In this week’s blog post, I’m going to look at what an Agreed Surveyor is, and also when are they required.
In accordance with Section 10 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, when an adjoining owner dissents to a Party Wall Notice, the Act requires both parties to agree in the appointment of an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor or each party to appoint their own Surveyor.
The sole role of an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor is to act impartially on behalf of both the Building Owners’ and the Adjoining Owners’ Party Wall matters with the goal of agreeing and awarding a Party Wall Award, also commonly referred to as a Party Wall Agreement.
The Agreed Party Wall Surveyor will impartially undertake the same activities as two independent Party Wall Surveyors would, however, I must bring to your attention that an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor will only be successfully appointed upon the agreement of the Adjoining Owner.
When is an Agreed Surveyor Applicable?
Whenever a Party Wall Notice is served by a Building Owner upon an Adjoining Owner, there are a total of three specific responses that can be chosen, these options are below:
- Consent to the works
- Dissent to the works and appoint an Agreed Surveyor
- Dissent to the works and appoint their own Party Wall Surveyor
I will provide you with simple explanations for the three options listed above:
Consent to the Works
Option 1 would see the adjoining owner consenting to the building owner’s Party Wall Notice.
This option reserves the protections the Act affords an adjoining owner. In my opinion, one of the most important being the Schedule of Condition Report which is very important as it records the pre works condition of the adjoining owner’s property thoroughly, therefore in the case where damage is cased, there’s proof to show this wasn’t present beforehand.
Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing an Agreed Surveyor
Option 2, this would be appointing an Agreed Surveyor, as discussed above, the appointed Party Wall Surveyor will then act impartially on behalf of both the adjoining owner and the building owner.
The Surveyor has an objective of agreeing a Party Wall Agreement. In my opinion, the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor is usually in the best interest of the building owner as more often than not, it is much more time-efficient when it comes to the drafting of the agreement as its being determined by one person in comparison to two different individuals which naturally has added delays.
Another benefit an Agreed Surveyor provides the building owner is cost efficiency, as the building owner’s cost for an Agreed Surveyor will be significantly lower than having to pay for two separate Party Wall Surveyors appointment to achieve a Party Wall Award.
Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing their own respective Party Wall Surveyors
Lastly, option 3, this would be an adjoining owner simply appointing their own respective Party Wall Surveyor to participate in all necessary Party Wall Surveying procedures on their behalf.
The appointed Party Wall Surveyor would work closely with the Building Owner’s Party Wall Surveyor on the terms of the Award to make sure an effective and just Party Wall Agreement is served.
Taking everything into consideration, an Agreed Surveyor comes with two very attractive incentives, one being time efficiency, which means works can begin rapidly, and lastly lower cost, thus allowing the conserving of funds that can be utilised elsewhere on the property works. Nevertheless, as initially stated, an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor can only be appointed upon agreement of the adjoining owner.
Furthermore, in an event that damage is caused from Party Wall construction works, with an appointment of an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor, the issue would be able to be dealt with much more time-efficiently as there is no counterpart to confirm the extent of damage or cost, as all the details will already be of knowledge of the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor rather than it has to be discussed and agreed by two separate Party Wall Surveyors.
To conclude it must be noted that, the building owner will always be responsible for the Party Wall Surveyor’s costs regardless, whether there is a two-Surveyor appointment or an Agreed Surveyor appointment.
If you would like to appoint an Agreed Surveyor to assist with your Party Wall Agreement, why not call one of our experienced Party Wall Surveyors now, we offer 30 minutes free advice to all callers.