The Role of the Neighbour’s (Adjoining Owner’s) Party Wall Surveyor

If you’ve received notice(s) in accordance with the Party Wall etc. Act (‘the Act’) in 1996 (‘the Act’) from the owner of a neighboring property, and are contemplating dissenting from the notice(s) you’ll have the option of appointing the agreed-to surveyor, or yourself as your own personal surveyor in London. If you decide to choose one of the options is crucial to realize the fact that it’s a legal appointment, and there is no surveyor-client relationship. The Party Wall Surveyor is expected to be impartial and not your representative.

A Surveyor(s) will then draft and deliver an official document, referred to as the Party Wall Award, to you and your neighbor. In addition to other types of documents, the Award might spell the right of your neighbor to carry out certain work. It is the Parties Wall Surveyor(s) who must not submit their version of the Party Wall Award to you or the person who will be performing the work for approval, as this may cause incompatibility with the obligation to be impartial. The appointed Surveyor should confer with you about the particulars of the work proposed as laid by the Notices. Your appointed Surveyor must explain that the majority of works authorized by the Act will likely cause inconvenience. It’s understandable that this might cause some concern but the building owner must complete works in a way and on time in order to avoid damage and/or “unnecessary inconvenience’. In the event that it is required, there are provisions in the Act to provide for payments in lieu of compensation and payment.

Who is the Third Surveyor?

If you have been appointed as your very own party wall surveyor in response to the service or the receipt of a notice in accordance with the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (‘the Act’), you must be informed by your surveyor about the appointment of a third surveyor. Contrary to the scenario in which an Agreed Surveyor has been appointed from you as well as your neighbor in the event that the two surveyors are involved there will always be a Third Surveyor. You or your neighbor can contact a Third Surveyor before an award is made to settle any dispute regarding the proposed work outlined in the notices.

According to the provisions of Section 10(1)(b) in the Act It is the first responsibility of your surveyor, and the one selected by your neighbor, to choose a Third Surveyor “forthwith” to form the tribunal statutory. Because section 10(11) of the Party Wall etc. (‘the Act’) provides that one or both parties(you and your neighbor) or any of the appointed surveyors can contact the Third Surveyor. Therefore, it follows that the two appointed Surveyors are required to disclose the name and contact information about the chosen Third Surveyor’s contact information to each of the parties. In the absence of such information, it can be considered to be hindering or limiting the statutory rights for the respective parties to contact their chosen Third Surveyor.

Referral to a third Surveyor could be a result of an act of appointed Surveyors. In any case, referrals create an obligation for you or your neighbor to pay Third Surveyor’s fee as well as The Third Surveyor will determine the allocation of his/her expenses in the award. Therefore, it is essential that you discuss the potential obligation with your appointed Surveyor prior to making a referral.

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