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GETTING YOUR NEIGHBOUR TO APPOINT AN AGREED SURVEYOR
In an ideal world neighbours would simply trust each other. Knowing that everyone always does the right thing. In the real world trust is difficult to establish, often for good reason. Everyone knows someone who has a story to tell.
Here we try to identify key messages you need to get across in an attempt to gain the trust of your neighbour with the aim of having them appoint your Surveyor as the Agreed Surveyor.
In Party Wall matters the neighbours (Adjoining owners) have the right to appoint anyone they wish to act on their behalf. If they choose a Surveyor other than your you can expect your bills to at the least double.
Your aim should be to have your neighbours appoint an Agreed Surveyor. This means lower bills, less delays and happier neighbours.
Before they trust your Surveyor to look after THEIR interests, even though YOU are paying them, there are several messages they need to hear from you.
You should talk to them at the earliest opportunity to outline your plans so there are no surprises. Give them a copy of your plans.
Assure them your Surveyor is legally obliged to be impartial and that’s what you want him to be because you understand your neighbours may have concerns. That if the Party Wall Surveyor isn’t impartial the neighbour can appeal any Award.
Say again that you have asked you Party Wall Surveyor to ensure impartiality. That you want your neighbour to be happy and that their needs are important to you.
Suggest that even if they have no problems with the works going ahead with a formal agreement that you will ask your Surveyor to carry out a Schedule of Condition on their property so it will be clear what you are responsible for. You are happy to put right any damage your work might cause. No problem.
That you can get your builder to fix any faults at your cost or they can have their own builder carry out the work. It’s up to them.
More often than not, the damage will be limited to a few minor cracks. Nothing major. That you just want to be careful for their sake.
You are willing to consider any issues they have - children, night shift, eldery relatives etc. and you will pass on any concerns to the builders. That the builders have been told that they need to be careful and considerate.
They need to be reassured you are happy to rectify any faults created by the work you are undertaking and that is what you would expect from them.
You want to make sure their needs are considered because that is the neighbourly thing to do.
Remind them that if or when they want to do any work you will be equally accommodating to them.
If they have issues during the build they can raise them with anytime. You are just next door. Give them a daytime contact number too (if you can!).
Remember, you are not asking permission. You are letting them know, out of courtesy.
To maintain neighbourly relations once Party Wall appointments have been made:
Discuss your neighbours concerns with your builder. Ask them how they will accommodate any needs. After the builder has gone you will still be there.
Any promises you make should be kept. If you want to maintain neighbourly relations!
Building work involves noise but let your neighbours know if you expect EXTRA noise or disruption so they have time to make any arrangement they need to.
If they raise issues during the build, listen to their concerns and try to resolve where reasonably possible. Be a good neighbour.
Conclusion If you have a poor relationship with your neighbour this may all fall on deaf ears but if you don’t try to talk to them you should expect them to appoint their own Surveyor.
This will inevitably lead to higher costs and prolonged negotiations which could delays your building works.
Be fair, reasonable and nice and hope that your neighbours are too.
Call me for more FREE advice on 077300 18236.
Twickenham Office Ash House 8 Second Cross Road Twickenham TW2 5RF