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THE ROLE OF A BUILDING OWNER'S SURVEYOR
The Building Owner's Surveyor Role Based on acting as building owner’s surveyor only.
Advising, preparing, reviewing and serving notice(s).
Co-ordinate with adjoining owner’s surveyor to select a third surveyor (to be called upon where the appointed surveyors cannot reach agreement).
Arranging access and attending the site to understand the site specific circumatances.
Recording a schedule of condition of the adjoining owner’s property.
Producing an equitable party wall award (subject to negotiation with adjoining property owner(s)).
Drafting, making and serving the party wall award (on the parties).Negotiating additional awards where necessary
The process starts with the service of notice(s). It should be noted that if the notice(s) does not contain all of the necessary information, or is not properly served, it may be deemed invalid. We pay careful attention, following best practice.
Once a surveyor is appointed under the Act they have a duty to act in an entirely impartial manner. Our goal is to achieve an equitable outcome for all.
An important task that the building owner's surveyor performs is an inspection of the adjoining owner's property. This helps us to understand the possible impact of the works and to confirm the drawings are accurate. An inspection also facilitates the preparation of a schedule of condition ( a pre-works condition survey) . We take care to ensure that this is done with the necessary care and attention, so that any subsequent damage can be properly attributed.
Once it is clear all the necessary information is present and correct, we will prepare a document known as a “party wall award”. This document sets out the owners’ rights and responsibilities in relation to how the work should proceed and covers items such as working hours, access rights for the workmen/surveyors during the course of the works and what happens in case of damage. We take care to check all the adjoining owner's valid concerns have been taken into consideration.
Finally we come to our fees, under all normal circumstances these are paid by the building owner. Surveyors appointed by the building owner will normally quote a fixed fee whereas the adjoining owner’s surveyor will usually seek to charge by the hour. The final figures are agreed by the two surveyors and entered into the award just before it is served. It is our standard practice to resist unfair fee claims from other surveyors.
It will save the building owner time and money to have the neighbours agree to appoint an agreed surveyor. A cordial relationship with your neighbours may help in achieving this.
A competent agreed surveyor is sufficient for most circumstances.
Twickenham Office Ash House 8 Second Cross Road Twickenham TW2 5RF