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Protecting your business from architect negligence

Jul 12, 2017
Designing a new self storage or moving facility can be a testing time and companies usually rely on the services of an architect to draw up plans and obtain planning approval. In this article, Abacus Law offers some advice to help you through the process.

If you are looking to start up a brand new business, or are hoping to expand your successful pre-existing facilities, chances are you are going to be looking for the help of an architect.  

A new business or expansion means new land, preparation, construction and completion, all of which should be organised to meet legal requirements. The architect you hire can and should be able to support you throughout the entire process. However in some cases, issues and resulting disputes can occur, due to professional negligence from cowboy architects.  

There are a number of signs that can indicate architect negligence, which have been listed below by professional negligence solicitors, Abacus Law. Read on to get to grips with what to look out for, so you know when you can and should seek legal action.   

Plans and preparation 

An architect can help you to draw up plans of your new building. These plans are an imperative part of obtaining planning permission, so it’s well worth investing your time and money into finding a reputable architect to do the job for you. Perhaps an architect that has experience in developing self storage or moving facilities should be something to look out for.   

Designs and drawings that highlight the layout and architecture of your new business premises should be provided by the architect, along with documentation to support them. If they miss the deadline for these documents, that has been set by you, you should be sure to ask for an update on their status, either by e-mail or letter, for example. If the architect fails to provide you with these documents, either on time or not at all, they could be liable for negligence.   

Planning permission 

Following on from the planning stage comes the opportunity to be granted planning permission for your new location. This a vital responsibility for your architect and, by making sure their own designs for your premises meet the requirements, there should be no problem in going ahead with construction.  

In some cases, architects are unable to acquire planning permission as a result of poor planning and designs, or little thought for the legal requirements. If your construction is unable to proceed due to this, you may be able to seek legal action against the architect for any costs that you incur as a result.   

Supervision and completion 

If planning permission is granted, fantastic! The next step is the construction itself, which the architect should help to supervise and sign off milestones throughout. Your architect should have the most knowledge and expertise when it comes to the construction of your new premises, as the design is based on their own work. As such, any reputable architect should be overseeing the project and assessing the work being carried out.  

This involves ensuring the right materials are being used, as well as sections of the project being completed to the appropriate standard. Regular observation of the work is required by an architect to make sure your new premises will be up and running on time.  

All the work carried out should meet the details stated in the architect’s original plans that were signed off by the planning committee. Failure to do so opens up the opportunity for problems to arise, with costs quickly mounting up to rectify them.   

If the opening of your business is stalled as a result of poor supervision and certification carried out by the architect, you could be compensated for any time and money lost as a result.   

A legal contract between you and the architect 

A legally binding contract should always be created and signed by both the architect and yourself, which highlights the agreed terms and conditions between you and the architect. The terms and conditions should include their responsibilities, deadlines, the payment for their services, and the consequences of them failing to meet these conditions. Having a contract drawn up and signed will stand you in good stead for receiving compensation, should the law find your architect to be negligent.   

Take the time to protect you and your business, with this helpful guide and a contract between you and your architect. You’ll appreciate how quickly your new premises are opened and with as few problems as possible along the way.   

Abacus Law 

The team of expert solicitors at Abacus Law have specialist experience in professional negligence claims. Their services can help businesses to seek dispute resolution and rectify any wrongdoings that have been made against them. Visit www.abacus-law.co.uk/commercial-property/property-development/ for more information. 

 

 

 

 

 

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