In my last blog post, I talked about the options available to an adjoining owner who has been served Party Wall Notice. If an adjoining owner decides upon receiving Party Wall Notices that they wish to dissent to the works, they are faced with two additional options;
1 – They can appoint the same surveyor as the Building Owner as an Agreed Surveyor.
2 – They can appoint their own surveyor to act independently from the Building Owner as an Adjoining Owner Surveyor.
But what are the differences between these two options, and why would you pick one over the other? I plan to answer this question within this blog post.
Appointing an Agreed Surveyor
An Agreed Surveyor is a Surveyor who represents both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner. This can arise when one party agrees to appoint the other parties’ Surveyor. Appointing an Agreed Surveyor is the most favourable option for the Building Owner as they will only have to pay one Surveyor’s fee as opposed to two. The Award will also likely be quicker to write up and serve as there aren’t two Surveyors dealing with it.
Appointing an Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor
An Adjoining Owner Surveyor is a Surveyor who represents the Adjoining Owner or Owners exclusively and independently of the Building Owner. The Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor will then work on the Adjoining Owner’s behalf to negotiate the terms of the Party Wall Award with the Building Owner’s Surveyor. This highlights the main disadvantage of this option, which is that the time is taken to write up and sign an award generally takes longer when both an Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor and Building Owner’s Surveyor have to agree upon its details. This ultimately means a longer waiting time for the Building Owner, along with a higher cost.
So why would an Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor be appointed?
Well, an Adjoining Owner Surveyor is usually appointed when an Adjoining Owner feels as though the Surveyor picked by the Building Owner will not be working with their best interests in mind. Seeming that the Building Owner is the one who hires and pays the Surveyor, it is understandable that the adjoining owner has a certain lack of trust.
I feel it is important to mention that Agreed Surveyors work impartially and equally on behalf of both the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner. However, it is completely within the Adjoining Owner’s right to hire an Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor if it makes them feel more comfortable.
So those are the options available to an Adjoining Owner if they choose to dissent. We always recommend that a Building Owner speak directly to an Adjoining Owner, as maintaining good relationships between neighbours is a top priority. This can also increase the chances of the Agreed Surveyor option being picked.
If you have any questions regarding this topic or any other Party Wall matter, feel free to call us for 30 minutes of free Party Wall Advice.