Author: Stephen Cornish
Posted: 15 September 2021
If you have received a notice(s) under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (‘the Act’) from the owner of a neighbouring property, and you are considering dissenting to the notice(s) you will have the choice of appointing either an agreed surveyor or your own surveyor. Whichever option you choose, it is important to realise that this is a statutory appointment; there is no client/surveyor relationship. Your Party Wall Surveyor is required to act impartially and is not your agent.
The Surveyor(s) will eventually produce and serve a legal document, called a Party Wall Award, on you and your neighbour. Amongst other mattes, the Award may set out your neighbour’s right to undertake certain works. The Party Wall Surveyor(s) should not present the draft Party Wall Award to you, or the person undertaking the work, for approval as this could give rise to a conflict with the requirement for impartiality. That said, your Appointed Surveyor should consult with you on the specifics of the proposed works set out in the notices. Your Appointed Surveyor should inform you that most work authorised under the Act is likely to be inconvenient. It is understandable that this may raise concerns, but the Building Owner is required to carry out the work in a manner and at a time, to avoid damage and/or ‘unnecessary inconvenience’. Where it is relevant, there are provisions in the Act for making good, payment in lieu and compensation.
For further information on Party Wall procedures visit the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors’ Website fpws.org.uk and/or Helpline.