Party Wall Dissent Options
Thursday 25th July 2019
Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS
It's not unusual for Building Owners to try and convince Adjoining Owners that they only have one option and that is to dissent to the works and appoint an Agreed Surveyor of the Adjoining Owners' choice if they want the Building Owner to pay the Surveyor's fees.
The Adjoining Owner can choose any Party Wall Surveyor they want to act as the Agreed Surveyor or they can have their own independent Surveyor meaning there will be two Surveyors selected (one by each party). This then calls for a Third Surveyor agreed on by the two already appointed Surveyors. The Third Surveyor then acts as an arbitrator should the two appointed Surveyors not agree and the Third Surveyor has to be consulted.
Whilst opting for an Agreed Surveyor may be a good idea for saving fees from the Building Owners' perspective, it's not the only option. You are entitled to have a Surveyor of your own choice and that Surveyor does not have to be the one that the Building Owner has selected and the Building Owner must pay the reasonable fees of the Adjoining Owners appointed Surveyor.
One must be very careful like everything in life, when making critical decisions on which Surveyor you would like to represent you. Once you sign a letter of appointment for whoever you should choose, the Surveyor then has all the powers to act on your behalf and any decisions that they make, good or bad can come back on you in terms of stress and costs.
There are consultants who operate to overcharge Building Owners and it's not unknown for the Surveyors to have hidden clauses within their contracts which state that if their fees are not paid in full they can come after the Adjoining Owner for these fees. I would strongly advise that people carry out their own Google search on any Surveyor they propose to sign up as there is lots of publicity out there available for you.
Click here to read more about serving a Party Wall Notice under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
This article was written by Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS. Carl is a full professional member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building for which he currently sits on the CIOB professional conduct committee and adjudications panel.
If you have any Party Wall enquiries then please call us at our Pinner office on 0208 426 1448. We cover all of Pinner, Harrow, Stanmore, Northwood, Central London and the surrounding areas.