I am acting as the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor and there is a Dispute over my Fees. How will the Third Surveyor Resolve this?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I am acting as a surveyor for the Adjoining Owner concerning a residential party wall matter. The other party is in dispute with me concerning my fees. I am happy for the matter to be placed in the hands of the agreed Third Surveyor but they are saying that if my fees are reduced by the Third Surveyor the adjoining owner must pay any fee charged in making a decision. Is this correct ?

Answer

It’s not quite as clear cut as that. The Third surveyor will put in to the award who is liable to pay his fee – if he considers your proposed fee to be well above what would be considered reasonable he is likely to award that your appointing owner should pay his fee but if he finds that it is slightly high he may apportion the fee between the owners.

If you haven’t already done so you should supply the Building Owner’s surveyor with a copy of your time sheet detailing how the billed hours accrued. As long as they all relate to matters arising out of the dispute and your hourly rate is a reasonable reflection of your skill and experience as a party wall surveyor you should be confident in any referral.

I should also mention that in a large number of cases the Third Surveyor finds that he does not have the jurisdiction to act as a result of an error on the notices or letters of appointment so you should make sure that all of that is in order in advance of any referral.