Party Wall Surveying

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OVERVIEW OF THE PARTY WALL ETC ACT 1996

It is quite usual for the building owner's surveyor to be advising him before a dispute arises and during that time he may be acting as the building owner's agent. As soon as a dispute arises and the building owner has appointed the surveyor to act in the matter the relationship between the appointing owner and his appointed surveyor changes. It is no longer that of client and agent. It is a statutory relationship in which, once appointed, the surveyor's duty is to see that the provisions of the Act are properly complied with.

When the dispute arises the adjoining owner must also appoint a surveyor, unless he and the building owner agree to the appointment of one agreed surveyor. Two surveyors are more usual. They prepare an agreement known as an award, which describes the works to be done under the terms of the act. It includes drawings, details, specifications and method statements as necessary. It sets out the particular obligations of the building owner to protect the adjoining owner's premesis and his quiet enjoyment of it. Normally it includes a schedule of the condition of the adjoining owner's property. It is issued to each owner. After a two week appeal period has elapsed, the adjoining owner may then exercise his rights as set out in the award. After completion of the work the surveyors check the adjoining owner's premesis against the schedule and agree any remedial work that must be carried out there. Normally this is at the building owner's expense.

 
 
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