The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) has launched its Property Disputes Appointments Service (PDS) in the UK. This service builds upon its dispute resolver service and presidential panels appointment scheme, and provides specialists to assist disputing parties in resolving property disputes by way of arbitration, expert determination, mediation and adjudication. The PDS has been launched in response to user need, as well as encouragement by the courts in an attempt to reduce the number of property disputes contributing to the back log of cases before the UK courts. The PDS comprises five panels covering:
- Landlord and tenant disputes including alterations, change of use and rent reviews
- Professional disputes, typically involving architects and solicitors including professional negligence
- Utilities disputes between adjacent properties
- Rights to light, easements, and rights of way disputes
- Property ownership including nuisance, noise and boundary disputes
CIArb is appointing legal and surveying specialists to each of the panels to provide arbitration and/or ADR assistance to resolve disputes outside of the courts. CIArb anticipates the greatest take up in relation to arbitration and expert determination. CIArb offers appointment, supervision and monitoring of the process but will not oblige parties to use their procedural rules; typically the arbitrator/expert/mediator/adjudicator appointed will govern the process. However, CIArb will scrutinise it to ensure that the procedure is conducted in a timely and cost-effective way.