Party Wall Dispute options are available to an adjoining owner who has been served Party Wall Notice. If an adjoining owner decides upon receiving Party Wall Notices that they wish to dissent to the works, they are faced with two addition options;
1 – they can appoint the same surveyor as the Building Owner as an agreed Surveyor.
2 – they can appoint their own surveyor to act independently from the Building Owner as an adjoining Owner Surveyor.
But what are the differences between these 2 options, and why would you choose one over the other? I plan to answer this question in this post.
Appointing An Agreed Surveyor
An agreed Surveyor is a Surveyor who represents both the Building Owner and the adjoining Owner. this can arise when one party agrees to appoint the other parties’ Surveyor. Appointing an agreed Surveyor is the most favorable option for the Building Owner as they will solely have to pay one Surveyor’s fee as opposed to two. The Award will also likely be quicker to write up and serve as there aren’t 2 Surveyors dealing with it.
Appointing an adjoining Owner’s Surveyor
An adjoining Owner Surveyor is a Surveyor who represents the adjoining Owner or house owners exclusively and independently of the Building Owner. The adjoining Owner’s Surveyor will then work on the adjoining Owner’s behalf to negotiate the terms of the party wall Award with the Building Owner’s Surveyor. This highlights the main disadvantage of this option, which is that the time taken to write up and sign an award generally takes longer when both an adjoining Owner’s Surveyor and Building Owner’s Surveyor have to agree upon its details. This ultimately means a longer waiting time for the Building Owner, along with a higher cost.
So why would an adjoining Owner’s Surveyor be appointed?
Well, an adjoining Owner Surveyor is usually appointed once an adjoining Owner feels as though the Surveyor picked by the Building Owner will not be working with their best interests in mind. seeming that the Building Owner is the one who hires and pays the Surveyor, it is comprehensible that the adjoining owner includes a certain lack of trust.
I feel it’s vital to say that agreed Surveyors work impartially and equally on behalf of both the Building Owner and the adjoining owner. However, it is completely within the connected Owner’s right to hire an adjoining Owner’s Surveyor if it makes them feel more comfortable.
So those are the options available to an adjoining Owner if they choose to dissent. we always suggest that a Building Owner speak directly to an adjoining Owner, as maintaining smart relationships between neighbors is a high priority. this can additionally increase the possibilities of the agreed Surveyor choice being picked.
If you have any questions relating to this subject or any other wall matter, feel free to call us for half-hour of free party wall advice.