The Party Wall Act of 1996 consists of a comprehensive framework regarding how a building owner can begin construction when the plan involves an adjoining property’s wall or boundary. Following the Party Wall Act is necessary because it protects the rights of both parties.
Appointing a party wall surveyor
There are specific steps involved in securing permission or Award to begin building. If the plan falls under particular types of work covered by the act, the building owner may need to hire a party wall surveyor like www.partywall.expert to follow the procedures in serving notices and securing an award. The award is a legally binding agreement between the two parties.
If the surveyor does not follow the right procedure outlined in the act, the award could become invalid which will not serve the intended purpose and further delay the construction. Many homeowners choose to hire the same surveyor to represent them because it speeds up the process and is also less expensive. But if this arrangement is not possible, each party needs to appoint an individual surveyor to represent them.
The role of a surveyor needs to be impartial, and their actions need to be according to the Act. Once each party appoints a surveyor, it is not possible to replace or terminate the appointed surveyor except in some specific circumstances. Since all actions taken by a surveyor binds each of the parties, choosing a surveyor carefully is crucial.
Qualifications of a party wall surveyor
The Act does not provide specific criteria on who can be appointed as a surveyor. The Act merely stipulates that any of the disputing parties may not represent themselves and become the surveyor. This is a logical stipulation because a surveyor needs to be impartial during the entire proceeding. In theory, anyone can be a surveyor, but it is not the case in practice. Qualified surveyors are working at firms whom you can represent you in a party wall dispute.
What to look for in a party wall surveyor
Here are some important reminders before you appoint a surveyor:
- The initials at the end of a surveyors name do not necessarily mean better qualifications. Always research your options before making a final selection.
- The cost of hiring a surveyor is also not an indication of excellent service. As such, looking for the cheapest fees may not be a great idea as well.
- While in the planning stages of your intended construction, it is possible for surveyors to contact you through planning websites. Steer clear of these unsolicited requests and rely on your effort to find a surveyor.
If you are looking for a reputable practitioner, you can search through official regulatory bodies like the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. You may also ask for referrals from friends and family members who have undergone through a similar procedure. Most important, have a face-to-face appointment with the surveyor you are planning to hire so that you can find out information about his or her experience, the cost of the services, and the specific steps that will be undertaken to address the issue.
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