It sometimes becomes very difficult to undertake my duties under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, basically because of the misunderstandings of one of the parties, or both parties, as to what my role under the Act actually is.
I currently have a situation, where the Adjoining Owner, is principally wasting my time in getting me to explain every action I take. I wonder why he bothered to appoint me to start with. I am at the point of telling him that he is impeding my duties, and that if he wishes to continue to waste my time I want him to confirm that he will pay my fees in doing so. Hopefully that will stop him from wasting my time any further.
The duties of a party wall surveyor are specifically narrow under the Act. This Adjoining Owner is now claiming that I agreed certain matters during a site visit, under some spurious notion that he recorded all the statements and had a witness to this. Talk about making life difficult. I had to refute his statements, and informed him I only make agreements or statements in writing in order to avoid any misunderstandings. Why is it some individuals (as I have been there before), think that a professional person would make such verbal agreements? I simply do not do that, it’s not part of my codes of conduct to do such things. In this particular case, he was making similar inaccurate assertions about other parties, earlier on, so I assume it has something to do with how he perceives matters.
It’s very simple really, the Act is designed for party wall surveyors to determine matters in an Award, and that this is only way either of the Owners (Building or Adjoining), can argue the content of what the surveyors determine. Thereby there are no verbal agreements recognised under the Act.
Next time... after this rant... I will explain a little more about the Party Wall procedures, and what it is all about.