The term “surveyor” under the Act can include any person who is not a party to the matter. This means that you can appoint almost anyone you like to act in this capacity. However, the person should not have already been engaged to supervise the building work. The party wall surveyor Norbury should also have a good knowledge of construction and of procedures under the Act. You cannot however act for yourself.
Some people are obviously more suitable than others. You may wish to look for a qualified building professional with some experience or knowledge of party wall surveyor Morden matters.
What does the surveyor do?
The surveyor (or surveyors) will settle the matter by making an “award” (also known as a “party wall award”). This is a document which:
- sets out the work that will be carried out
- says when and how the work is to be carried out (for example to limit continuous periods of time when excessively noisy work can be carried out);
- specifies any additional work required (for example necessary protection to prevent damage);
- often contains a record of the condition of the adjoining property before the work begins (so that any damage to the adjoining land or buildings can be properly attributed and made good);
- allows access for the surveyor(s) to inspect the works while they’re going on as may be necessary (to see that they are in accordance with the award).
It is a good idea to keep a copy of the award with your property deeds when the works are completed.
Who pays the surveyor’s fees?
Usually, the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with drawing up the award including the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s fees, if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit.
However, in certain circumstances where work is necessary due to defect or need of repair the adjoining owner may have to pay costs. In these circumstances the costs are split based on the use each owner has of the structure or wall concerned and responsibility for the defect or need of repair if more than one owner makes use of the structure or wall concerned.
The surveyor (or surveyors) will decide who pays the fees for drawing up the award and for checking that the work has been carried out in accordance with the award.
How much will a surveyor cost?
Surveyor’s fees are a matter for individual surveyors. There are no set charges. It is for clients to negotiate fees with the surveyor(s).
The Act provides for surveyors to be paid the reasonable costs of drawing up an award. However, if the owner or the adjoining owner feels that a surveyor’s costs are unreasonable, they may ask for a breakdown of costs, e.g. The hourly rate and number of hours of time being charged for.
Is the surveyor’s award final?
The Award is final and binding unless it is rescinded or modified by a county court on appeal. Each owner has 14 days from service of the award on them to appeal to the county court against the award.
An appeal should not be undertaken lightly, and an unsuccessful appellant may incur an award of costs against them. An owner considering an appeal may well wish to seek legal advice.