The UK's Party Wall etc Act 1996 lays out the regulations for any construction work that involves excavations close to neighbouring residences, party walls, or party structures. This means you will require the assistance of a party wall surveyor if you intend to carry out any construction projects on a home that shares a boundary with your neighbour.
This article discusses the role of a professional party wall surveyor and why it is essential to appoint one for your construction project.
What Is a Party Wall Surveyor?
A party wall surveyor specialises in party wall matters. They have a thorough understanding of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and the procedures involved in obtaining party wall agreements.
A party wall surveyor can be either an appointed or agreed surveyor.
If you plan to carry out any construction work that has a party wall, you will need to appoint a surveyor. You can appoint your own surveyor, and your neighbour can appoint theirs.
These surveyors are called appointed surveyors, and they work independently to ensure fairness in the party wall agreement.
Sometimes both parties will concur in naming a single surveyor to represent both of them. This surveyor, known as an agreed surveyor, is in charge of making sure that the party wall agreement is beneficial to both sides.
The Role of a Party Wall Surveyor
1. Conducting a Party Wall Survey
The first task of a party wall surveyor is to conduct a party wall survey. This survey involves assessing the condition of the party wall and determining the scope of the construction work. The surveyor will also identify any potential risks and recommend measures to mitigate them.
2. Preparing a Party Wall Agreement
Once the survey has been completed, the party wall surveyor will prepare a party wall agreement. This agreement outlines the scope of the construction work, the responsibilities of both parties and the preventive measures that will be taken.
The party wall agreement must be agreed upon and signed by both parties before any construction work can commence.
3. Resolving Disputes
The two parties may occasionally have disagreements while the construction is being done. The party wall surveyor will serve as a mediator in these cases to settle the conflict. The surveyor will make sure that each party is informed of their legal rights and obligations and endeavour to reach a fair decision.
4. Ensuring Compliance
The party wall surveyor is responsible for ensuring that the construction work complies with the terms of the party wall agreement. Periodic inspections will be conducted to verify that the job is being performed in compliance with the conditions specified in the contract, and they will suggest any necessary adjustments or alterations.
5. Conducting Post-Construction Inspections
After the construction work is completed, the party wall surveyor will conduct post-construction inspections to ensure that the work is up to par with the party wall agreement. They will check for any damages to the party wall or neighbouring property and ensure that any necessary repairs are carried out.
6. Providing Legal Protection
Appointing a professional party wall surveyor provides legal protection for both parties. The surveyor ensures that the construction work follows the regulations of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and that the party wall agreement is reasonable. This protects both parties from any legal disputes or claims that may arise because of the project.
A professional party wall surveyor plays a vital role in any construction project that involves a party wall. Appointing one is essential for ensuring that your construction project is carried out safely, legally, and without any unnecessary disputes or delays.
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Our team of surveyors is highly experienced and results-driven, ensuring you achieve the best possible outcome and result. Contact us today to learn more!