Hello and welcome to today’s installment of our informative property surveying blog post. In today’s topic, we are going to be discussing Party Wall Surveying and whether you can change your Party Wall Surveyor.
For the most part, no once a Party Wall Surveyor has been appointed they can not be “fired” as outlined in Section 10(2) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996:
All appointments and selections made under this section shall be in writing and shall not be rescinded by either party.The Party Wall etc Act 1996
From this, it is very clear that once a surveyor becomes appointed officially and that is in writing then there is no way to rescind the appointment so you are unable to change your Party Wall Surveyor once they have been selected.
Although there are certain circumstances where an appointed Party Wall Surveyor can be changed, most notably this will be in cases of death to any of the Party Wall Surveyor/s who have been appointed as understandably they would be no longer capable of acting on the matter and so a new Party Wall Surveyor/s would need to be appointed.
One of the most common reasons that you might see a change of Party Wall Surveyors will be if the Surveyor in question were to deem themselves “Incapable of acting” as outlined in section 10 (5) of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
Unfortunately, there are no set criteria defined by the Party Wall etc Act 1996 as to what would constitute a Party Wall Surveyor being “incapable of acting” and so it is mostly down to the discretion of the Party Wall Surveyor as to what they would deem this to be.
This can be anything from the Party Wall Surveyor disagreeing with their appointing owner or there have even been cases where the appointing owner could simply not afford the surveyor fees and so the surveyor chose to step down to allow the owner to choose a new surveyor.
There are other circumstances where you can have a change in your Party Wall Surveyor stated in Section 10 (6) and (7) of the Party Wall ect Act 1996.
This outline some conditions in which a Party Wall Surveyor who is solely appointed by one party could be removed and changed, this is if the Party Wall Surveyor in question “neglects” to act or “refuses to act effectively”
Once again unfortunately the Party Wall etc Atc 1996 does not go into depth in regard to what would constitute “refuses to act effectively” from a Party Wall Surveyor, so we would ultimately have to look for case law to gain a better understanding of this but as this is not a law blog I will not go into depth on this.
Fortunately the Party Wall Act 1996 does give an example of what “neglects” to act looks like, according to the Act if you have a Party Wall Surveyor or in cases where the third surveyor is called upon and they refuses to act on a reasonable request within 10 days from the date of the request by either party or their surveyor.
If this is the case then the other party may proceed to act ex parte and anything so done by him shall be as effectual as if he had been an agreed surveyor.
Thank you for your taking the time to read this blog post and I hope it gave you further insight into Party Wall Surveying matters and the complexities of changing a Party Wall Surveyor.
If you have any further questions or quires about today’s topic or any of the other services that we offer here at Stokemont, then please do not hesitate to get in touch today by either giving us a call or popping us over an email and one of our team of experienced surveyors will be happy to assist and advise you.