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How to Become a Party Wall Surveyor, The Guide

Jun 22, 2022


Thank you for clicking on today’s Property Surveying blog post topic.  Through our informative surveying blog, we aim to discuss some of the more complex and tricky areas within the various different surveying specialisms that we undertake here at Stokemont.

The aim of our blog posts are to not only inform the general public, however also to inform our clients.  Thereby, ensuring that they have the best advice to hand, being in full information of the facts.

Today we are going to be taking a look at party wall surveying matters, in particular we are going to be looking at how to become a party wall surveyor.

First and foremost, it is important to note that the word party wall surveyor is not a protected term in the same way that other professional referrals or designations are. For example, in order to be a doctor, you must have obtained a PhD.  Furthermore, in order to be a Charted Surveyor you must be a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), benefiting from its royal charter. 

Under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 anyone is entitled to label themselves or refer to themselves as a party wall surveyor. 

“surveyor” means any person not being a party to the matter appointed or selected under section 10 to determine disputes in accordance with the procedures set out in this Act.

The Act is unusually vague on what a party wall surveyor needs to have in order to administer the Act and for this reason there are many different levels of party wall surveyors in the profession.

That being said, the general consensus and rule of thumb, is that the person acting as the party wall surveyor must have some degree of property knowledge, or an understanding of property matters.

This can be as simple as a construction knowledge, however ideally would be a person who is a member of a recognised property governing body. 

Our take on this here at Stokemont, is that a good starting point would be that the party wall surveyor is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) or a member of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE). 

In selecting a surveyor who has these credentials, you are going to ensure that the professional is not only experienced, however also has the necessary accreditation ensuring that they are best able to assist with the job at hand.

There are other bodies out there which govern and administer party wall matters.  One of these is the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, which will commonly come with the designation MFPWS.  The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors is much like the other governing bodies we have mentioned, however the difference between the faculty and the others, is that the route to entry is generally speaking a lot lower in barriers and can generally be achieved through attending a short course/seminar and then sitting through and passing an interview.

Given that the role of a party wall surveyor is to administer the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, and ensure that the building owner’s works are undertaken with the least amount of risk possible, here at Stokemont we would advise that when selecting a party wall surveyor, they are selected based on their merit.

This will ensure that any matters or procedures that are required through the proposed party wall works and administration of the Party Wall Act, are dealt with in the most effective way possible.  This effectiveness will be both in terms of time, however also importantly in terms of cost. 

It is also very common that party wall matters can become increasingly complex.  More so than ever with issues such as design change, structural complexity, the owners themselves, or in the worst case scenario party wall damage. 

It is therefore imperative that the party wall surveyor who is handling the matter, is not only experienced with all facets of the Party Wall etc. Act, however also has the necessary background to best deal with the matter at hand.

Here at Stokemont, as a bare minimum, all of our party wall surveyors are going to be building surveyors first and foremost.

This will ensure that you are getting the best advice possible, however are also in the safe hands of an RICS surveyor and one who has gained membership through the necessary RICS route and channels.

If you would like to discuss party wall matters with our experienced team of party wall surveyors here at Stokemont, please feel free to give us a call today and we would be more than happy to assist and advise you.

Did you know that we also very proudly and regularly offer 30 minutes free no strings party wall advice?  In order to take us up on this offer, all you need to do is give us a call today, arrange a team to speak with one of our party wall surveyors and they will be more than happy to assist and advise you.

Through this free advice service over the years we have provided hundreds of enquirers with party wall advice, whether this be reviewing party wall notices, reviewing construction drawings, reviewing photographs, or simply informed discussion. Our input has helped resolve a lot of issue, and in many cases bode well for the all important neighbourly relationship.

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