Introduction

A party wall surveyor can fill the role of either the building owner’s surveyor, the neighbouring surveyor known as the adjoining owner’s surveyor, or an agreed surveyor acting on behalf of both sides. There is also another party wall surveyor role known as third surveyor. The third surveyor is only involved when there is a disagreement between the parties and they themselves cannot reach a suitable agreement. If both parties agree to use the agreed surveyor route, a third surveyor is not selected as all issues related to the works is to be ultimately decided by the agreed surveyor.

Following serving the relevant notices to the applicable adjoining owners, if any of the adjoining owners dissent, then a party wall award must be produced. This cannot be produced by the owner of the building, and as it is a specialist area of law, this requires the knowledge and expertise of an experienced party wall surveyor.

When appointing a party wall surveyor, this is a statutory appointment and the party wall surveyor has a duty to the Act, not to those who have appointed them. The appointment of the party wall surveyor cannot be rescinded unless the surveyor declares themselves incapable of acting or dies. This highlights the importance of choosing a good party wall surveyor who would be able to settle any matters between the parties in good time.

Building Owner’s Surveyor

If the building owner hasn’t served party wall notice(s) prior to appointing a party wall surveyor, then the building owner’s surveyor would serve the necessary notices which apply to the works.

The building owner’s surveyor is responsible for producing the draft party wall award which is reviewed by the adjoining owner’s surveyor. Any clarifications or amendments required would be proposed by the adjoining owner’s surveyor, and once everything has been finalised, the award and any relevant appendices would be signed by both surveyors and served upon all parties.

Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor

If the adjoining owner wishes to appoint their own surveyor, then the adjoining owner’s surveyor will be acting on their behalf.

Both the building owner and adjoining owner surveyor is responsible for checking that any notices which have been served upon the adjoining owner are valid, and that the party wall surveyors involved have been properly appointed. If any appointment or notice is invalid, then this would add additional delays to the process as the correct notices need serving. This again highlight the importance of having a experienced party wall surveyor serve the relevant notices to the parties.

Do I have to pay for my neighbour’s party wall surveyor? 

It is most common for the building owner to pay for the party wall fees. This includes any notices, awards and work carried out by both surveyors and the third surveyor if involved.

There is one scenario where the adjoining owner could be liable to pay party wall fees. Under Section 11(4) of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, if a party wall requires repair or replacement and it is used by both parties, the adjoining owner may need to pay for the expenses arising out of this.   

Need Further Help?

Here at Quatrefoils Ltd, we have a wealth of knowledge regarding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 amongst many other issues surrounding the topic. If you need some advice or want some help on a project you are planning to undertake, please get in touch.