Our Neighbours Don’t Want to Pay for a Final Inspection

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

Over two years ago, our downstairs neighbours served a party wall notice on us as they were extending under our flat.  The work finally took place and finished about six months ago.  We did sign a basic party wall agreement and their surveyor came and did an inspection of our bathroom, under which the work was to take place. The work has now finished however we have not had a final inspection to sign the agreement off – we are of the opinion that no damage has been done, but as we are about to sell the flat, we want to know whether we need this in writing from an independent source ie the surveyor.  Our neighbours insist that if we are happy we don’t need a final inspection – but this is obviously in their interest as would save them  money.
 
Can you please advise if we do need a final inspection, or whether we can sign off without this – or this would leave us in a disadvantaged position when we come to sell?

Answer

In most cases the surveyor’s original fee will include for a final inspection – it is normally stated in the award clause which covers fees e.g. “…the surveyor’s fee of £xxx plus VAT in connection with the preparation of this award and 1 subsequent inspection of the works to check off the Schedule of Condition on completion”.
 
If the surveyor has not already been paid for the visit and the neighour’s refuse to pay you could go through the schedule yourself – you should have been provided with a copy.  I wouldn’t worry too much about it affecting the sale of your property as it is not something that solicitors normally request and your buyers would have their own surveyor visit anyway.

Follow-up

Thanks so much for your prompt reply and advice – on the basis of this, we have tonight been down to see them again and tomorrow are going to contact the original surveyor and ask him to return, which they have agreed to  – so hopefully we will have a satisfactory conclusion!