Who Pays the Surveyors’ Fees?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

I am going to need to appoint a party wall surveyor as I am in an adjoining property to neighbours who are digging a basement extension . What I am wondering is , who is liable to pay? Is the person having the building work done liable? it seems unfair that I should have to pay out to protect my property against work I have no control over.

Answer

Yes, it would be unfair if you had to pay and it is for that reason that that the person planning the works will be responsible their neighbour’s surveyor’s reasonable fee in all normal circumstances. I say ‘in all normal circumstances’ because the Act doesn’t stipulate who pays but rather leaves it up to the appointed surveyors to decide. Fortunately the surveyors always abide by the rule of thumb that the building owner should cover the costs of the award. There are a couple of exceptions, such as if the works are altered at the request of the adjoining owner, but they are not common.