Third Surveyor has Requested £2000 to Help Resolve the Matter

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

We have reached a rather unfortunate point in our party wall dispute. We are following the requirements of the party-wall act with reference to works we’d like to carry out on the adjoining wall.

The work involves removing part of the chimney stack on our side of the wall.

A third surveyor is now involved in the dispute. The appointement of the 3rd surveyor was agreed on by both our surveyor and the adjoining owners surveyor. After some communication he has now declined to give us the award on the grounds that surveyor 1 and 2 can’t agree. I thought this was the purpose of the 3rd surveyor. Is this adequate reason to decline the award?

He has now requested £2000 to appoint him to ‘help resolve the matter’.

Can you offer any advice on this circumstance?

Answer

I think the £2000 (£1000 from each owner I assume) will be a payment on account rather than a fee so it may not cost that much. Third surveyor fees range from £170 per hour up to £220 in Central London. I’m assuming that any discussions involving the Third Surveyor up until now have been informal but ultimately unproductive.

If the matter in dispute does not affect the proposed works, such as a dispute over the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor’s fee, then the award should be served on the owners and the dispute resolved later. If the dispute is critical to the works then it will have to be awarded on by the Third Surveyor before the awards can be served and the work start. The Third Surveyor’s award will also state who should pay his fee (normally the owner of the surveyor who loses the argument) so hopefully you have chosen your surveyor carefully.