Over the years, this is one of the most common questions from clients, in this blog we will aim to clarify this.
In most circumstances, a building owner will require a Party Wall Award to proceed with their planned construction works, in this instance, the building owner will cover the cost of the appointed Party Wall Surveyor or an Agreed Surveyor.
The logic for this is simple, if a building owner is undertaking construction works, the adjoining owner shouldn’t be liable to pay any cost related to protecting their property, as they will not be at an advantage in the works, the building owner will cover all costs related to the Party Wall procedures.
How is the Party Wall Surveyor Cost charged?
Here at Icon Surveyors, we charge Building Owners undertaking works a fixed fee, we do this by requesting drawings for the planned works. When it comes to adjoining owner Party Wall Surveyor appointments, we will apply our hourly rate to time spent on the matter. This can be agreed as a fixed cost if all of the relevant information is to hand.
Section 10 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, confirms the Party Wall Surveyor Costs will include,
“The reasonable costs incurred in —
(a)making or obtaining an award under this section;
(b)reasonable inspections of work to which the award relates; and
(c)any other matter arising out of the dispute,”
A Party Wall Surveyors role is not limited to, but tend to include:
- Drawing review.
- Letter of Appointment. (giving the Surveyor the legal right to act)
- Site Inspection. (Schedule of Condition Report)
- Agreeing terms of the Party Wall Award.
- Service of the Party Wall Award.
- Post service communications.
With everything in mind, there have been cases whereby an adjoining owner has been asked to pay a Surveyor’s fee.
In normal circumstances, the building owner is the owner who will be liable for all costs involved in the Party Wall surveying procedures. However, in accordance with Section 11(4):
“Where work is carried out in the exercise of the right mentioned in section 2(2)(a), and the work is necessary on account of defect or want of repair of the structure or wall concerned, the expenses shall be defrayed by the building owner and the adjoining owner in such proportion as has regard to—
(a)the use which the owners respectively make or may make of the structure or wall concerned; and
(b)responsibility for the defect or want of repair concerned, if more than one owner makes use of the structure or wall concerned.”
Simplified, if a building owner proposed demolishing and rebuilding a defective shared garden wall which is legally known as a Party Fence Wall. The fees in this instance will be shared between the two respective owners of the Party Fence Wall, as the works benefit both parties involved
Party wall fees are a hot topic amongst owners. Here at Icon Surveyors, we believe in complete transparency. We will happily provide a fixed party wall costs quotation at any time. If you would like to speak to one of our Party Wall Experts, for a FREE no-obligation quotation please call 020 7493 9087.