Over the past 27 years working as a perit, I have come to realize that this field is filled with a multitude of challenges.
One particularly significant challenge involves grappling with legal issues, wherein the perit must carefully consider legal constraints while providing advice. A recurring legal concern in the perit’s professional path is the intricacies of servitudes—legal limitations that influence property usage, constraining the extent to which a site owner can undertake construction.
To illustrate, a site owner might discover limitations on excavating near a party wall, even when underpinning is necessary, due to a civil code provision prohibiting excavation within 76 cm of party walls—a servitude created by a law. Another instance could involve restrictions on constructing near a party wall if it obstructs a neighbour’s window. Despite the absence of a specific contract granting the neighbour window rights, interventions dating back over 30 years may establish prescriptive rights, creating a servitude. Similarly, a site owner intending to build a penthouse after purchasing airspace may face unexpected limitations, such as providing roof access to other occupants as mandated by the acquisition contract. Additionally, a planning permit for a washroom exceeding height limits might face opposition from neighbours who claim a servitude established by public regulations, in this case the Policy and Design Guidance published in the year 2015.
These scenarios highlight the challenges a perit faces in designing plans and assessing property values, emphasizing the necessity of familiarity with these legal concepts. Motivated by this backdrop, I collaborated with Kite to publish the book entitled “Servitujiet.”
Moreover, it was this context that led me to accept Bloom House’s invitation to focus on the characterization of servitudes as ‘the nightmare of Maltese periti on Thursday 16th November at 1800 hours.