Hello and welcome to today’s instalment of our property surveying blog post, in today’s blog post I am going to be discussing Party Wall Surveying matter and how one can select their Party Wall Surveyor. As the selection of a Party Wall Surveyor is crucial to ensuring that your planned works are completed in a timely manner and do not incur further delays which could happen if your Party Wall Surveyor lacks good knowledge of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
What does a Party Wall Surveyor do?
A Party Wall Surveyor is there to implement the Party Wall Surveying procedures and will do so by looking at the planned works that are proposed by the building owner from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property and will assess the risk of the planned works both that could show up in the short term and the long term, which the Party Wall Surveyor will attempt to protect through the Party Wall Award.
A Surveyor under the Party Wall etc Act 1996
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 itself does not specify what qualifications a Party Wall Surveyor needs to have but rather states under Section 20 that a “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.”
Although the Party Wall etc Act 1996 does not state what qualifications a Party Wall Surveyor needs, it is not a good idea to just choose anyone at random or a Party Wall Surveyor who is offering the lowest fees for their service, as the Party Wall etc 1996 is a complex act incorporating both practical building knowledge and legal knowledge alike.
The Party Wall Award being the last piece in the Party Wall Surveying procedures and is a legally binding document between the building owner and the adjoining owner alike, so it is best to employ a Party Wall Surveyor who are both going to be knowledgeable about modern building practices and standards but also has a good grasp of the law that surrounds them.
An excellent place to start would be to look for a Party Wall Surveyor who is qualified through the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or RICS.
What is the RICS?
RICS or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors acts as a regulating body for surveyors and building practices alike, in which if professionals wish to be a member or an associate of the RICS and would have to go through strict testing known as the APC (assessment of professional competences) so when going with a surveyor who is qualified through the RICS you can be assured that the surveyor you are selecting is going to have a high level of competence.
So this would be anyone who is MRICS (Member Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) or an AssocRICS (Associate of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors).
In this case, you can have confidence knowing that the surveyor you have employed is regulated by an external body and has to have undergone a large amount of training and testing to be a part of RICS.
I hope this gives you further insight into the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and what to look out for when selecting a Party Wall Surveyor.
Give us a call or pop us over an email and a member of our team of experienced surveyors will be happy to assist and advise.