In this week’s property surveying blogpost topic, we are going to be discussing party wall surveying procedures, and one of the most common questions that we find ourselves asked here at Stokemont.
A very common question that our surveyors find themselves asked is, whether a Party Wall Award, or a Party Wall Agreement, can be put in place, or agreed, without the assistance, or input of a party wall surveyor.
The question usually stems from a building owner aiming to keep costs down to a minimum, which rightfully so, they’ve got every right to do, and as a result of this, will try to manage as much of the construction process as they possibly can.
While this is a fair attempt at trying to keep costs to a minimum, under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, the party wall procedures cannot be implemented and agreed by either the building owner, or the adjoining owner.
Instead, the legal requirement of the Act sets out that the party wall procedures have to be implemented by a party wall surveyor, whom has no legal involvement over the property.
In a nutshell, this effectively means that the building owner, and adjoining owner, are unable to act on their own behalf, which makes it very difficult for them to agree anything without a surveyor’s input.
The building owner could effectively use an unrelated party to assist them, however, this of course begs the question of how suitably qualified that person would be, and if their efforts and involvement would lend themselves to the agreement of a robust Party Wall Award or Party Wall Agreement.
Party wall surveying procedures can be both simple, and complex, and are in place to ensure that a building owner’s and adjoining owner’s legal rights are fully considered in advance of the construction works commencing, thereby ensuring that the associated risks surrounding those works are kept to an absolute minimum.
Our take on it here at Stokemont, is the only way to achieve and ensure that, is to ensure that a qualified and experienced party wall surveyor, and ideally a surveyor who is a member of leading governing bodies such as the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), or a number of other recognised governing bodies.
By selecting a surveyor with suitable experience and qualification, you are ensuring that the manner is best handled impartially, professionally, and importantly, with the best interests of both building owner and adjoining owner in mind.
Here at Stokemont, we regularly give 60 minutes free party wall advice to any caller, if you would like to take us up on this offer and speak with one of our experienced and qualified party wall surveyors today, give us a call and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you.