How To Reduce Party Wall Costs
How To Reduce Party Wall Costs
DISCUSS THE WORKS WITH THE ADJOINING OWNERS BEFORE SERVING NOTICE:
The easiest, quickest and cheapest way to reach a party wall agreement is to receive the consent of the adjoining owners.
If a notice has been served, and the adjoining owners provide a written consent, then this is the end of the process.
We strongly recommend that building owners discuss their works with the adjoining owners, outlining the specific aspects that may affect them.
Adjoining owners are far more likely to consent if they understand the works and the reason for serving notice.
It is worth bearing in mind that the two parties (building owner and adjoining owner) are free to reach any agreement they want. It is perfectly valid for an adjoining owner to consent on the basis that the building owners provides something in return.
This could be:
- A survey of the adjoining property
- A promise to repair the fence
- A bottle of wine
- A future consent to future work by the adjoining owner
- Anything that both parties decide
USE AN AGREED SURVEYOR WHERE POSSIBLE
The agreed surveyor route means the building owner is liable for one set of fees rather than two, so it is worth discussing with the adjoining owner to see if this is a viable option.
APPOINT A COMPETENT DESIGN TEAM
Competent architects and engineers should be aware of the information that is required for the party wall agreement. If there is any doubt then you should pass the design information to a party wall surveyor for comments on its adequacy before starting the party wall process.
APPOINT A COMPETENT PARTY WALL SURVEYOR
Costs will be higher if the adjoining owners surveyor is spending significant amounts of time correcting mistakes or poorly presented information form the building owners surveyor.
The building owners surveyor is usually responsible for:
- Preparing and sending notices
- Preparing the schedule of condition
- Preparing the draft award
- Reviewing design information before sending on
- Preparing the document register
If the one surveyor is spending time correcting mistakes made by the other then costs will be higher.
It is therefore worth checking the accreditation and experience of a surveyor before appointing them.
Do not be put off by a higher hourly rate. This will usually signify greater competency and experience so the process should go through quicker and smoother, meaning a lower total cost.
BE PREPARED TO COMPROMISE
Often the cost of enforcing a particular point can outweigh the cost of agreeing to it, so a flexible and conciliatory approach can be an effective way of minimising costs.
WHAT IF SURVEYORS FEES ARE NOT REASONABLE?
If there is concern over the fees then the matter may be referred to the third surveyor for a determination.
If an award is served containing unreasonable fees then it may be appealed, in the County Court, within 14 days of being served.
This action can incur additional cost and we always recommend that specialist advice is sought before referring a matter to the third surveyor or appealing an award.
Are you an Adjoining Owner?If your neighbours are planning on doing some work here are some of the things you need to know.
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