Last edited 15 Mar 2018

Party wall surveyor


[edit] Overview

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 provides the legal basis for the prevention and resolution of disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

A party wall surveyor provides a specialist role in resolving disputes between neighbours under the Act. Party wall surveyors have a duty to the Act rather than to the individuals appointing them and they resolve matters in dispute in a fair and practical way.

[edit] Who can be appointed as a surveyor?

Under the Act, a 'surveyor' is any person who is not party to the works. Therefore, the property owner cannot act for themselves but anyone else is permitted to take on the role.

The surveyor should however be experienced in construction and have knowledge of procedures under the Act (ref. Department for Communities and Local Government 2013).

[edit] Party wall award

If both parties agree on the appointment of a surveyor (an ‘Agreed Surveyor’), they will draw up an agreement (an ‘Award’) to resolve the dispute. Alternatively, each party can appoint their own surveyors to draw up the Award together (or select a third surveyor to determine the Award). An Award is a legally binding document that includes the following:

  • The work that will be carried out.
  • How and when the work will be carried out.
  • Any additional work required.
  • Provision of access for the surveyor(s) to inspect the works as necessary.

(Ref. Department for Communities and Local Government 2013.)

The Award may also include a record of the condition of the neighbouring property before works begin.

If the neighbour does not agree with the Award, it is possible to appeal to the county court within 14 days of issue.

For more information see Party Wall Act.

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