To appoint or not appoint…that is the question
After receiving a Party Wall Notice, many adjoining owners contact Party Wall Services to ask for our advice on how to proceed. Often their main question is if they dissent to the said Notice should they appoint their own Party Wall surveyor or go with the building owner’s surveyor as an agreed surveyor. As always, there are positive and negative aspects when considering which option to choose.
If the adjoining owner has an amicable relationship with the building owner and does not want to do anything that might jeopardise that relationship, then choosing an agreed surveyor will definitely save the building owner some additional professional fees and possibly time in getting an award issued. However, the adjoining owner should also note that if they do choose an agreed surveyor and are unhappy with them then the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 does not make provision for complaint. The only recourse is if the adjoining owner has an issue with the award. Then the adjoining owner can take the award to the county court within 14 days of receiving it to contest it. This may seem to some a little too late.
On the other hand the adjoining owner is well within his rights to appoint their own surveyor, who works in conjunction with the building owner’s surveyor, to resolve the Party Wall dispute. The negative side is the additional surveyors fees that the building owner is responsible for under section 10(13) of the Act. But this option does give the adjoining owner another route to resolve any issue they might have with their surveyor. Under Section 10(1)(b) the two appointed surveyors have to select a third surveyor. Should you have any issues with your surveyors you may inform the third surveyor whose role it is to resolve the matter.
Which ever option you decide on, at Party Wall Services, we will be happy to offer friendly advice and can act as your agreed surveyor, building owner’s surveyor or adjoining owner’s surveyor.