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Property Development

If you are thinking about redeveloping a property, whether commercial or residential, you need to be aware that, from 6 April 2015, it is far more likely that the new Construction (Design and Management) Regulations [CDM Regulations] will apply to you.  CDM Regulations are effectively the Health and Safety rules that apply to construction projects.  They carry both civil and criminal liabilities, depending on the nature of the breach.

The new Regulations will apply to any project involving more than one contractor on site at a time and the property owner has the burden of the duties by default.  If you employ a contractor, such as a builder, and they in turn employ a subcontractor, such as an electrician, to carry out part of the work, then you may have two contractors on site at the same time and so be caught by the Regulations.  A simple project such as a new bathroom could therefore be covered if subcontractors are used.

To avoid taking on the burden of the duties under the Regulations, you will need to appoint, in writing, both a principal designer and a principal contractor.  If you do not do so you, as the client, will be deemed to take on both roles and all the accompanying liabilities.

Not all contractors will necessarily be aware of the new Regulations so if you are considering having any work done to your property, whether domestic or commercial, after 6 April 2015, do ensure you question your contractor’s understanding of the new rules sooner rather than later, otherwise you risk unexpected liabilities.

For more information or property development, or any other property concerns, please contact us.

Eastbourne: 01323 727321

Meads: 01323 407577

Hailsham: 01323 841481

Polegate: 01323 487051