0330 133 1111


Steve Butler RICS Chartered Surveyors

The Apex, 2 Sheriffs Orchard, Coventry CV1 3PP

Open: 8.00am to 6.30pm



RICS Home Surveys Information Sheet   -   Homebuyers Surveys   -   Homebuyers Survey Fees   -   Building/ Structural Surveys

Building Survey Fees   -    Expert Reports  -  Boundary Surveys  -   Valuations  -   Experience   -   Complaints




Terms of appointment for a Coventry RICS Surveyor's Expert Witness Boundary Survey and Report can be downloaded here.


RICS Expert Witness Reports for Court CPR 35 Compliant

Expert Reports are often prepared for:

Disputes with builders and other contractors

Poor workmanship

Where a person does not have capacity and is under the protection of the courts.

Matrimonial disputes.

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.


CPR Part 35 (Civil Procedure Rules) Expert Witness Reports for County Court:

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 Coventry County Court

This Coventry 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.


 RICS Surveyors Expert Investigation into structural movement of a Coventry 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.


Expert witness CPR 35 report on a boundary dispute and nuisance neighbour at for county court 


Our RICS Expert Witness Surveyors prepare a CPR 35 report for court on a breach of the boundary causing damp at a property in Sheffield. 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.






RICS Expert Witness Reports

Independent Expert Witness Reports for Court

Local Surveyors Direct 




Independent Coventry surveyors report on a boundary dispute and nuisance neighbour for county court 


This boundary survey report was in respect of a garage at Coventry. A neighbour had constructed a raised hardstanding using the garage as a retaining wall. This had allowed water to run of the hardstanding into the garage staining the walls and causing pools of water on the floor. Our boundary surveyors were able to prepare a report suggesting that the boudary was some six inches away from the garage.


Boundary Dispute Law

Judge Barker recently sumarised much Boundary Dispute Law that had gone before in the case of Acco and Severn 2011

Extract from ACCO PROPERTIES LIMITED  - and -   SEVERN  2011 - Comments of HONOUR JUDGE SIMON BARKER QC 2011

‘Before turning to the facts and expert opinion evidence, I should briefly remind myself of the principles relevant to determination of boundary disputes, at least insofar as they are potentially applicable to this case: 

1 Where, as in this case, the property in question is registered land, the file plans show only general boundaries and not the exact line of the boundaries unless the property is said to be “more particularly described in the plan.” 

2 Similarly, Ordnance Survey plans, if not forming part of the registered title as filed plans, are no more than a general guide to a boundary feature, and they should not be scaled up to delineate an exact boundary.  This is because the lines marking the boundaries become so thick on being scaled up as to render them useless for detailed definition. 

3 In order to determine the exact line of a boundary, the starting point is the language of the conveyance aided, where the verbal description does not suffice, by the representation of the boundaries on any plan, or guided by the plan if that is intended to be definitive.   

4 If that does not bring clarity, or the clarity necessary to define a boundary, recourse may then be had to extrinsic evidence - such as topographical features on the land that existed, or maybe supposed to have existed, when the dividing conveyance was executed. 

5 Admissible extrinsic evidence may also include evidence of subsequent conduct where of probative value in showing what the original parties intended. 

6 Evidence of later features - that is, later than the earliest dividing conveyance - may or may not be of relevance. The probative significance of such evidence depends upon the extent to which, if at all, the dividing conveyance, or evidence of its terms, exists. 

7 Where a boundary is in dispute, it is important to bring certainty to the determination by proclaiming the boundary and not leaving the plot “fuzzy at the edges” (Neilson v Poole (1969) 20 P&CR 909, Megarry J).   

8 Even where a boundary line may be determined by reference to a conveyance, other evidence may be admitted and probative in establishing a different boundary obtained by adverse possession, showing enclosure of the land in denial of the title of the true owner.  As the phrase implies, title is established by intentionally taking exclusive possession of land without the consent of, and adverse to the interests of, the true owner, and maintaining such possession continuously for the limitation period. 

9 As to informal boundary agreements, the statutory requirement that contracts for the sale or other disposition of land be in writing does not apply.  That is because the purpose of such agreements is to demarcate an unclear boundary referred to in title documents and not to transfer an interest in land.   

10  Such agreements are usually oral and the result of neighbours meeting to avoid or resolve a potential or actual dispute.  However, there is scope for a boundary agreement to be implied or inferred - that is, to be the logical conclusion to be drawn from primary facts.   

11 When bearing these principles in mind as the platform on which to place and examine the facts, a judge should have regard to three further important yardsticks or rules of thumb.  These are:  (1) when considering any acquisition of property, it is vital to consider what a reasonable layman would think he was buying; (2) every case turns on its own facts; and (3) the task of the court is to assess all available and admissible material in arriving at its answer, and then to achieve the correct answer.


Right of Way Law

Recent and important cases are:


West v Sharp (1999)

Not every interference with an easement, such as a right of way, is actionable. There must be a substantial interference with the enjoyment of it. There is no actionable interference with a right of way if it can be substantially and practically exercised as conveniently after as before the occurrence of the alleged obstruction. Thus, the grant of a right of way in law in respect of every part of a defined area does not involve the proposition that the grantee can in fact object to anything done on any part of the area which would obstruct passage over that part. He can only object to such activities, including obstruction, as substantially interfere with the exercise of the defined right as for the time being is reasonably required by him.”


B&Q v Liverpool and Lancashire Properties [2001]

  • B&Q used had a right to park lorries awaiting unloading over a large area of land leased to a nearby tenant. The near by tenant wanted to build on parts of the land on which B and Q had a right to park.


  • A dominant landowner is entitled to the full extent of any easement, not just what he reasonably requires

  • For any minor interference, damages would be available

  • For any substantial interference, injunctions would be available

Blackburne J concluded that there are three propositions which can be deduced from past cases 


(1) the test of an ‘actionable interference’ is not whether what the grantee is left with is reasonable, but whether his insistence on being able to continue the use of the whole of what is contracted for is reasonable;


(2) it is not open to the grantor to deprive the grantee of his preferred modus operandi and then argue that someone else would prefer to do things differently, unless the grantee’s preference is unreasonable or perverse;


(3) if the grantee has contracted for the ‘relative luxury’ of an ample right, he is not to be deprived of that right in the absence of an explicit reservation merely because it is a relative luxury and the reduced, non-ample right would be all that was reasonably required. He summarised the third proposition as follows: ‘In short, the test . . is one of convenience and not necessity or reasonable necessity. Provided that what the grantee is insisting on is not unreasonable, the question is: can the right of way be substantially and practically exercised as conveniently as before?’

Emmett v Sisson [2014]

Here a right of way ran along the front of the grantees property. The owners of the land containing the right of way tried to construct a wall along the side of the right of way just leaving an opening for access to the grantees property.

Held under the interpretation of the conveyance document that the grantee was entitled to the benefit of their luxurious bargain and could access the right of way at any point at which it touched their property.





RICS Right of Way Dispute Surveyors in Coventry

RICS Expert Witness Boundary Reports.

Right of Way Dispute Surveys and Reports for Court

Local Surveyors Direct 






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