The Benefits of Selecting an Agreed Surveyor Under the Party Wall Act

Monday 14th August 2023

The Party Wall Act of 1996 is a crucial piece of legislation that provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes concerning party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring buildings. A key part of this process is the role of the surveyor. While each party can appoint their own surveyor, there are numerous benefits to selecting an agreed surveyor to act for all parties involved.

1. Cost-Effective: One of the most significant advantages of appointing an agreed surveyor is the cost savings. Having one surveyor instead of two or more reduces the overall fees that the building owner would have to bear, as it is typically the building owner who pays all surveyor costs under the Act.

2. Time-Efficient: With only one surveyor involved, communication and decision-making processes can be quicker and more streamlined. This can lead to a faster resolution of issues, which is particularly beneficial in time-sensitive construction projects.

3. Consistency: An agreed surveyor ensures consistency in the interpretation of the Act and the assessment of the situation. This can help avoid potential conflicts and discrepancies that might arise from having multiple surveyors with different perspectives.

4. Neutrality: An agreed surveyor is statutory duty-bound to act impartially. They do not represent the building owner or the adjoining owner but rather the interests of the party wall itself. This neutrality can help maintain a balanced and fair approach to resolving any disputes or issues. I personally sit on the disciplinary panel, not just for the chartered Institute of building with 40,000 members, but also the faculty of Party Wall Surveyors in London. I also help host the Northwest London meet for the faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

5. Simplified Communication: With one point of contact, communication becomes more straightforward and efficient. All parties can receive the same information at the same time, reducing the risk of misunderstandings or miscommunications.

6. Expertise and Experience: An agreed surveyor, especially one with a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the Party Wall Act, can provide valuable insights and guidance. Their expertise can help ensure that all actions taken are in compliance with the Act, reducing the risk of legal issues down the line.

7. Fostering Good Relations: The process of resolving party wall issues can be stressful and potentially strain relations between neighbours. An agreed surveyor can help manage the process smoothly and professionally, helping to maintain good neighbourly relations.

In conclusion, while the Party Wall Act allows for each party to appoint their own surveyor, there are clear benefits to appointing an agreed surveyor to act for all parties. This approach can save time and money, ensure consistency.

Here at Tayross, Carl is a Chartered Senior Surveyor with experience in Planning, Building, Surveying and Party Wall related matters. He is happy help with any questions you may have.

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