Welcome to the Property Protocols website.  This is a free suite of documents that outlines, in readily understandable prose, a series of practical steps that parties and their advisers should consider taking if they wish to avoid property disputes (or if not avoid altogether, deal with them in the best way possible).  It applies to property situated in England and Wales.

Our latest product is the Protocol for Disputes between Neighbours about the Location of their Boundary (The Boundary Disputes Protocol).  This Protocol applies where neighbours are in dispute about the location of the boundary between their properties.  It aims to ensure that neighbours exchange sufficient information in a timely manner to minimise the scope for disputes between them; and to enable any such disputes to be readily resolved, including by alternative disputes resolution (ADR), keeping costs to a minimum.  It is accompanied by a guidance note and also a supplementary guidance note which sets out what the parties should expect from the surveyor appointed to assist with the resolution of the dispute.  The Protocol has the support of the Property Litigation Association.

Our first protocol was the Protocol for Applications for Consent to Assign or Sublet (the Alienation Protocol), used by landlords, tenants and their advisers as a means of regulating the applications process for divesting leasehold property.  That was followed by the Protocol for Applications for Consent to Carry Out Alterations (the Alterations Protocol).  Compliance with this Protocol should help landlords and tenants avoid costly and unnecessary squabbles around alterations, identify the issues and resolve them quickly through ADR.  Accompanying the Protocol is a guidance note, which touches upon some of the more frequently encountered causes of dispute and offers assistance in navigating these thorny issues.  

The Alienation and Alterations Protocols have won widespread endorsement from the property industry, and are regularly used by the legal and surveying professions as a ready reckoner for behaviour at the point of application.  In future, we would hope to see them being referred to in leases and other binding documents as behavioural codes to which arbitrators and courts will have regard when assessing compliance.

We hope to continue expanding the Protocols on this website to serve as a series of "best practice" documents designed to smooth relations between parties to property disputes.