We provide a friendly and approachable service based upon a tried and tested method of successful implementation 

 

Expert Witness

We provide accommodation reports for litigation purposes associated with future accommodation for severely disabled persons. They have usually suffered catastrophic injuries.

We receive instructions directly from solicitors, acting on behalf of claimant or defendant, and can also be instructed as a single joint expert, as our duty is as an independent expert witness is solely to the court. We will visit the claimant in their own home environment to assess all aspects of their disability needs and limitations, which may include aspects such as considering forms of access in, around and outside the property, as well as live-in carers and their accommodation. 

We consider all available evidence in medical, care and therapy reports in order to determine whether the claimant’s current property is suitable for their present needs and adaptation. We will undertake research in the locality to establish what type of property will be suitable, if the existing property is found to not be suitable based on the recommendations provided by medical experts for care and therapy.

Following the above assessment and considerations, thereafter we will prepare a detailed accommodation report outlining the suitability of the existing property and if it is not suitable, the type of appropriate property the individual will require, along with purchase cost, cost of adaptations and any further associated costs. Our report is then disclosed to the instructing solicitor and our involvement will remain through the general litigation process of conference with counsel, joint meetings and trial.


PROPERTY SEARCHES

If you need to find a property that could become the safe, practical and comfortable home your client requires, then we’re your ideal port of call.

We’re here to make sure the new home lets you get on with life and enjoy it to the full. Experienced in identifying development potential in buildings that others would miss, will help claimants and their advisers to find a suitable property effectively and efficiently.

We identify suitable properties in accordance with the experts recommendations and will visit as many properties as necessary detailing the pros and cons of each.

Our excellent network of agents and developers keeps us up to date on market changes and streamlines our property-finding service. Once we find a property that could be right for your client, we can meet with you, your client and their family to discuss its location and potential as your client’s future home. We explain our ideas for adapting the property so it works perfectly for your client and explore any issues. With us by your side, finding the ideal property can be both successful and worry-free!


Suitability reports

When you’re considering a property as your new, personalised home, a detailed appraisal and suitability report on its suitability is essential.

Our reports outline the suitability of a property, with clearly explained feasibility drawings and costs included to highlight the adaptations to take place to the building, as well as any risk related to planning and other statutory consents. Our extensive experience means we can also identify any potential long-term problems and propose cost-effective solutions as part of the adaptation process. By anticipating problems before they happen, we can save you much larger maintenance and repair bills further down the line, or assist in avoiding purchasing a problematic property.

Our suitability reports can be as complex and detailed as required, or can be a simple letter outlining key points, with no drawing or cost plan material enclosed. This information is intended for any prospective buyer to be fully aware of all associated risk and potential for a sound investment. We aim to assist the Litigation Solicitor or Deputy as far they feel our service is required.


FEASIBILITY REPORTS

A feasibility report shows how a property could be adapted to provide a comfortable, practical and secure home with the ideal features and adaptations for your client.

Created in line with design guidance, your report will include information, drawings and sometimes 3D models to show how a building will look and work, inside and out. Your feasibility report helps you, your client and their family and other advisers (such as occupational therapists or physiotherapists), to visualise and discuss how the design could work.

Following those discussions, we can amend the drawings and models to reflect any new ideas or decisions enabling the client and their team to agree on the ideal design and take the next step in the process.


finance + costs

Understanding and controlling costs is a vital part of any construction project.

At France + Associates we’ll help all we can to give you as the supervising solicitor clear costing information as far in advance as possible. Our costs are always based on drawings and specifications. However, we know that by thinking ahead and including in our drawings the extra details that are not traditionally needed until later in the project, we can often save time and money.

A clear indication of costs also allows you (or whoever manages the finances on behalf of the client) to plan ahead for the client’s monthly outgoings, present interim payment restrictions and so on. While our main goal is to provide your client with a well-designed, comfortable and practical home, we’re also keen to make life easier for everyone by keeping a firm grip on cost efficiency from the very start of the project.

Via a trusted partner, we can provide you with a full cost breakdown. In addition, we always recommend an informal tender to identify as clearly and precisely as possible the costs for the whole project.


PLANNING AND BUILDING CONSENT 

France + Associates has an excellent reputation for steering challenging applications through the planning system.

Having worked successfully on securing consents for large multipurpose sites in greenbelt and conservation areas, complex or listed buildings and many individual homes, you can be confident that your client’s planning application is in good hands. We give all the advice you and the client need on the best way to proceed and we’re meticulous about anticipating and overcoming potential issues before they actually happen.

Once planning consent is granted, we develop the initial drawings into working plans, including those required to satisfy building regulations and those used by the later construction team. Our clear, concise drawing information and specifications enable accurate cost proposals and instruct your building contractor on exactly what must be achieved.


Contract Administration

The key to successful project management is good communication and compliance. At France + Associates, we’re thorough, clear and easy to work with at all times.

Our outstanding track record in handling projects of all sizes is your assurance that we can project manage your construction efficiently and professionally. We go out of our way to help you and any member of your team to understand the processes involved and what you need to do. What’s more, we make your role as easy and enjoyable as possible while we manage the tough and tricky parts!

We may be experienced professionals, but we’re also friendly and helpful, and we aim to keep you and the entire construction team informed every step of the way. And when the project is complete, our keen eye for detail ensures that your new home is flawless, giving you the new start you want and deserve.