When faced with choosing a Party Wall Surveyor, it’s important to refer back to the Party Wall etc Act 1996, in particular, Section 20 defines a “Surveyor” as:
“surveyor” means any person not being a party to the matter appointed or selected under section 10 to determine disputes in accordance with the procedures set out in this Act. Importantly the definition is extremely vague, the only real stipulation is that the “surveyor” is not the building owner or the adjoining owner.
What does This Mean?
It means anyone could refer to themselves as a Party Wall Surveyor, regardless of their qualification, experience or if they have property related knowledge! Below we are going to highlight some of the key characteristics that we believe make a good Party Wall Surveyor.
Party Wall Surveyor’s Experience
Icon’s Party Wall Surveyors are not only experienced in the procedures of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 but also the various construction works that take place on site.
The types of work covered by the Party Wall Act will often carry a significant structural risk to the surrounding properties, known as adjoining owners within the Act. The more experienced a Party Wall Surveyor has, the more likely they will be able to administer the Act reducing the associated risks.
Party Wall Surveyor’s Construction Work Knowledge
You can relax your Icon Party Wall Surveyor, who has a firm understanding of the construction works taking place on site. Construction works can be complex or require input from structural engineers, contractors, scaffolders and advising engineers.
The more experience the Party Wall Surveyor has for the various types of construction work taking place, will better place them to assist.
Party Wall Surveyor’s Qualifications
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 doesn’t specify the requirement for qualifications.
However, would you like a Party Wall Surveyor who doesn’t have them advising you?
Within the property profession, there is a vast range of qualifications. i.e. RICS, CIOB, CABE, CIArb, FPWS etc.
Our advice is to ensure the Party Wall Surveyor chosen to represent you, has sufficient qualifications.
Party Wall Surveyor Insurance
Another criterion should be the Party Wall Surveyor has insurance in place. Most governing bodies that provide Party Wall Surveyors with membership, will require the Surveyor to hold adequate insurance protection.
Party Wall Surveyors (CHP) Complaint Handling Procedures
There are going to be occasions where this is required. As with any profession, mistakes happen.
If they do you will want to ensure the Party Wall Surveyor has a fair procedure in place to handle the complaint.
We advise checking to see your chosen Party Wall Surveyor is a member of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure. Some examples are CEDR or Property Ombudsman. This will ensure that when having your complaint heard, it is done impartially.
Party Wall Surveyor Contact
Always ensure Your Party Wall Surveyor has proficient contact procedures in place. Some common examples are telephone, email, and face to face meetings.
There are many Party Wall Surveyors, who only offer contact by email. This can be frustrating and also dramatically slow the procedures down!
Here at Icon Surveyors, we pride ourselves on our Party Wall Surveying expertise.
Our Surveyors are proud to have represented thousands of property owners. Whether it be a private client, a local authority, charity or even some of the United Kingdom largest companies, we have assisted them all.
If you have a Party Wall Surveying matter you would like to discuss with our team of Party Wall Surveyors, get in touch with us and we will happily assist.