11/06/2019 by Foysol Ahmed
What is the role of a party wall Surveyor?
A Party Wall Surveyor is appointed under statute to act impartially between two parties to resolve a dispute under the Party Wall etc. Act.
The Party Wall Surveyor should have excellent knowledge of construction; they will also be well versed in Party Wall procedures and have the most relevant qualification. The most popular choices that people usually go for are Building Surveyors or other surveying backgrounds.
The Party Wall Surveyor will first serve Party Wall Act Notice. This document will set out the owners’ rights and responsibilities in relation to how the work should proceed and covers items such as working hours, what happens in case of damage and access for the Surveyors during the duration of the works.
There might be times when the neighbour is not likely to consent to the planned works, therefore, it is worthwhile involving a Party Wall Surveyor at an early stage. The process will start with the Service of Notice, templates are available on the internet and in the library but it is always worth remembering that if all the necessary information is not included, they can be seen as invalid.
The most time-intensive task that the Party Wall Surveyor has to carry out prior to the building work commencing is the preparation of the Party Wall Notice. It is essential that this is done with the utmost care so it does not delay the commencement of works. If there are two Surveyors, this is prepared by the Building Owner’s Surveyor and Agreed by the Adjoining Owners’ Surveyor.
It is important to remember that once the Surveyor is appointed whether they are employed as an agreed Surveyor or by any of the owners, they will have to act in an impartial manner. A Party Wall Act can be hard to understand, this is why a Building Owner obtains the services of a Surveyor so that they can explain the complexities of the act. Once the Party Wall Surveyor is appointed it’s their role to make sure the dispute is resolved even if the Building Owner no longer wants them in place. The appointment of that Surveyor cannot be rescinded unless the Surveyor declares themselves incapable of acting.
The fees in normal circumstances are paid by the Building Owner. It is difficult to mention the costs because they range widely from job to job and many different Surveyors will charge different amounts depending on the proposed work.
Surveyors who are appointed on behalf of Building Owners will usually charge a fixed amount, whereas the adjoining owners will charge by the hour with contingencies for additional visits. The Surveyor will enter the agreed figure into the award just before it is served. For example fees charged by Adjoining Owners Surveyors in London range between £700 for a simple job to £1,500 to cover more complex works such as a basement conversion.
Have you just been served with a Party Wall Notice? Need advice about the Party Wall Act notice? We at SevenOne Associates have Party Wall Surveyor specialists who are more than happy to help you with all your Party Wall issues.