How can I persuade my neighbour to use one Agreed Surveyor?
Thursday 25th July 2019
Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS
We at Tayross Associates often get asked the question, "How can I persuade my neighbour to use one Agreed Surveyor?"
I always say that the key to successfully agreeing one Surveyor operating for both parties is to be totally transparent with your plans and to discuss this fully with your neighbours if possible. After all, that's what the Party Wall Act was designed for, to have one impartial party acting as a go-between for all neighbours. Having an Agreed Surveyor who is impartial and who like me, may be on an adjudication board for the CIOB (which has over 40,000 members) and is responsible for ethical practices amongst consultants, puts me in a good position to perform this role.
Under the Act both parties can use the same Party Wall Surveyor to draw up the Award if they so wish. This person is known as the "Agreed Surveyor". However, the Agreed Surveyor should NOT be the same person that you intend to employ or have already engaged to supervise your building work.
I find that once speaking to neighbours they are normally open to having one surveyor as this makes sense, providing they have not fallen out.
The Building Owner should let the Adjoining Owner choose his own surveyor to act for both parties as this creates more transparency and is unlikely to lead to conflicts of interest.
If the Building Owner is paying the Surveyor for both parties, surely that Surveyor is biased towards the Building Owner?
Again we often get asked this question when being asked to act as Agreed Surveyor from the Adjoining Owner. As an RICS Chartered Surveyor, you act and are guided by a code of practice which is founded on honesty, transparency, operating without a conflict-of-interest and being unbiased in what you do with all parties.
I find that when I do start communicating with parties, they realise very quickly that they are dealing with someone that they can trust, is there open mindedly and just wants the best for all parties.
Ultimately, having one Surveyor leads to less communication problems, faster flow of information, more amicable relations with neighbours and generally good will all around.
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.