go to home page
Peter Maksymuk Surveying News Peter Maksymuk Brochure Peter Maksymuk Project Management space
spaceresidential survey image

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

spacecommercial survey

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

"...We would certainly recommend you to anyone who asked...."
Mr and Mrs Herne

"...We wouldn't hesitate to recommend Peter to anyone considering a property purchase...."
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..."
Victoria Lowkis, Chippenham Town Council

“... 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

                                               Tel 07843349777 & 01793766377




                                                                                                      Date:   October 2022

Recent survey Grade 2 listed

Building regulation changes in 2022.

New building regulations will take effect from 15 June 2022, originally announced by the Department of Levelling Up Homes and Communities in December 2021.
Any new submissions after 15 June 2022 will have to comply with the new building regulations.
Improvements include the following:

  • Reduction of carbon emissions in domestic new builds by 31% from 15 June 2022. The new homes will have to produce at least 31% less carbon emissions.

  • Reduction of carbon emissions in non domestic new builds by 27%. New metric for measuring energy efficiency "primary energy" will be used to measure the efficiency of the building's heating as well as the energy used to deliver the fuel to the building, and even the efficiency of the power station supplying the electricity.

The above measures are a key part of the road map to the 2025 Future Homes Standard adopted by the Government.

  • Owners have to provide photographic evidence to obtain a sign off certificate for extension and development construction, the photographs have to be uploaded to the Building Control surveyor with a free time stamp.

  • 2 Year Building Regs Rule- Allows for a person that has carried out work that contravenes Building Regulations to be prosecuted up to 2 years after the completion of work.

  • 10-year rule-A local Authority can enforce Building Regulations at any time after a building's construction, there is no enforcement time limit. In existing buildings, regulations will apply to new build extensions or installation of new materials or technology.

  • 25% maximum floor area of glazing for an extension wall and all windows require trickle vents.

  • Owners extending must assess the energy measures of existing homes being extended, they may be required to install additional ventilation and other upgrading works.

  • New maximum flow temperatures where new domestic and non domestic builds will have a maximum flow temperature of 55 degrees.

  • Heating and lighting system efficiency where existing non domestic buildings must improve the efficiency of the heating and hot water boiler systems through installation of new controls. In non domestic buildings the minimum lighting efficiency will be raised from 80 luminaries per circuit watt for display lighting and 95 luminaries for general lighting.

  • Ventilation indoor air pollutants will include trickle ventilators for non domestic buildings along with the requirement for installation of CO2 monitors in offices. The new guidance also stipulates a minimum air supply of 0.5 L/S.M2.

  • Prevention of overheating. This introduces a new document O which includes glazing limits in new builds, care homes, schools and student accommodation to reduce unwanted solar heat. It also stipulates new levels of cross ventilation to remove heat.

  • Electric vehicle charging points - New approved document S requires all domestic new builds to have proprietary work completed for the future installation of electric vehicle charge points.

  • In addition, there is a new 2-year building regulation rule that allows for a person that has carried out work that contravenes building regulations to be prosecuted up to 2 year after completion of works.

  • The Local Authority can enforce building regulations at any time after a building's construction, there is no enforcement time limit.

  • The new building regulations will apply to existing buildings typically where extensions and insulation, new materials or technology apply.

  • Further advice can be obtained from Peter Maksymuk Surveying Limited.

Damp Realist or A Lime Realist

There are two current theories on damp repairs, the current modern trend is to use lime based materials, however owners should be aware that lime is a breathable material and damp will still penetrate through showing stains and marks for the damp transfer as compared with a barrier system which provides a complete dry interior.

This will also include floors and external repointing. Many old buildings are repointed in a sand and cement which tends to seal in the damp and there is no other avenue for the dampness to operate and run through internally, and any internal render could detach causing internal damp maintenance repair.

Generally lower basements are damp and would not have been constructed with a damp proof membrane, it is important to keep lower basements well ventilated. Consideration for damp proofing "tanking" could include some form of barrier system with formal guarantees and internal sump to remove any excess water in the floor.

The main barrier systems include an injection process of solid walls, plastic PVC internal membrane with an attached plasterboard to allow breathability, or a render cement waterproof base system. Normally 10 year guarantees and provided with this type of installation.

The most common cause of dampness is due to properties not being built with a damp proof course, this only came into effect for properties built after the 1876 Public Health Regulations requiring the installation of a DPC.

Normally internal properties were kept dry by open fire use providing suitable air changes per hour to provide a dry interior. Basements were normally well ventilated. With modern living techniques sealing in internal structures, double glazed windows, damp does not have anywhere to go and consequently it causes internal condensation, damp issues and loose plaster. Mould can also occur causing health issues.

It should be noted that walls of 12/14 inch construction without a DPC which have been altered with internal cement rendering or external pointing do not function as they were originally designed and are more susceptible and prone to penetrating and rising dampness; this can lead to potential issues in the future to include dry and wet rot. Originally the walls were designed to allow both ground moisture and rainwater to evaporate freely by the drying effects of the sun and wind and internal fires. Sacrificial lime mortar joints and lime renders, breathable lime washes, further aided by lower ground levels and good drainage provided a dry interior.

Solid floors constructed prior to 1970 are likely to be built without a damp proof membrane, normally adjoin a thick wall of solid construction forcing moisture from the ground outwards around the perimeter or through the base if there is no DPM installed. Normally called "capillary action" and "meniscus surface tension".

In addition, recent high-water tables following heavy rainfall has caused many properties previously not suffering from damp to have water literally come up through the floors. This can often be improved with external land drainage due to the external water table.

Sub floor ventilation is particularly important for timber ground floors to provide good volumes of air flow through ventilation and air vents, particularly in cellars. It is important to keep air vents in good dry condition and clear from obstruction.

Quite often timber frame structures are over painted with a black bitumen type paint which seals in moisture on the joints causing rotting and often causing cutting in repairs.

External drainage is important to reduce ground water pressure and regular maintenance and cleaning of the rainwater goods would be prudent.

Traditionally built timber frame properties, either with solid flint or brick walls, wattle and daub, or stone dealt with dampness in different ways than we do today. By having a good "hat and boot" and using vapour permeable material such as lime mortar, timber or brickwork floors let moisture evaporate out during weather cycles. This couple with internal heating through fireplaces and draughts (ventilation) was further helped by lower ground levels and good drainage which in turns keeps timbers and building dry too.

Over time our living habits have changed and works may have been carried out that may not have taken into account the right methods and materials to be used.

In most cases in traditional walls without a DPC there are two fundamental causes of rising damp:

1) The base of the wall is sat excessively wet conditions with earth or concrete butting against the wall either side, or the use of modern paints and plasters which are not vapour passive which trap moisture in.
2) Moisture is absorbed up through the sub strata "capillary action" and "meniscus surface tension" and cause spoiling which we can see, as the structure is not drying out or evaporating naturally.

Bad_Damp_Problems Grade_II_Listed_Timber_Frame_Party_Wall

For further help and advice with regard to Damp Issues please contact Peter Maksymuk Surveying.

New Building Safety Act 2022 Now In Force

On 28 June the Building Safety Act 2022 came into force. The RICS recent shared with its member a letter from Michael Gove for Levelling Up Housing communities sent to Andrew Bolmer (Chief Executive of the Property Institute). The Law as it previous stood allowed members to charge all leaseholders the full cost of necessary remedial work. That has led to a suitable where managing agents and freeholders are sending people invoices for hundreds of thousands of pounds that will bankrupt families and leave leaseholders facing financial ruin. Those days are now over, and the Act means qualifying leaseholders can thankfully dispose of these invoices.

The Act states that anyone who chooses to breach the statutory protections will be committing a criminal offence.

Government Best Guide for Solid Floor Installation

The Government has published a new guide for best practice of solid floor insulation. The guide aims to provide a clear reference for design as common surveyors and installers considering the suitability of solid floors to receive internal thermal upgrades.

Peter Maksymuk Surveying can advise with regard to all the above issues.

250k lawsuit over Japanese Knotweed

Neighbours in Kensal Green, London, are in the midst of a legal battle over the encroachment of Japanese Knotweed on their land. The claimants were aware of Knotweed issues when they moved into their new home and brought in professionals to eradicate the problem in 2015. Two years later they were made aware that Japanese knotweed growth on the neighbour's land posed an imminent threat to damage their home. The claimants are seeking an injunction to compel the neighbours to treat the knotweed, along with £250,000 worth of damages for nuisance. The claimants advise the problem has resulted in their home being devalued by 15%.



Party Wall Debate

There have been recent discussions with regard to consider the reform of the 1996 Party Wall Act which in many people's opinion is riddled with issues that give rise to illogical situations. One could argue that it has caused frequent disputes between parties and people best served by the Act are not the owners but the surveying community.

The Act proposes rather than one surveyor but possible two or even three surveyors act on a single Party Wall Award. There is a discussion for an easier method and economical method of reaching a suitable and amicable agreement between the building owner and adjoining owner in future development.

Common survey defects found in the recent year

These include the following:

1. Septic Tank Drainage
Sewerage General Binding Regulations 2020. Many septic tanks have not been upgraded with bio systems required particularly where they drain into an existing drainage ditch or on agricultural land. It is illegal to sell a property where the sewerage system has not been upgraded, care should be taken on purchase.

2. Roof Space Extensions
Third storey will require building regulation approval to include improving the fire protection and structural support. We noted a number of properties have been extended without building regulation approvals requiring strengthening works to existing floors and improving fire protection with a complete fire door system and means of escape to the ground floor. A secondary means of escape also to be installed.

3. Magnesite Floor Failure
Magnesite screed was installed between the 1920s and 1960s which is a thin cake topping of about 40 mm on existing concrete floor and usually installed to provide damp protection and concrete finish. This normally looks a red finish consisting of a thin (up to 50 mm) finish which contains magnesium chlorides which is imbedded with steel reinforcement or a concrete floor slab. This causes the steel and concrete floor to corrode expand and breakdown. There is also an asbestos risk as many magnesites contain asbestos fibres and in addition a sulphate attack on the lower concrete. There should be considerations for water pipes which are located in the concrete floors which could become damaged.
When tested with a damp meter this indicates a high moisture content. The remedial works require is removal of the biscuit covering and possibly re-concreting the lower ground floor. This is a costly repair and any property which dates from the 1900s could incorporate this system. This is likely to be an expensive repair to undertake.

4. Properties over four storeys in height - Fire Risk
The RICS has produced a recent update for building owners for buildings over 18 metres in height, also applying to commercial properties. The RICS are engaging in the coming months to discuss options available to provide a building safety fund for buildings over 18 metres with a view to providing a BSF programme for the end of 2022/23 financial year. The Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and RICS are pleased to announce the launch of initial market engineering exercise involving the issues.
Surveyors renewing their PI insurance are finding that insurers are not covering their PI works for over 4 storeys or finding that their premium fees have been extensively raised to cover any likely aspects. It is likely that surveyors in the future are likely to exclude carrying out works on anything that is over 4 storeys, to include commercial and residential buildings. In this respect you may find that any surveying or fire risk assessments carried to these larger buildings could become difficult and expensive.

5. Damp works carried out without guarantees
A number of older properties, particularly those built prior to the Public Health Act of 1976 where damp proof courses were required have had modern damp proofing techniques and works carried out without formal guarantees. This also includes more recent refurbishment and development works where builders carry out these works without any formal guarantees in place. Quite often damp re-occurs and the method of damp proofing carried out is inadequate and requires more extensive remedial works in the future.

6. Trees
With the recent climate change and hot weather, it is likely there will be more subsidence claims due to neighbouring trees, particularly where located in shrinkable clay sites. Purchasers should be wary on obtaining insurance in the future and also where properties have been affected with subsidence, this can affect obtaining insurance in the future and likely to possibly devalue the property. Purchasers may find that their insurers may not want to insure properties which have had previous subsidence and this could affect saleability. With the current dry spells and climate change it is important that property owners manage trees in their grounds to prevent future subsidence and improve saleability.

7. Boundary Disputes
There is a new BDMS - Boundary Disputes mediation service and a suggested protocol on boundary disputes to reduce costs where there are disputes between parties.
Owners often think that the red line on Land Registry plans provide an accurate location of the boundaries, however these are only normally accurate to 2 metres in urban areas plus or minus 1 metre in urban areas and plus or minus 2 metres in country locations.
In 2002 the Land Registration Act disposed of the requirement for older Deeds, many of which were destroyed by Solicitors and lenders and as such invaluable historical records have now been lost which often leads to boundary disputes based on Land Registry plans. Adverse Possession has considerably changed where it is now almost impossible or difficult to obtain Adverse Possession following the 2022 Land Registration Act, there is still recourse of 12-year rule under the 1925 Land Registration Act if occupied 12 years previous to 2003. Further advice could be obtained from Peter Maksymuk Surveying Limited.

8. Building Regulations
A substantial number of extensions and alterations have been carried out without building regulation or planning approvals. This normally require obtaining retrospective approvals from Building Control with final certificate and can normally be obtained within a few weeks if instructed. It is not always possible to ascertain the adequacy of the construction as it is often covered with plasterboard and the nature of the build. Solicitors often recommend indemnity insurance to cover lack of planning and building regulation approvals which also include Listed consents for alterations such as new windows, additions and some internal alterations.




From:              Peter Maksymuk

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



                                                                                                      Date:   April 2019

project management
Peter Maksymuk Surveying has recently undertaken Project Management of a Flat Decoration for 21-23 High Street, Chippenham.

Septic Tanks to Require Replacement.

Under General Building Rules for small sewerage discharge to surface water ditches and streams existing septic tanks will have to be replaced on any sale, this new regulation came in on 1 January 2015 for septic tanks discharging prior to 31 December 2014.

septic tank

If you have a septic tank that discharges directly to surface water you will need to replace and upgrade your treatment system by 1 January 2020. Where properties with septic tanks discharge directly to surface water are sold before 1 January 2020, responsibility for the replacement or upgrade of the existing treatment system should be addressed between the buyer and seller as a condition of the sale.

If the Environment Agency finds evidence that your septic tank discharges into the surface water causing pollution, you will need to replace or upgrade your system by 1 January 2020. You will usually have to do this within 1 year although this will be agreed on a case by case basis.

Upgrading of the septic tank if a new soakaway is required will require a bio system to be installed at this time which is an additional upgrade from a conventional septic tank system. It is likely that the replacement cost will be greater from 2020.

EPC Certificates

From 1 April 2018 rated properties F or G are not lettable, and from 2023 E rated properties will also not be lettable.

You should consider on purchase the EPC rating and also consider that the Building Regulation standards will be improved before 2020 and what would presently be a D rating may fall into the E rating at that time if the EPC is assessed following a 10-year period. Purchasers should look at the EPC and seek advice from a Chartered Building Surveyor or Energy Surveyor with regard to proposals to upgrade the property which is likely to have a significant cost.

The above will apply to both residential and commercial properties and there is already a marketable value with regard to the EPC performance of the building. Buildings with a good to high EPC certificate are likely to sell for a greater value in the future.

Barn Conversion Survey
Surveying of a recent Barn Conversion.

Residential Historic Building Survey
Thatched House recently surveyed by Peter Maksymuk Surveying.

For further help and advice with regard to EPCs please contact Peter Maksymuk Surveying.

Grenfell Disaster

It would appear that the main cause of the fire was due to the external cladding which was not in full conformity of Building Regulation and Fire approval.

The internal insulation had a calorific value of 43.5 megajoules per kilogramme which is the same as petrol at 45.8 megajoules per kilogramme. There was also a small void and lack of fire barriers and as such the cladding system which had an agreement certificate of approval of up to 18 stories only was passed by the Local Authority and Building Control and Project Management Departments. The fire was spread predominantly on the external cladding which should have a low surface spread of flame due to a lack of fire barriers it easily passed between windows and neighbouring flats.

Due to inadequate internal fire protections to include poor performance of fire doors, fire practice and lack of sprinklers the fire was a disaster.

It is noted that there is no formal fire test carried out on a completed section of the cladding prior to construction.

As a consequence of Grenfell, a number of similar properties in the country have been highlighted and this will undoubtedly affect saleability, marketability and value of the property. Surveys and valuations being carried out will have caveats and provisos and prospective purchasers will be highlighted with regard to the possibility of future issues if adequate certificate and construction details are not in place.

Assessing Diminution of Value of Residential Properties Due to Japanese Knotweed.

The RICS introduced guidance notes since 2012 which have now been suspended as they are being re-assessed. The general rule where knotweed is found within 7 metres of a property and within 7 metres of a boundary will still apply under the CML recommendations and are likely to have an impact on the value of the property. The proposed new guidance notes will be published shortly by the RICS where it will indicate that there is no structural impediment to a building with regard to Japanese knotweed however there is an impediment with regard to the market value.

Japanese Knotweed

A recent paper introduced by Philip Santo who is a Senior RICS Valuer on the RICS Technical Board has indicated that residential properties valued up to £500,000 normally incur a devaluation of up to 13% of market value. Properties with values in excess of this would normally incur a devaluation of up to 9%.
This takes into account the following:

1) The impact in the market prior to remediation.
2) Restrictions on the use of the property.
3) Impact during remediation.
4) Impact of infestation present on adjoining land.
5) Post remediation impact on future saleability.
6) The cost of remedial work.

Typical costs of a property of £452,500 where Japanese knotweed was found shortly after purchase estimated devaluation of £41,675.

As a rough guide and conclusion, anticipate a 10% reduction in market value for the presence of knotweed.

Some invasive treatment companies offer a 10-year insured guarantee on Japanese knotweed eradiation. Knotweed is not easily visible during the winter months where it dies back to the ground and is more readily visible in the summer months.

Peter Maksymuk Surveying can advise with regard to all the above issues.

Commercial Building Survey
Commercial property recently surveyed by Peter Maksymuk Surveying.

Radon Gas

Recent changes in the standards of levels of radon gas required that commercial property owners, particularly with basements, under Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, where employers must assess all whole hazards and carry out a radon test on their basement.

There is currently no legal requirement for private householders to monitor radon concentrations as there are for employers and landlords.

If the test results show that the radon level in any part of the building exceeds the maximum level of 400 Bq/mq at any point in the year (the Workplace Action Level), the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 (IRR99) apply. An employer is required to take advice from a Radiation Protection Adviser (RPA) who will specify which parts of the building require remediation works.

Radon remediation works often on a residential level apply to extensions or a new build which includes a basic fabric installed at ground floor level and if greater radon levels are expected then a ventilation and sump system is required. This could also include a fan assisted vent pipe system running from a sump around the outside of the building.

How Radon Enters the House


From:              Peter Maksymuk

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



                                                                                                      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

return to top
Copyright © Peter Maksymuk Surveying Ltd, 2010/11