How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Aston Lawyer Your Own Question
Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10491
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
16368554
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Aston Lawyer is online now

Again we spoke yesterday about getting a surveyor to

Resolved Question:

Hello again we spoke yesterday about getting a surveyor to do an award for me before I sign my neighbours consent letter to start extension work on their home. The neighbour has agreed for us to use their surveyor at their cost. The surveyor is coming next Thursday. Next Thursday is 11 days after they wrote to us. That would mean the surveyor wouldn't be able to get the report back to us within the 14 day period before entering a dispute. when can I sign the consent form?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thanks for contacting me again.

A person who receives a notice about intended work may:
give his consent in writing, or

refuse to consent to the works proposed (the dispute resolution procedure then comes into play).

Hence, you should NOT sign the consent form now or at a later date.

The dispute resolution procedure is the procedure you will be going through

Your "Agreed Surveyor" will draw up an "Award", which is basically a schedule of the works to be carried out.

So, you need do nothing with the consent form and await further advice from your Surveyor when he attends at your property.

I hope this assists but please let me know if you require any further clarification.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

But I am very happy for them to do the work. I just want to follow the correct procedure. So why must I enter the dispute phase?

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Although you are happy with the work your neighbour intends to carry out, it is always best for an Award to be entered into, if you have any concerns about possible damage being caused to your property/the hours of intended work.

It is a safeguard as far as you are concerned, so in the event of problems arising, you can call on the Surveyor for guidance and help.

I am sure your neighbour will understand that it is reasonable for you to have this safeguard.

I hope this assists.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My neighbour is a barrister who says that the correct procedure is this:
This is her text to me, saying what you're saying is incorrect:
"No it isn't . That's if you don't sign the consent . The usual steps are
1. Serve notice
2. 14 days consent given building works can commence one month from date of service
Or
3. Consent not given then dispute has arisen.
4. Surveyors appointed who carry out a survey she prepare a schedule of condition. This is agreed by all parties or disputed and then once agreed signed and works can commence.
In our case we are still at stage one but we are adding on survey to this stage .
Sorry at stage four the schedule of condition is attached to a document called an award ( this term is only used when a dispute has arisen not at stage one.)
So a lot of surveyors advise that even if your neighbours consent to the works it is better to get a schedule of condition prepared before the works commence so that there is a recurs of the condition of all property before the build.
I mean records "
What are your thoughts? Is she correct? She also sent me this:
Ben this is really boring but helps to explain everything
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/393927/Party_Wall_etc__Act_1996_-_Explanatory_Booklet.pdf
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Sorry for the delay.

To be honest, your neighbour's text says exactly what I have previously told you.

At stage 1, if you sign the consent form, then your neighbour is free to just get on with the work and you do not instruct a Surveyor to draw up the Award (your neighbour refers to it as a Schedule of Condition, which is basically what the Award is).

As you have already asked their Surveyor to act for you also, you are therefore approaching stage 4. (Stage 3 occurs if you do not sign the consent form- I recommended that you di not sign the consent form).

Pease let me know if I am missing something!

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You told me before that I should not sign the consent form until I have instructed their surveyor.

Instruct their surveyor then sign the consent form.

What should I do, according to the process. Please be clear. Twice you've said do NOT sign the consent form.

now you're saying sign it?

which if it to be please because I'm saying things to her that are tying everyone up.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

I can't see that I have ever told you to sign the consent form- my previous answer just repeats the advice I said in my first answer- ie do NOT sign the consent form.

You should not at any point sign the consent form and let it go to stage 4, and as everything is very amicable, I am sure the Surveyor will have no problem in drafting the Award which is fair and reasonable to both parties.

I hope this clarifies matters.

Good luck.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My question is:

do I need to have the surveyors report back before I sign the consent form?

is that the advice?

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

No, please do not sign the consent form, ever! a neighbour only signs a consent form if they are happy with the neighbours proposals and do NOT want a Surveyor involved in drawing up an Award.

If you sign the consent form, you are basically agreeing to your neighbour cracking on with things under their own steam, with no-one looking after your interests.

By not signing the consent form, your neighbour can not start work until the Surveyor has prepared the Award, which sets out what works are to be done/ stipulates any conditions relating to these works and the hours the work can be carried out. It also means that if there are any problems along the way, you have the Surveyor to call upon to assist you/make sure the neighbour corrects any wrongdoing.

So, if you sign the consent form it means no Award and you are reliant on the neighbour doing as they said they would.

By not signing the consent form ever, you have the safeguard of the Award and free guidance of a Surveyor if problems arise.

I hope this clarifies things for you.

Kind regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So in order for me to protect my interests at all times its mandatory to enter into a dispute?

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Yes, you are quite correct. (Although I appreciate you more or less agree with the proposed works, it is always best to let it run to a "dispute" enabling you to use the services of a Surveyor, free of charge).

Kind Regards

Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Can I assist you any further?

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok, that's great. So is running a dispute when a neighbour is doing works very common practice? I ask because the 14 days between a neighbour informing someone and a surveyor attending the property seems like a very short notice period for the surveyor to attend the property.

Also would it be possible to sign the consent form IF the neighbour put on the consent form that "consent is given subject to the provision of a schedule of condition", and then the surveyor could come round, do his report, then I would receive the report down the line, but it would avoid me entering into a dispute with the neighbour. I've got a feeling that the neighbour is trying to borrow more money for the conversion from the bank and that a dispute at the property might put a block on that.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

Although it is called a "dispute" in practice, this is too strong a word in matters such as yours- it merely means that you want the advice of a Surveyor, before agreeing that the works can commence.

It is common practice for the adjoining owner to enter into a "dispute", only so it then enables them to seek the advice of a Surveyor.

You should NOT sign the consent form, full stop- if you do, then th eneighbour is free to commence works immediately and you can't sign th econsent form, with the proviso tha tit is subject to the schedule of works.

As regards ***** *****'s funding, the fact the matter "dispute" won't affect their ability to get funding at all.

Hope this helps.

Kind Regards

Al

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

If I have answered your question, I would be grateful if you could rate mey answer.

Thanks

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Your advice has been excellent, as I will say when I rate to finish. However my neighbour says that the law for commercial and residential property are different and therefore I have been advised incorrectly. Is true that the principles are different and that I am receiving the wrong advice from you because you are a commercial not a residential property lawyer? I'm not sure that will be the case but I would just like to ask for my peace of mind. Sorry for asking this question.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi George,

I am a residential Conveyancing Solicitor and the Party Wall Act deals with residential property which is what I have been advising you on!

Think your neighbour is trying it on!

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you - ok, final question: my neighbour said that if the process enters the 'dispute' phase after the 14 days' notice then the fees that their surveyor will charge them will increase to around £1600, and th if that was the case then she would also have to pay an additional £1600 for the award to be carried out for her other neighbour. Firstly, I'm not sure why our dispute would cause her to have to seek an award for our neighbours - does this also sound dubious to you? And secondly, in your experience with process, although youre not obviously a surveyor, is that generally the case, that surveyors charge a new increased amount should the case rise to the disputed status? Clearly we're saving her mon by agreeing to use her surveyor - but does this talk of surveyor increasing her fees exorbitantly also sound dubious you?

thsnks so much your guidance with this?

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hi,

The Surveyor's fees will indeed increase if it fgoes into dispute (hence why your neighbour appears to be desperate for you not to go down that route), as the Surveyor will be advising you and them. The £!,600 quoted sounds about the going rate, but that is an expense your neighbour would have been advised about before starting on their project, in that most Party Wall matters go to "dispute".

As regards ***** ***** neighbour, this has absolutely nothing to do and whatever you do has no effect on the other neighbour's fees.

Kind Regards

Al

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Outstanding advice. Thank you so much.

Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome.

If I have helped, I would be grateful if you could rate my answer, so I can get credited for my time.

Best Wishes

Al

Aston Lawyer and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Property Law Questions