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Institution Forums > General > Question re: party wall rights View modes: 
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Site User - 23/11/2017 12:20:10
Question re: party wall rights
I'm planning to remove chimney breasts on 3 floors of a house (fireplaces taken out by previous owners). My architect and very experienced structural engineer say feasible and safe to do. However, neighbour that I share a wall with, and will at some point enter into a Party Wall Agreement (PWA,) is very anxious that the work involved will damage his property. He would like, in addition to hiring his own PW surveyor, to hire a structural engineer to check my engineer's work. 

1. Does my neighbour have a right to hire an independent structural engineer in addition to a PW surveyor under a PWA? If yes, is this something that I would be expected to pay for under the PWA? 

2. If for some reason his structural engineer disagrees with my engineer's opinion on the feasability of taking out chimney breasts in my house what happens e.g. does the decision go to another independent committee etc.? What is the arbitration process?

Thanks in advance for any helpful information

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Member (MIStructE)
Member (MIStructE)
Christopher Tomlin - 07/12/2017 16:59:41
RE:Question re: party wall rights
You neighbour has the right to appoint anyone he likes.  He can pay for whom ever he wants to.  It doesnt mean you have to provide him your design calculations.

However, under the Party Wall act your neighbour is allowed to appoint a Party Wall surveyor.  If the surveyor believes the project to be technically challenging and outside his expertise then he, your neighbours surveyor may appoint an engineer to provide technical advice.  Unfortunately you will normally need to cover the costs of this.
One option would be ask your neighbour to appoint a party wall surveyor who is also an engineer.  If you look on the P&T web site you will find myself and other engineers who undertake party wall work  

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