Well as an update my surveyor has terminated his contract, letter received by email yesterday.
"We write in response to your recent email correspondence.
As regards the issue relating to the gas pipe, although we are professional Building Surveyors we are not Gas Engineers and therefore are not able to define whether a pipe is a mains pipe feeding a number of units or a domestic pipe feeding a single unit particularly with the use of such old pipework. In the same vain we cannot be expected to ascertain how many flats the subject pipe may affect and the related cost to move the pipe.
Regarding the fire curtain, XY has confirmed that AZ advised that the arrangement you proposed was not acceptable. A wholly reasonable low impact solution has been put to you to solve the issue however you seem unwilling to accept it.
Throughout the process you have continually given the contractor direct instructions despite us advising you of the contractual procedure not to do so and have therefore prevented us from properly managing the project. This point was clearly stated at the pre-contract meeting and repeatedly through the contract.
Furthermore we have been bombarded with emails from you on a daily basis requesting information and should we not respond within 24 to 48 hours you have complained that we are not fulfilling our duties. This level of communication is both unnecessary and an unreasonable draw on our time in consideration to the role we have agreed to fulfil. This said to date we have, in good will, dealt with your queries in a timely manner.
We find the tone and contents of your latest emails offensive and defamatory; consequently we find our role as Contract Administrator untenable and hereby terminate our appointment as formerly agreed in our letter referenced AA/SS/DD1."
Comments from me:
Paragraph 1 - I don't really understand this one as I would have thought as my surveyor this is exactly the kind of thing he should have been doing.
Paragraph 2 - This results from documented bad advice on fire safety and the need for a lobby on the ground floor to protect the fire exit to the communal stairs. He spoke to building control and they agreed a fire curtain would be acceptable across the communal door. He agreed without discussion that they would install it free of charge which I took as an admission of guilt.
His solution across the door seemed complicated, moving the door forward, splaying the inside of the frame etc. I suggested after seeing stuff on line that we could re-instate part of a stud wall and then have the fire curtain close across the staircase. He was reluctant to put this forward to building control. I insisted and a few days later he informed me that building control had said no to my idea. I asked for the email confirming this, and was informed it was just a telephone conversation. I thought this odd as the solution seemed pretty standard on line. I then contacted building control and asked the lady to confirm my surveyor had discussed my idea with her. She confirmed he had not and had only ever discussed his idea across the door and confirmed that my idea was actually acceptable. My trust in him took a bit of a blow at this point.
Paragraph 3 - I'm not sure what he is referring to here as there are no examples and I can't think of anything that I never copied him on when emailing the contractor direct with queries or requests.
Paragraph 4 - Well, I work in an IT services industry and not resposnding for 48 hours to client emails, even to just acknowledge them, would not endear me to the client. I didn't even get a read receipt on any emails so had no idea if he was even reading them and when the project is falling behind I was expecting action not silence. Maybe I was expecting to much. From the start of the project to date the average weekly emails sent was 9.4 and in the last month as the situation on the project got progressively behind this rose to 14. These averages include responses to emails from the surveyor regarding queries, meeting requests etc. Is that level bombarding I dont know.
Paragraph 5 - My emails did lay down what I had expected on him and what I had not got in terms of professionalism and advice. This obviously hit a nerve and he has spat the dummy, so to speak. He also neglects to state his role of Project Management in addition to Contract Administrator, which as it was pretty non-existent is not surprising.
So what now?
- I've spoken with the contractor and we are meeting on Wednesday to talk about how to progress the project to completion
- I have not responed to the surveyor
- Do I now just go straight to RICS with a document similar to what I would have taken to the surveyor, and lodge a complaint
- I've asked the contractor to estimate the value of wasted work and how much it is going to cost to rectify. Would this be good enough or should I still look for a quantity surveyor to do this?
If there is something else I should consider then please let me know.
Edited by KenT, 30 January 2016 - 08:24 PM.