excellent Purple Book seeks to provide the sort of practical contribution and easy understanding that is usually only gained by years of experience.  This new book offers an intensely pragmatic and easily readable text about dilapidations in the UK, which will be a valuable guide of immense assistance to surveyors and other practitioners in this field.  Jon Rowling and his team at TFT should be applauded for their efforts, particularly their ability to identify and to answer so many questions that are often asked, but rarely answered.

David Nicholls – Barrister, Landmark Chambers