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Residential Surveys Home buyer reports and valuations carried out throughout the South West area including boundary wall disputes and party wall negotiations.

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Commercial Surveys, If you require any advice on government legislation regarding commercial property please contact Peter Maksymuk personally at
Or phone directly on: 07834 349777

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Mr Monks

"... work and advice.... undertaken in a professional and pleasant manner and has allowed Chippenham Town Council to make substantial savings on future maintenance requirements..."
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“... Peter has saved us thousands of pounds  and a lot of heartache in the purchase of our home...”
Graham McCallion, Swindon

Professional surveying in Wiltshire, Bath, Cirencester and the South West from a local company and highly qualified chartered surveyor Peter Maksymuk. Many companies already know Peter as he has worked locally for many years saving companies and local home owners many hundreds of thousands of pounds with his professionalism and technical knowledge.

Surveying News

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                                                                                                      Date:   July 2017

Health & Safety CDM Regulations 2015.

All construction projects and work are now required to comply with Construction Design and Management 2015 (CDM) Regulations. Each project and repair work has to have a construction plan produced by the Principle Contractor or the Principle Designer or as a longstop the building owner will be responsible for this.

If there is more than one contractor then the Principle Designer has to be instructed and this as a longstop will be the building owner and quite often is the Project Manager, Architect or even the Principle Contractor. This basically means that the Principle Designer has to provide a construction plan highlighting the dangers. He has to provide CDM information requests from the client which highlights any immediate dangers obtained from client knowledge. Following this the Principle Contractor produces a Health & Safety Construction Plan and Principle Designer provides Health and Safety file which is updated during the project and provided to the client on completion. If the building owner does not instruct these professionals he will be responsible for all these items of work.

Should the work last longer than 30 days, have more than 20 workers simultaneously at any point in the project or exceeds 500 person days then the client must notify the project to HSE.

Peter Maksymuk Surveying are able to help with regard to CDM regulations and Project Management.
Non compliance with these works can be quite expensive if fined by the HSE with fines running into thousands of pounds for a modest and small project. To emphasise these regulations apply to all building works, commercial and residential.

"The Dangers of Over Egging the Pudding" - Landlords Exaggerate Dilapidation Claims

The recent case of Laindon v South Essex highlights the cost of over egging the dilapidations claim. The original claim by the client on the premises known as 1/4 Dutton Court, Aston Road, Laindon, Essex was at £522,000. This was made in February 2012, Culderbank offer assessment made at £25/£45,000 for the Trust. The Trust also offered to pay a Part 36 offer for Laindon's costs to date.

On 14 June 2013 Laindon sued the Trust for £376,000 and in July Laindon made the first Part 36 offer at £295,000. In April 2014 Laindon provided a second Part 36 offer at £125,000 and on 23 October 2014 there was a High Court trial. On 24 October there was a judgement for Laindon, the landlord, at £130k plus costs to be paid within 14 days. This included £41,445 for carpets and £28,872 for two months lost rent.

On 9 December 2014, the Trust sought permission to Appeal on two grounds, that the Judge:
1) Wrongly awarded damages in respect of carpets, and
2) The judge was wrong to damages for loss of rent.

Permission was granted in January 2015 to go to the Court of Appeal which Laindon lost.

The outcome of the appeal was that Laindon was ordered to pay the Trust and costs of £356,000. This £356,000 amounted to the following:
• Laindon ordered to pay the Trust the difference of the outcome of £71,930 plus interest,
• Interest paid by the Trust of £820.61,
• Repay £150,000 trial cost contribution with interest,
• £105,000 on account of the Trust trial cost,
• £20,000 for the Trust appeal costs.

The Trust has stated that had the landlord placed a realistic claim in the first instance when they went to trial for judgement of £130,492 plus costs they would have paid this. However, having covered a substantial cost in defending to that date they had no option but to proceed to Court.

Due to recent poor market conditions in the small retail sector, tenants have been issued with substantial dilapidation claims so the landlord may refurbish the premises to become more lettable, or in some cases may not carry out the work.

Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently been involved in protecting two tenants with small retail premises in Melksham and Swindon where claims exceeded £30,000 in both cases. Following dispute of the claim with the landlord these claims have been substantially reduced and in one case to just a few thousand pounds, and the other also substantially reduced to below 25% of the original claim.

Tenants taking on new leases are strongly advised to obtain a Condition Survey to crystallise the condition of the property and ideally attach the Schedule to the lease.

In many cases the tenants have not had any reference to any previous condition at the commencement of the lease and as such the Law is quite onerous and bias towards the landlord in his claim for dilapidations at termination or break clause in the lease. In assessing what the tenant must pay it is limited by a statutory cap under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927 under Section 18 with regard to this the standard of repair should have concern with regard to the general age, character, replacement and supersession where the landlord intends to carry out improvement works. An important case was Sun Life v Tiger Aspects 2013 which limited the extent of liabilities for a tenant. Other concerns are with regard to the Energy Act of 2011 which comes into operation from 1 April 2018 where any rented properties have an EPC rating of F or less will not be lettable.

Whilst surveyors and solicitors must act within the dilapidations pre-action protocol many surveyors acting for landlords still substantially exaggerate claims.
For further help and advice with regard to dilapidations please contact Peter Maksymuk Surveying.

New RICS 7th Edition Dilapidations in England and Wales

The new edition of the RICS Dilapidations 7th Edition came into force in September 2016. The guidance notes covers dilapidations claims during the term, at the end of the term, and claims by tenants against the landlords including in break clause situations.

There are specific requirements with regard to taking instructions and fee arrangements.

The guidance also makes note under 8.3 for supersession when the landlord intends to carry out works which supersede dilapidation claims.

The quantified demand also has to be in sufficient detail to substantiate the basis for the claim. The guidance also defines the valuation methodology to value the diminution under Section 18.

Expert Report

The model form of experts report recently came into operation, recommended by the Law Society, which provides a format for producing an expert report. Peter Maksymuk Surveying can advise with regard to any building defects or boundary disputes.

MEES (Minimum Energy Efficient Standards)

From 1 April 2016, domestic clients have the right to request energy efficiency improvements on their property.

From 1 April 2018, new leases cannot be granted on properties (commercial or residential) if the band is below E.

On 1 Aril 2020 private landlords cannot continue to let their property with an EPC band below E.

With regard to residential properties there are a number of measures which could be taken which are fairly economical to bring the property up to a lettable standard. The first is to obtain an energy assessment nearer the time of 2018 as the SAP rating on existing software is below the recommended U value standards and as such there is a U value update in October 2017 which is likely to increase order line cases from an F to an E.

Another aspect is to apply for an exemption. The exemption lasts for 5 years and if the landlord can prove that the cost of the improvements over a payback period is in excess of 7 years the landlord can apply for an exemption. This entails applying on line.

The most common defects are poor insulation to include the wall construction, heating/fuel system and lack of loft insulation.

About three quarters of the defective premises have no mains gas and electric heating.

The easiest costs are to improve the insulation standards is likely to include removal of electric wall heaters and provision of a wet gas system or similar.

Insulating lofts and improved electric lighting to LED or similar. Other costs such as upgrading solid wall construction could cost in the region of £240 for a ground floor flat, other items such as insulating the water cylinder at £40 and a change of a meter to a dual meter of £200 is likely to improve the banding.

Other simple measures such as providing a programmer for the gas boiler, installing room stat TVRs and draught proofing, and low energy lighting also makes a significant impact.

Characteristics of an F or G property most probably have solid walls, poor fuel system and a lack of roof insulation.

The enforcement of this legislation is likely to fall on commercial aspects of resale and letting to comply with current legislation. The enforcement will be limited as the Local Authority has no resources to enforce the regulations. There are a number of ambiguities with regard to Brexit and political uncertainty, and the absence of the Green Deal.

Health and Safety

Recent legislation of the CDM regulations and the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act of 2007 and the Equality Act of 2010 provided three categories to claim, mainly the LEP Individual Partnership, Company Partnership, and the Individual.

The recent H&S Court case of Straker Estate Agents 2017 highlighted assessment on all items of work and sale commercial concerns where a woman fell down a well during an open viewing. The estate agents were fined in excess of £200,000 in costs and will also be subject to private action. The main items on undertaking any service would be as follows:

  1. Define the job.
  2. Identify the hazard.
  3. Assess the risk.
  4. Eliminate/mitigate risk.
  5. Specify health & safety provisions.
  6. Discuss with the contract.

What is a SIPP

The NHBC have recently brought out technical information with regard to structural insulated panels (SIPPs). Basically these are best described as a sandwich construction incorporating a large inner construction of cavity foam completely filling the cavity with two thin bread layers of chipboard. The whole panels are then integrated and joined with timber SIPP joints and an outer cladding employed.

With the Government white paper and expansion of prefabricated construction there is likely to be an increase in the amount of SIPP constructions. These are regulated and approved by BOPAS (Build Off Site Property Assurance Scheme) which was launched on 26 March 2013.

The problem with SIPPs in the future from a surveyors point of view is firstly with regard to repairs. The repairs would not normally be undertaken by a DIY or local contractor and will require specialist builders who are likely to charge in excess of the normal repair.

Secondly, with regard to extension or alteration works a Structural Engineer will be required to assess the building. It will not be possible to easily take out the internal walls or back walls of the property without a structural assessment and design being undertaken. Removal is likely to de- stabilise the whole building and likely to cause a substantial structural issue.

On any future resale of any SIPPs it should be highlighted whether there have been any structural or internal alterations of any kind or any repairs carried out.

grade ii listed building survey
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently undertaken a survey of this Grade II Farmhouse house, In Bromham.

listed building survey
Recent condition survey of Godwin Court for the owner, incorporating 8 commercial units and 30 flats in 3 storeys.

project management
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently completed extension works project management of this shop refurbishment, Trowbridge.

delapidation survey
Recent Dilapidation survey report.

listed building survey
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently undertaken this Listed Building Survey, Devizes.

listed building survey
Recent survey of and project management of decoration on GII Listed flats over 4 shops in Chippenham.

listed building survey
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently undertaken a structural survey of this dilapidated Swindon Poet's house - Alfred Williams - in South Marston.


From:              Peter Maksymuk

For further advice please contact Peter Maksymuk, Peter Maksymuk Surveying Ltd.
Contact on 07834349777  



                                                                                                      Date:   February 2016

Display Energy Certificates Required for Commercial Properties

At the end of 2017 all Group 3 properties, to include other non domestic buildings, will require Display Energy Certificates. This is different from an Energy Performance Certificate in that it measures the energy consumption and provides a Display Certificate which has to be renewed every year for properties over 500 sq.m. From July 2015 Group 1 buildings which are Commercial occupied and visited by the public require a Display Energy Certificate if over 250 sq.m. Peter Maksymuk Surveying Ltd are able to provide Display Energy Certificates.

listed building survey
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently undertaken a survey of this Grade 1 house, Barton Farm, Bradford On Avon

Minimum Energy Standards

From April 2018 proposed legislation under the Energy Act 2015 requires residential and commercial properties to have a minimum rating of an E and those with a rating of F or a G will not be lettable. Measures should be put in place to improve the energy efficiency of the property which should include assessing the costs and benefits of improving the energy efficiency and weighting these against options to market the property or to re-gear the lease.

Current legislation is under the Energy Efficiency Regulations 2015 which came into force on 26 March 2015. This is the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), introduced by the UK Government to meet its obligations under the Energy Act of 2011. The minimum standard applies to both domestic and non domestic properties from 1 April 2018. By 1 April 2023 the regulations become more onerous by applying to all property leases (where an EPC exists). The penalties for non compliance are significant, ranging from £2,000 - £150,000, based on the rateable value of the property.

What To Do?

Once a property at risk has been identified, developer plan improvements to minimise future costs. Determine what can be undertaken as part of regular maintenance and refurbishment works. Quite often a rating will be improved by merely carrying out typical or planned replacement works at little or no additional cost.

Collaboration with occupiers is essential as it is unlikely Leases will include provisions for landlords to carry out energy efficiency improvements. It is important that Landlords maintain good relationships with their tenants and discuss proposals with them well in advance of any works starting. When landlords enter new Leases they should consider inclusion of a Green Lease and provision of attaching a Memorandum of Understanding to provide flexibility.

Finally when completing due diligence is important to ensure the EPC is reviewed to determine whether the property could be at risk. Many EPCs were carried out in the early years of 2008 and will be inaccurate and Building Regulation legislation standards have increased since that date. Consider the cost and timing of future improvements, this information will be useful to prospective purchasers or tenants when investing or Leasing.

Building Surveyors have a breadth of relevant and complimentary expertise covering both the technical and non technical aspects of properties and construction, particularly when assessing improvement and performance of buildings. If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact Peter Maksymuk Surveying Limited.

Grade II Listed Building
Recent survey at Belmont Works Swindon, Grade II Listed, was carried out by Peter Maksymuk Surveying

Health & Safety CDM Changes

From May 2015 the requirement of the Principle Health & Safety Co-ordinator was made redundant, change is now required for all construction to include Health & Safety responsibilities fall on the owner,principle contractor if there is a small contractor for small jobs, and if a larger job the responsibility falls on the principle contractor, the principle designer and normally the surveyor or contract administration and the owner to provide a Health & Safety Log Book and Assessment.

Peter Maksymuk Surveying have recently undergone a course with CITB to provide help as a Principle Designer under CDM Regs 2015 on building projects. Should you require any assistance please do not hesitate to contact.

RICS Valuation Changes

Valuers now undertaking valuations as Registered Valuers must conform to RICS Red Book standards to include full terms of engagement, declaration of any conflicts of interest, and provide full comparables. Valuers are regulated and could be audited to show compliance at any time.

Grade II Listed Building
Project Management of Extension to 35 Monkton Farleigh by Peter Maksymuk Surveying

End of Green Deal

The Government has announced there will be no further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company. In their own press release the Energy Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd stated the move was prompted by low take up levels and concerns over industry standards.

Fire and Carbon Monoxide Alarms in Tenanted Property

On 1 October 2015, Part 2, Regulation 4 of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force. This is a draft item of legislation which has not been made a UK statutory instrument but by 1 October 2015 premises occupied under an Assured Shorthold Tenancy under the Housing Act 1988 must have a smoke alarm on each storey of the premises used as living accommodation and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room of the premises which contains a solid fuel burning appliance.

Levels of Loss in Dilapidations

A series of cases Ruxley Electronics & Construction Ltd, the Forsyth 1995 and Sunlife Europe Properties Limited, the Tiger Aspects Holdings 2013 and the Preaction Protocol of Dilapidations shows that landlords cannot claim for something they have not lost. Although has come as something of a shock to elements of the profession, the concept has its roots in Section 1 of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1927 and is the basis of Breach of Contract quantified by damages which can be defined as reimbursement for losses suffered.

If the landlord has not suffered any loss on termination of his lease then an extrapolated Schedule of Condition produced by a surveyor is unlikely to be successful if pursued to Court. One can argue whether the use of the dilapidation surveyor is, in today's market, of any use other than to try and get the outgoing tenant to produce some cash for the landlord. In considering a diminution in value one has to take into account the best use of the premises, the actual landlord's intensions, and the value of diminution should consider various options. In assessing the diminution and loss to the landlord he has to take into account any future redevelopment, conversion, refurbishment, repair and supersession of works to be undertaken by the incoming tenant. Also the standard of repair is limited under the case of Sunlife Properties Ltd with the following points made within that case.

  • A tenant is entitled to perform his covenants in the manner less onerous to him.
  • The tenant is allowed to return the premises in good and tenantable condition. The standard of 
repairs is like for like and no requirement for upgrade.
  • The landlord seeking the cost of repairs cannot recover loss if he could reasonably have avoided 
  • The tenant is breach of repairing covenant is not liable for the cost of refurbishment works 
where there was supersession. 

For any further help with regard to older listed building and renovation please do not hesitate to contact Peter Maksymuk, Peter Maksymuk Surveying Ltd. Telephone 07834 349777, email

Grade II Listed Building
Grade II Listed Building
Project Management of Extension to 35 Monkton Farleigh by Peter Maksymuk Surveying

Party Wall – Chaturachinda v Fairholme – Meaning of Special Foundations

Judgement has now been handed down which deals with the meaning of "Special Foundations". In this case under pinning of an existing party wall was not termed Special Foundation as the concrete installed distributed the loading onto the existing soil. The foundation constructed transfers the imposed load of the wall to the solid ground on which it stands and as such would not be termed as special foundations. It is a requirement to show that a wall is not a foundation, where it is a foundation it is required to show that the foundation is not a special foundation and not under the Party Wall Act..


From:              Peter Maksymuk

For further advice please contact Peter Maksymuk, Peter Maksymuk Surveying Ltd.
Contact on 07834349777  




                                                                                                      Date:   January 2014

Legal Changes for Listed Buildings and Sites.

A series of changes to Heritage Law have recently been approved by Parliament under the Little Notice bill "Enterprise and Regulatory Reform" (ERR). Now an Act, the new legislation might be known as the "ERRA". The changes will not be introduced at once, and some will require further consultation or secondary legislation. In the next couple of years we can expect to see:


1. Statutory Heritage Partnership Agreements for Listed Buildings.
These will allow advance agreement of certain types of work relevant to larger sites and alterations.

2. Certificates of Lawfulness of Works to Listed Buildings.
Property owners can legitimise works carried out at some point in the past. This is relevant for owners who have purchased properties where consent was needed for a past alteration and not previously obtained. This may help to remove uncertainty when a property is being sold.

3. Listed Building Consent Orders (Local and National)
Local – a Local Authority can set aside the need for consent for minor work likely to take place in a number of similar buildings in an area.
National – aimed at managers of larger building portfolios relating to minor works carried out throughout an estate.

4. Conservation Area Consent Replaced With the Requirement for Planning Permission
This abolishes Conservation Area Consent as a separate form of control and amalgamates it with Planning Permission so that Planning Permission (not Conservation Area Consent) will now be needed for any substantial demolition.

5. Listed Building Entries Made More Precise
Statutory force will come into operation and will define the specific item which is listed within a building. Presently regardless of what is stated in the list description all parts of the building are covered.

6. Certificates of Indemnity (CoIs) From Listing Can Be Sought At Any Time
Certificates from immunity from listing can only be sought when a planning application is made. In future they can be submitted at any time but if rejected the building will normally be Listed.

listed building survey
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently undertaken a survey of this Listed Mill in Wroughton

Building Regulations Have Changed.

The Government has updated Part L of the Building Regulations for England. This update is intended to improve the energy efficiency of new dwellings by approximately 6% (compared with previous regulations), and by approximately 9% for non domestic buildings across the mix of new building stock, and to promote improvement of the existing building stock with the aim to obtain zero-carbon new buildings within the next decade.

Listed buildings and buildings in Conservation Areas are exempt, but only to the extent that compliance would unacceptably alter their character or appearance. Thermal elements of the building, if renovated, where adding or replacing a layer of 50% of the area for the individual element, or 25% of the area of the building require whole elements to be upgraded. The maximum thermal transmittance applied to provision as follows:

Walls 0.28W/m²k
Roofs 0.16 – 0.18 W/m²k
Floors 0.22 W/m²k

Improvements are not expected to involve investments where payback exceeds 15 years.

The area of glazed openings in an extension must not exceed 25% of the floor area.

Inspections carried out by approved building and local inspectors are to be reduced from 6 to 2, and final certificates are to be issued within 8 weeks of notification.

Ventilation for Existing Dwellings upgraded under New Building Regulation.

As a robust rule of thumb, air leakages can be responsible for 20% of heat loss from dwellings. A reasonable standard of provision in an average dwelling will typically include:

1. Extract fans in the kitchen, bathrooms and shower rooms.

2. Trickle vents or other form of background ventilation in every habitable room.

If the property has less ventilation in its bench mark then there is a possibility of condensation mould occurring.

Provision of draughty windows, unsealed floors, and open fireplaces, can lead to large fuel bills and uncomfortable conditions.

Grade II Listed Building
Recent Grade 2 Listed survey carried out by Peter Maksymuk Surveying

R22 Gas Air Conditioning – Tenants to Pay for New Installation.

From 1 January 2015 the use of R22 ozone depleting gas in air conditioning units will be banned. It will be legal to use R22 in existing systems beyond 2015, however should the maintenance of the system necessitate decanting, handling or topping up the R22 some repairs will be prohibited. If such a failure occurs, the equipment may have to be replaced. The work required will depend on the type of system involved and the existing condition.

Tenants with leases ending before 1 January 2015 are advised to sustain good estate management in continuing to repair and maintain the system. It would be prudent for the tenants to validate the air conditioning just prior to the lease expiry to demonstrate that the system is in good working order. For leases ending shortly after 1 January 2015 it could be possible for the tenant to deliver up the system in good repair however the landlord could still be required to replace the system as no reasonable tenant would take on the property in 2015 with an R22 system.

Where the tenant's lease ends well beyond 1 January 2015, the tenant will need to take action because if they do nothing there is a good change of breakdown and the system becoming obsolete.

Landlords will be handed back a building with the undesirable R22 system from 1 January 2015. Faced with this situation landlords must try to establish whether the system is in disrepair prior to the lease expiry.

Dilapidation claims relating to building services can be extremely substantial, not least as items such as air conditioning are expensive systems.

Many leases will not have been drafted with this in mind and there can be little doubt that the R22 dispute will arise. It is hoped that the subsequent case law that emerges will, over time, serve to provide greater clarity over further future phase out.

New Surface Water Flooding Map from Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency (EA) has added a surface water flood map to its website. According to the EA, this searchable map gives an indication of the broad areas likely to be at risk of surface water flooding. The EA point out surface water flood maps are not suitable for identifying whether an individual property will flood.

Recent Survey of Public House.

This was a commercial inspection and we noted there was a differentiation between the dilapidation schedule for the outgoing tenant produced by the landlord and following our inspection the substantial additional works which were, or would form part of a dilapidation claim at the end of the 25 year term in 7 years time. This allowed the prospective new tenant to negotiate improved terms and to reduce his liability which would undoubtedly have occurred in 7 years time. It is important that when a lease is taken on that a full survey is carried out with a view to highlighting the potential dilapidations which is likely to occur at termination of the lease.


From:              Peter Maksymuk

For further advice please contact Peter Maksymuk, Peter Maksymuk Surveying Ltd.
Contact on 07834349777  


See previous articles:
Surveying News 2012 and 2013

Surveying News 2011

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