3rd surveyor’s award of ‘grossly excessive’ expenses, overturned. Welter v McKeeve November 2018

This is about an appeal against a 3rd surveyor’s award. It deals with recompense of expense incurred by the Adjoining Owner to rectify defects in the construction of underpinning to a party wall that was previously undertaken by the Building Owner.  The matter that the 3rd surveyor had to consider, was whether the cost incurred of about £148,000.00 comprised the proper amount to be paid, given that the Building Owner’s surveyor was making the point that the costs are ‘grossly and extremely excessive’. Despite this he awarded that amount.

The Judge took the view that he could find no evidence that the 3rd surveyor had made much effort to consider whether the amount was properly calculated. At the trial it became apparent that if the true cost had been diligently assessed, then it would have been about £48,000.00 (£100,000.00 less) and that it was the duty of the 3rd surveyor to obtain or undertake such an assessment.

The award was therefore modified by the judge to this amount.

He was was also highly critical of the of the Adjoining Owner’s surveyors unprofessional and partisan behavior. He spelt out in clear terms how he expected party wall surveyors to conduct themselves.

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