Thank you for tuning in to this week’s surveying blog. Within this blog we will be looking into a much-discussed topic, Can I get rid of my Party Wall Surveyor?
Every so often here at Stokemont, we receive calls from angered or flustered owners who simply disapprove of their appointed Party Wall Surveyor for a range of reasons, to name a few: the Surveyor being said to either be incompetent, sluggish, unresponsive, bad-mannered and some of which I don’t deem rational for me to recite within this informative blog!
What Does the Act Say?
During these calls, even when some of the experiences relayed by these owners seem to be valid, we have no choice but to recite the wording within sections section 10(2) & 10(5) of the Party Wall etc Act which confirm:
Section 10(2): ‘All appointments and selections made under this section shall be in writing and shall not be rescinded by either party“.
This essentially confirms that once an appointment is confirmed in writing by the parties dissenting to the notice received, this cannot be revoked.
Section 10(5): ‘If, before the dispute is settled, a surveyor appointed under paragraph (b) of subsection (1) by a party to the dispute dies, or becomes or deems himself incapable of acting, the party who appointed him may appoint another surveyor in his place with the same power and authority.’
This essentially confirms that once a surveyor is appointed in accordance with section 10, the only way the surveyor can be removed from this appointment is if he/she deems themselves incapable of acting or in a case of a tragedy.
What Does that mean in practice?
So, in other words, owners are very much tied in with their chosen surveyor for the entire party wall procedure concludes, the similarity can echo the vows on a wedding day, “till death do us part”.
Moreover, when it comes to an agreed surveyor appointment, which is where one Surveyor acts impartially on behalf of both the building owner and the adjoining owner, the relationship slightly differs. In this circumstance, as per section 10(3) stipulates:
“If an agreed surveyor:
(a) refuses to act;
(b) neglects to act for a period of ten days beginning with the day on which either party serves a request on him;
(c) dies before the dispute is settled; or
(d) becomes or deems himself incapable of acting,
the proceedings for settling such dispute shall begin de novo.”
“shall begin de novo’ meaning restart over. This circumstance and appointment would allow owners to appoint a different surveyor.
What Does it Mean?
Taking all the above into account, to answer the Blog topic question, the answer is complicated and is along the lines of, “it depends on the appointment, but generally, no.”
Party Wall Surveying matters can be a tricky and difficult process to resolve, therefore we would always advise appointing an experienced and qualified Surveyor, as this will ultimately ensure that your interests are best protected.
If you would like to discuss your Party Wall Surveying matters and requirements with our team of qualified and experienced Surveyors here at Stokemont, give us a call now and we will be more than happy to assist you.