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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 17165
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I bought a house 3 years ago in 2018 in Scotland. This house

Customer Question

Hi there, I bought a house 3 years ago in 2018 in Scotland. This house has an extension which was completed in 2017. there have been a few things which have come to light … firstly the extension is dipping away from the original house, there is approx 1/2 gap between skirting and floor of extension … I have been advised by 2 separate builders that either the joist holding the extension up have not been placed properly or a middle wall/in the middle of the extension (underneath it) is missing to support the weight of the floor is the engineer or architect liable for this?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: scotland, no not yet
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: i have contacted the architect who said no liable and left it at that
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Yes, my neighbour got in touch yesterday - there are metal ties which connect my extensions wall to hers. She has said she didn’t approve these or know until recently they were in place. Ultimately she’ll want them removed with all affect the structural integrity of our extension again, are the architect or engineer not liable for this
Submitted: 9 days ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 9 days ago.

Thanks for your question. I am a solicitor in Scotland with 35 years of experience in private practice and I hope that I can help you with your question today. Let me have a quick look at your question and I will either  give you an initial answer or ask you for further information. I aim to respond as quickly as I can but sometimes I may want to take a little time to consider your question so as to give you the best possible answer.

Expert:  JGM replied 9 days ago.

The engineer, the architect, the builder or a combination of them may not have done this right. You will need to employ a structural engineer to get a report expressing an opinion on this. If it is a design fault then the architect or engineer could be at fault. If it is the build then it will be the builder and possibly the others depending on whether the contract was a supervised one or not. You are not a party to the contract and it would be useful to find out what the contractual position was. There is also a concept of implied warranty which in the case of a builder has been held to be 10 years as well as collateral warranties, often granted by professionals to give third parties not party to the contract, rights under the contract.

Expert:  JGM replied 9 days ago.

I hope this helped you today. Please do let me know if I can clarify anything. I am always happy to help. You are always welcome to ask a follow up question if it will help you further.

Customer: replied 8 days ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** the original structural engineers coming out the view the extension however, I’m more than confident, he will blame the builders and so on …That being said, we have already had to contact the builders about a separate issue who made it clear the original warranty is with the original owners who commissioned the extension and therefore, it does not extend to us. Is this correct?Finally, what about the metal ties between our extension wall and the neighbours. She is saying she did not give permission in 2017 for these to be put in place … I’m told by the architect these have been put in place in case of any wall movement, to push the walls back into position and to stop either extension for moving in the direction of the other … given the technical drawings with these metal ties were approved (is the correct? Do they get approved by the council?) by the council, will I have to remove them if my neighbour insists?
Expert:  JGM replied 6 days ago.

Whether the warranty extends to you as a subsequent purchaser depends on the wording of the warranty and you need to see it. As regards ***** ***** the neighbour may be correct unless there is something in the title deeds that allows a right of support. I think you need an independent structural report although it will be interesting to see what the original engineer says.