What’s the role of the Third Surveyor within the Party Wall Act?
The role of the Third Surveyor within the Party Wall Act serves as an independent and impartial figure who is appointed to resolve disputes that may arise between the appointed party wall surveyors or when either party disagrees with the surveyors’ decisions. The Third Surveyor acts as a neutral arbitrator to ensure fairness and compliance with the Party Wall Act. Here are the main purposes of the Third Surveyor:
1. Dispute Resolution: If the two appointed party wall surveyors are unable to reach an agreement on a particular issue or if one party disagrees with the surveyors’ decision, the matter can be referred to the Third Surveyor. The Third Surveyor reviews the dispute, assesses the evidence and arguments presented by both sides, and makes a binding decision on the matter.
2. Impartiality and Independence: The Third Surveyor is selected by the two appointed surveyors or, if they cannot agree, by the respective professional bodies or a relevant appointing authority. The Third Surveyor is required to act impartially and independently, ensuring that their decision is fair and objective, based on the merits of the case and in accordance with the Party Wall Act.
3. Expert Evaluation: The Third Surveyor brings their expertise and knowledge of party wall matters to evaluate the dispute. They consider the specific provisions of the Party Wall Act, relevant regulations, and industry best practices to arrive at a fair and reasonable decision. Their decision is binding on all parties involved in the dispute.
4. Ensuring Compliance: The involvement of the Third Surveyor helps ensure compliance with the Party Wall Act and the resolutions made by the appointed surveyors. Their decision carries the same legal weight as the decision of the appointed surveyors, providing a mechanism for resolving disagreements and preventing unnecessary delays or disputes during the party wall process.
It is important to note that the involvement of the Third Surveyor is relatively rare in party wall matters, as most disputes can be resolved through open communication, negotiation, and agreement between the appointed surveyors. However, the availability of the Third Surveyor provides an additional layer of protection and recourse in case disputes cannot be resolved amicably by the surveyors themselves.