Party Wall Award Protects property

This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.

In this blog, Icon Surveyor’s will consider what a ‘Checking Engineer’ is, when Icon Surveyor’s would use one and why?

What is a Checking Engineer?

In the simplest of terms, a ‘Checking Engineer’ is an independent expert in the field of engineering who examines the structural elements, including the calculations and specifications, of a prospective building owner’s proposed plans. This is in order to determine whether the proposed design poses any risk to an adjoining property.

If after reviewing the plans the ‘Checking Engineer’ is of the opinion there is a risk to damage being sustained to an adjoining property if the works were carried out in accordance with the building owners proposed plan, s/he may advise an appointed surveyor whether any modifications to the plans would reduce the risks being assessed.

When is a ‘Checking Engineer ‘required and Why?

Under, the provisions of the, Party Wall etc. Act 1996, it is a, Party Wall Surveyor’s, responsibility to ensure that a building owner is compliant with their obligations to an adjoining owner when carrying out works under the Act. A building owner has a legal duty to ensure that the works are not carried out “in such a manner as to cause unnecessary inconvenience”. Any proposed works must also comply any other statutory requirements and be executed in accordance with the agreed plans.

‘Checking Engineers’ are usually instructed by an adjoining owner’s, Party Wall Surveyor, after a Party Wall Notice has been served. Icon Surveyors, firmly believe that prevention is better than cure and would therefore appoint a ‘Checking Engineer’ if it appears that there would be a substantial structural risk if the proposed works were to be carried out in accordance with the submitted plans, thus preventing any potential damage and/or injury to an adjoining property or its occupants.

In the past, Icon Surveyors have used ‘Checking Engineers’ for building works that are notifiable under, section 6 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This would normally include any construction of a structure or building that incorporates an excavation, as it is these types of works that pose the most risk.

The associated costs of instructing a ‘Checking Engineer’ are borne by the building owner and are usually incorporated in a Party Wall Award. Although it may seem like an added and unnecessary expense, in Icon Surveyor’s experience, the benefits of instructing a ‘Checking Engineer’ to expose and resolve any potential dangers far outweighs that of the costs that may be incurred rectifying any subsequent damage.

Icon Surveyors are happy to provide a free consultation to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.

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Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.



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