Our senior partner, John Harrison, Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, specialises in resolving disputes arising under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. This legislation is only applicable to England and Wales, which, on 1 July 1997, replaced Part VI of the London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939, which was only applicable to the Inner London Boroughs.
A surveyor appointed under the provisions of the Act has a duty to the Act and not to the party or parties appointing him/her. There is no client-surveyor relationship in the normal sense, as the surveyor has an ‘appointing owner’. A person acting as a ‘surveyor’ under section 10 of the 1996 Act requires no qualifications as a surveyor (or any other profession) and can accept the appointment so long as he or she is not ‘a party to the matter’ in dispute.
Owners may choose to appoint someone who has a good working knowledge of the Act. The party wall surveyor’s role is to resolve differences between neighbours when building works to a party structure, or within specified distances from a neighbour’s property, are proposed. The surveyor (Agreed Surveyor where both parties concur in one person) or surveyors (where each party appoints their own surveyor) will resolve the dispute by making an Award, which is legally binding on both parties.
Should you be served a Notice or need to serve a Notice under the terms of the Act, John Harrison, is available to discuss the requirements of the Act and it’s correct procedures. Call on the contact number provided or email firstname.lastname@example.org