When to Approach a Third Surveyor?

Oct 15, 2021

This week, through our property surveying blog post topic, we are going to be discussing party wall surveying procedures, and in particular when a third surveyor should be approached.

This blog post is written for owners who are considering approaching a third surveyor, or have had issues with their appointed party wall surveyor, and therefore, require a little bit of practical advice.

The first thing to bear in mind is that we would always recommend trying to resolve the issue directly with your party wall surveyor first.  In many cases, while there is in all likelihood a bona fide issue or dispute, a party wall surveyor’s statutory duty, as set out by the Party Wall Etc Act 1996, requires them to be impartial and therefore, ultimately if there is an issue or dispute that exists between yourself that that surveyor, they still have a duty to assist you and resolve the matter to the best of their abilities.

If you have tried that, and it hasn’t worked, you also have the right to contact your neighbour’s party wall surveyor, to ask for their assistance and advice.  As confirmed above, party wall surveyors are impartial, therefore the neighbouring surveyor has just as much right as your surveyor to assist and help resolve the issue.

Should both of these options fail, and you find yourself with no further alternative, we would advise contacting the third surveyor to ultimately help you resolve the matter and dispute, leading towards positive resolution.

The third surveyor’s role will be to look at the dispute that is being referred to them and ultimately go through steps to ensure that the resolution is put in place swiftly, which should effectively resolve the matter.

Do bear in mind that referring a matter to the third surveyor does not come without cost, and ultimately the third surveyor will not only determine the matter to which he has been asked to resolve, but will also determine who is responsible for the fees associated with that resolution.

Under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996, the fees will rest with either the building owner or the adjoining owner.  Therefore, do bear in mind that in commencing a referral, there is a cost risk and liability that one should carefully consider in advance of making it.

Party wall surveying procedures can often get complicated and complex, and if none of these options work for you, you also have the right to speak to governing bodies which operate advice lines, and should be able to best help you.

If you would like to discuss your party wall surveying procedures with our team of qualified and experienced surveyors here at Stokemont, give us a call, and we will do the best we can to help and assist you.