Role of a Party Wall Surveyor

Role of a Party Wall SurveyorThe Role of a Party Wall Surveyor

Any surveyor appointed under section 10 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is undertaking a statutory role. The appointed surveyor should seek to conclude an award that fairly sets out the rights and obligations of both owners, ensuring that the work specified in the award is permissible under the Act. The award should enable the building owner to carry out the work without causing unnecessary inconvenience to adjoining owners or occupiers. An award regulates the way in which the works are to be conducted, as well as dealing with any other related incidental matters such as costs and compensation.

The award is a legally binding document. Once an award has been produced, the surveyor may choose to inspect the works during their course to see they are being properly carried out, and/or at their completion check for any damage to the adjoining owner’s property.

The surveyors prepare the award, which is a legal document between the two owners.  The surveyors normally meet at the property and prepare a schedule of condition (although not a requirement of the Act).  The schedule of condition assists all parties as any damage that may be caused can be checked against it and compensation awarded if required.

A party wall surveyor’s remit is strictly limited to those matters governed by the Act. Consequently, the primary duty in the role of a party wall surveyor is to ensure that the Act’s requirements are administered properly, efficiently and fairly.

Appointment as an ‘Agreed Surveyor’                        

The two owners may expressly concur in the appointment of an ‘agreed surveyor’. This surveyor must act impartially and work towards concluding an award that is fair to both owners, regardless of which owner made the initial appointment, or if one owner is an established client. The agreed surveyor must conclude an award that sets out the rights and duties of both parties and the works to be carried out.

Who can act in the role of a Party Wall Surveyor?

The term “surveyor” is defined in the Act as any person who is not a party to the works.

It is clearly advantageous to appoint a person with the requisite technical skills and experience of administering the legislation.

The person chosen to negotiate the party wall agreement (award) should be knowledgeable about construction and be well versed in party wall procedures. Ideally, they should be registered with a regulating body within the industry, such as the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

RMA Surveyors are experienced and professional Party Wall Surveyors. We act on behalf of building owners and adjoining owners, as well as agreed surveyors for both parties. If you’re in need of a Party Wall Surveyor, contact us on 01635 579 208. We are members of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).