Any potential claimant who wishes to pursue a claim against the Board must first lodge a Prescribed Notice of Damage with the Board. Provided that the property has not been commuted (see later paragraph) and the applicant is permitted to make a claim (i.e. has a bona fide interest in the property, the permission of the owner if they are a tenant or agent, and the property is not excluded under the Acts), the Board will accept and file the Notice.
The Board’s Surveyor will visit the property at an early opportunity to carry out an inspection of the property and will prepare a report for the Board with a recommendation to either accept or deny liability, or that further investigatory work or survey is required. The Board consider the report and their decision is enacted following the meetings which are held quarterly. Initially, the claimant is notified of the Board’s decision, and if the Board have accepted liability a structural engineer is often mobilised to the property in order that a Schedule of Damage & Repair can be prepared. The schedule is forwarded to at least two Firms for estimates for the works to be obtained, and the Board adjudicates regarding the estimates.
Exceptionally, should the Board judge either that further significant ground movements are likely to occur or that the property is beyond economic repair, the Board can elect to commute the property. This severs the Board’s liability for any future damage at the property upon payment of an agreed sum to the owner of the property, usually equivalent to the market value of the property.
Should the Board elect for the property to be repaired, a contractor is appointed to carry out the work, usually by the owner of the property, but the work is inspected by the Board as it is undertaken and the Board reimburse the cost of the contractor upon satisfactory completion of the works. Where property owners wish to carry out repairs as part of other work to the property (general refurbishment) then the Board will consider such a request by virtue of a “merged-works payment” to the claimant, equivalent to the Board’s proportion of the costs, paid upon satisfactory completion of the works.