If you’re building a new home or renovating an older one that you still want to live in the part of the time, it’s important to know if there could be any potential issues with your neighbours. One of which is a party wall dispute. It happens when two neighbouring buildings share a common wall or ceiling.
Role of party wall survey
A party wall survey is a document that outlines the shared boundaries between two neighbouring buildings or properties. It is typically mapped out by a surveyor.
A well-drawn and accurate surveys party wall disputes and provides peace of mind to both owners. It can clarify where each building ends and begins. It also has implications for how the owners can maintain their buildings, as well as what types of projects they can undertake. If any work affects the shared wall or the property’s attachment structures, both the adjacent owners must provide their consent before the work begins.
Who is a party wall surveyor? Why do you need one?
A surveyor is a professional who assesses land and property boundaries to determine their legal, physical and commercial significance. The profession has many diverse facets which reflect the modern cutting-edge technology that is applied throughout engineering, surveying, architecture and construction science.
The party wall surveyor is a professional technical service provider that performs works on party walls with the goal of creating good neighbourly relations as well as avoiding disputes which can arise from any construction work carried out on adjoining properties.
How do I find a party wall surveyor?
Listed below are key characteristics of a good party wall surveyor.
1. Experience in the field
It is imperative to find a party wall surveyor who has first-hand experience with the Party Wall etc Act 1996 along with the different construction works that transpire on-site.
This is because the types of work insured by the Party wall act might cause a huge structural risk to the adjoining properties or owners under the act.
The more experience your chosen party wall surveyor has, the better will be his/her capability to administer the act, thereby reducing surveys party walls disputes or associated risks.
2. Construction work knowledge
When your chosen party wall surveyor has a solid comprehension of the construction works, you feel relaxed and at peace.
The construction process can get complicated and may require external inputs from contractors, advising engineers, structural engineers and scaffolders.
With good construction work knowledge, your surveyor will be in a better place to assist everyone with the various types of construction work.
Even though the Party Wall etc Act 1996 doesn’t define what qualifications an individual requires to carry out surveys party wall disputes, it doesn’t mean you should overlook this characteristic.
A wide range of qualifications is available under the property profession, including FPWS, CABE, CIOB, CIArb and so on.
We recommend you choose a party wall surveyor who is sufficiently qualified to represent you and meet your complicated needs.
Another thing you need to look at before hiring a party wall surveyor is insurance.
Any party wall surveyor that receives a membership from the government body is required to hold necessary insurance protection for the betterment of themselves and the clients they represent.
5. Compliant handling procedures
Not every situation is the same. Similar to any other profession, mistakes are bound to happen during surveys party wall disputes, too. Hence, ensuring the party wall surveyor has a relevant procedure in place to manage compliance is crucial.
It is recommended that you check whether or not your chosen surveyor is a member of ADR or an alternative dispute resolution procedure. This way, you can stay assured that when a complaint is heard, he/she will complete the process impartially.
6. Easy to contact
Last but not least, communication is key to ensuring the success of any partnership. Hence, ensure that your chosen party wall surveyor has relevant contact procedures in place.
You must be able to contact the surveyor either through calls, emails, messages or face-to-face meetings.
There are surveyors who only provide email communication assistance. And we all know how slow and frustrating that could be. Instead, work with someone that uses the latest technology for complete support.
To be concluded
Always shop around and think about the different options available to you. Do your research, so you’re not ripped off in the end. There’s no point in hiring the cheapest party wall surveyor if they can’t provide you with all the exact requirements that fit your situation and budget.
Use this blog as a guide to find yourself a competent surveyor capable of conducting relevant surveys party wall disputes.