The 4 types of Party Wall Surveyor
When a dispute arises under the Party Wall etc Act, Surveyors must be appointed to resolve these matters. The resolution is then formalised in an ‘Award’, which is a legally binding document, setting out the rights and obligations of both parties.
The Surveyors have the jurisdiction to determine:
(a)the right to execute the work;
(b)the time and manner of executing the work; and
(c)any other matter arising out of or incidental to the dispute including the costs of making the award;
The Surveyors are undertaking a statutory function and must act in an impartial manner, and cannot be instructed/directed to act in a certain way. This does not however mean that they will ignore the concerns of the owner(s) affected in coming to their determination.
- The Building Owner (proposing the work) and Adjoining Owner may appoint an ‘Agreed Surveyor’.
- The Building Owner appoints their own ‘Building Owners Surveyor’.
- The Adjoining Owner appoints their own ‘Adjoining Owners Surveyor’.
- Where each party has appointed their own Surveyor (‘The Two Surveyors’), the first action the surveyors must make is to select a ‘Third Surveyor’, who can be called upon if the Two Surveyors cannot agree on something.
The Third Surveyor can be asked to step in by either the appointed Surveyors, or the owners. He/she will either prepare their own Award independently, or join with one or both of the appointed Surveyors to produce an Award.
One of the reasons for the Third Surveyor role, is to ensure that the process cannot be stalled or frustrated by an appointed Surveyor acting inappropriately. And for this reason it is important to appoint an experienced and competent Party Wall Surveyor, with a strong knowledge of the Act and its procedures.
Vince also takes referrals as Third Surveyor, and is a Fellow of the Faculty of Party a Wall Surveyors, and on the Faculty’s approved list of Third Surveyors.