A party wall is a shared wall between you and your neighbour. When either you or a neighbour has impending building works, even if it’s not on the party wall itself, a party wall notice is necessary. Here are the basics you need to know before hiring a party wall surveyor.
1. How a Neighbour May Respond to a Party Wall Notice
If a neighbour gives consent, then works will proceed. However, if there’s dissent, surveyors are necessary for both neighbours, including drafting the party wall award and the one being served. Our Party Wall Surveyors have years of experience and can help you during this process.
2. What to do if your Neighbour Starts Work Without a Party Wall Agreement?
Firstly, you send them a notice highlighting that they must comply with the Party Wall Act; otherwise, their works may be illegal. We can send this on your behalf free of charge. If they still do not comply, get in touch with one of our Party Wall Surveyors for further advice.
3. What is a Third Surveyor Under the Party Wall Act?
A third surveyor is a unique role. It comes about as part of the Party Wall etc. Act of 1996. If there is a dispute, a third surveyor will be required and is selected by both the building owner’s surveyor and the adjoining owner’s surveyor; this is done at the start of the process.
Three suggestions for third surveyors are put forward. Hopefully, one will be chosen without difficulty. If one surveyor does not agree with the choice, other recommendations can be made. Our Surveyors Team is experienced with disputes. Third, Surveyors are knowledgeable and are also generally very experienced in party wall matters. As third surveyors, awards are binding legal documents. They should be signed and witnessed as with any other Award.
Often, appointed surveyors will work hard to resolve matters themselves. The third surveyor will usually not be called upon. The third surveyor must be selected, though.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, Section 10 of the Act; namely, section 10 (2) states: “all appointments and selections made under this section shall be in writing and shall not be rescinded by either party”.
4. What if the Third Surveyor Doesn’t Want to be the Third Surveyor?
That’s ok. They can refuse. Anyone on the list should be a willing surveyor. That’s why they are on the list! The third surveyor is agreed under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This person should be appointed in writing.
Technically, the third surveyor has no formal standing until a dispute is referred to them.
The Government’s explanatory booklet will give you more information.
5. Where Can I Find a List of (Third) Surveyors?
There is a list of all Faculty third surveyors on the website of the FPWS (Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors).
Our Party Wall Surveyor Surrey Team at Prinsegate is experienced in all aspects of party wall matters.
6. What’s the Difference Between Each Surveyor?
Understand the difference between each surveyor is a common question. A building owner’s surveyor and an adjoining owner’s surveyor both appoint a surveyor to solve any party wall dispute. The third surveyor is there to determine any disputed matters.
Building Surveyor Kingston Team specialists can help with these issues.
It should be the aim of the two surveyors to resolve the dispute themselves. They should try and avoid a third surveyor being called in. Sometimes though, it is the only way to resolve disputes.
The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) has a useful page available. Please click the link for more information on the third-party surveyor.
The FPWS (Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors) can also offer advice on this matter.
And yes, we are members of both, so you can feel confident with us.
7. What Does a Third Surveyor Do?
The third surveyor must have an in-depth knowledge of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. They might require knowledge of different Acts and legislation; this could be the Civil Procedure Rules. Inexperienced or incompetent third surveyors may serve awards that will render them liable to appeal. They may be fundamentally incorrect on the face of things.
The third surveyors’ duties are to resolve disputes, give advice, and to serve a party wall award; this is a document that sets out the work that will be done. It also states when and how the work will be carried out, limiting continuous noise. It will also specify any additional work required. The Party Wall Award will have a record of the adjoining property’s condition; this is before the work has started. Surveyors, under the award, can inspect the works while they are happening.
Our experienced Building Surveyor Surrey can also provide more information on this matter.
8. The Party Wall Act with Regards to the Third Surveyors
When the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into force; it was for everyone’s benefit; this included the surveyors, building owners, and adjoining owners, to name but a few. It could be for alteration work, a new construction, or alterations to an existing structure.
Before the Party Wall Act, disputed party wall matters could become very complicated. Sometimes an outcome couldn’t be achieved. If this is a problem that you are dealing with, surveyor Kingston Team specialists can help.
9. Cost of Surveyors?
We’re often asked how much this sort of work costs. The answer to that can vary. Different Surveyors, different situations; there are no set costs. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 states that surveyors are to be paid reasonable fees for drawing up the awards.
Contact us today, we can walk you through the costs involved.
For further information on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, there is also a downloadable government document available. And, of course, you can message us directly.