Last edited 13 Feb 2020

10(4) Party Wall Surveyor Appointments

In order to understand a 10(4) Surveyor appointment we must first have an understanding of what serving a ‘Party Wall Notice’ and a ‘10(4) Party wall Notice’ under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 are.

There are often scenarios where a homeowner (known as the building owner under the Party Wall etc Act 1996) would like to carry out construction works within their home.

If the building owner undertakes construction works to their property that fall within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, he or she has the legal duty to serve a Party Wall Notice upon the adjoining owner notifying them of these works. For example, Excavation works can interfere with soil movement and possibly the foundations beneath. As a result, any such works may cause the adjoining owner to have structural or decorative damage to their property.

The adjoining owners who receive these Notices have 3 options available to them.

Response Option 1.

Consenting to the works (with or without a Schedule of Condition Report)

Response Option 2.

Dissenting to works and appointing their own Party Wall Surveyor

Response Option 3.

Dissenting to works and agreeing in the appointment of an ‘Agreed Surveyor’. An Agreed Surveyor means that one Surveyor acts on behalf of the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner mutually and impartially.

Party Wall Notices have strict timings that will be adhered to. The Party Wall Notice is served with the intention of receiving 1 of the 3 responses listed above. Once the Notice is served, the Adjoining Owner will be given a 14-day response period under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (there will also be an additional 2 days added for postage).

If at this point no response is received, then the Building Owner or the Party Wall Surveyor acting on their behalf is then in a position to serve a ‘10(4) Party Wall Notice’ under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 which is an additional Notice allowing the adjoining owner a final and further 10 days to respond to the Party Wall Notice. Within the 10(4) Notice it will usually state the date the original Party Wall Notice was served and further describe the works that will be taking place in the Building Owner’s property.

You can read more about Party Wall Notices on our Surveying Blog. Party Wall Notices can often be incorrectly filled out or served, leading to legal invalidity. Therefore making you know the facts pre service is key.

If a 10(4) Party Wall Notice has been served and there still isn’t a response form the Adjoining Owner, the Building Owner or Party Wall Surveyor acting on their behalf can now legally proceed with the appointment of Surveyor under Section 10(4) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, which allows the Building Owner to appoint a Surveyor on behalf of the non-responsive Adjoining Owner(s).

The appointed 10(4) Party Wall Surveyor will act impartially and help agree the Party Wall Award on behalf of the non-responsive Adjoining Owner. The Surveyor will attempt to make contact with the non-responsive owner. If they do begin communication at this stage, then the procedure would follow a similar route if the non-responsive Adjoining Owner had chosen to dissent and appoint their own Party Wall Surveyor.

If however, the Adjoining Owner still fails to communicate with the appointed 10(4) Party Wall Surveyor , then the Building Owner’s Surveyor and the appointed 10(4) Party Wall Surveyor will work together to carry out an external Schedule of Condition Report, then proceeding to agree and serve a Party Wall Award which will then govern the works the building owner is proposing to carry out.

If you are planning on serving a Party Wall Notice, I would recommend having an experienced Party Wall Surveyor undertake the task for you. In my experience a Party Wall Notice is far better received when it is served by a Surveyor when compared to those served by Building Owners.

However, that being said, if you would like to serve the Party Wall Notice yourself, we have a set of free Party Wall Notices that are east to fill out and obtain. All you need to do is follow our simple Party Wall Notice Creator and you will be able to produce a set of legally Valid Party Wall Notices for service upon your Adjoining Owner.