Appointing A Surveyor
Unfortunately, it is often the case that adjoining owners only find out about neighbours carrying out works when they receive a party wall notice through the post or letters from companies advising that neighbours have put in a planning application and that they should dissent and appoint a surveyor.
Dissenting and appointing a surveyor is not always necessary and consideration should be given to the extent and type of work being undertaken. Our surveyors are happy to advise you on this, so that you can make an informed decision.
Once A Notice Has Been Served
Once the notice has been served you have 14 days in which to respond, if no response is received then a further 10 days is allowed for with the service of a letter advising that you have 10 days to respond.
The act is an enabling act and therefore if no response is received are the 10-day letter a surveyor will be appointed to act on your behalf.
Once a surveyor is appointed that cannot be disinstructed. If two surveyors are appointed, then the first thing they will do is select a Third Surveyor who may be called upon to settle issues that they cannot agree on. Referrals to the Third Surveyor are rare.
What Will A Surveyor Provide
The surveyor or surveyors will produce a legally binding party wall award to settle the dispute.
The Party Wall Award will detail the notifiable elements of the works and authorise them subject to specific requirements such as:
- Working hours
- Dust and noise control measures
- Methods for limiting vibrations.
- Access to the adjoining owner’s land
- Security deposits.
The Award will also include a record of the condition of the neighbours property known as a schedule of condition covering the parts of the neighbouring property that are considered to be at risk from the works along with copies of all relevant drawings and method statements. At the end of the work the surveyor acting for the adjoining owner will make a further visit to re-check the schedule of condition and confirm if there has been any damage. Although this will be dependent on the scale and size of the works.
What Is The Role Of The Surveyor
The role of the surveyors is to administer the Act. It is important to understand that they do not have control over the design of planning matters. The surveyors also do not represent the neighbours they are appointed by, but are there to resolve disputes that are covered by the act.
In normal circumstances the building owner (the party undertaking the works) will be responsible for the fees of both surveyors. The fees for the adjoining owners surveyors will be agreed with the building owners surveyor. If they cannot agree, then the matter can be referred to the Third surveyor.
For the majority of party wall works a single Agreed surveyor is sufficient.
For further advise or information please do not hesitate to contact us.
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