The Party Wall Act:Explained

We have over 20 years’ experience dealing with Wall matters, in addition we advise on and administering the Party Wall Act 1996 on behalf of Adjoining Owners and Building Owners, whether they are commercial or residential property owners, contractors, developers or property professionals.

 

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Our website allows you to find out more about the Party Wall Act 1996. 

We know through experience, that the Party Wall Act 1996 is a complicated piece of government legislation. Our Surveys need to be accurate and condition reports concise.

 

  1. I have received a Party Wall notice what action should I take?

 

If you have received a Party Wall Notice this means that your neighbour is planning to carry out works to their property that could affect your own property.

Typically the works could be an extension, a loft conversion or a basement conversion or just internal alterations such as the removal of a chimney breast.  The Party Wall notice should specify what works your neighbour wishes to undertake.  You must respond within 14 days.  If you ignore the notice, a surveyor can be appointed on your behalf without your consent.

 

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The purpose of the Act is primarily to allow the Building Owner (i.e. your neighbour) to undertake works to their property, but the Act also allows Adjoining Owners (i.e. yourself) to have some input on what works can be carried out and most importantly, to have a Schedule of Condition taken of your property prior to the commencement of works.  This will ensure that if any damage is caused it is abundantly clear that the damage was caused by the building works carried out next door and the cost of repairs will be met by those doing the work.

 

The costs of the surveyors drawing up the award will normally be paid by the party undertaking the works.

You can respond in one of three ways: -

A) Allow the work to continue forthwith.

If the works are minor and non-structural, you do not need to engage a surveyor at all; you can simply "concur to the works".  This will enable the works to commence straight away.  However, if any damage is caused or disputes arise, it is always more difficult to get the damage repaired.  You will save your neighbour the cost of the Surveyor's fee, however we would generally not recommend this approach for major works such as extensions, loft conversions or basements for example.

B) Ask for a schedule of condition to be carried out by agreeing to the Surveyor suggested on the form.

You may dissent from the works and agree to the Surveyor suggested by the Building Owner.  This "agreed" surveyor should arrange to carry out a Schedule of Condition, including photographs and draw up an Award.  If the suggested Surveyor is acting as project manager for the Building Owner we would strongly recommend that you do not appoint them as an "agreed" surveyor.

It is important to note than the surveyor should not work for either party, a Party Wall Surveyor should not work for a client, he simply administers the act and he must do this impartially and fairly.  You should have confidence in the impartiality of the "agreed" surveyor, if you have any doubts about the suggested surveyor’s impartiality simply suggest to the Building Owner that he accepts your preferred Surveyor to reduce his cost, this is after all what he is asking you to do.

 

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Please note that if an "agreed" surveyor is used you cannot refer any disagreement to the third Surveyor, your only course of action is to appeal against the Award in court.

If appointed as "agreed" surveyor we would ensure that the risk to your property is minimised to the lowest possible level, that accurate photographs are taken and that a comprehensive Schedule of Condition is undertaken.  We would then issue a formal Party Wall Award detailing the agreement together with the schedule of condition.  

 

C) Appoint your own Surveyor to carry out the schedule of condition.

You may dissent from the works and appoint your own Surveyor.  The cost of preparing the Schedule of Condition and your Surveyor's fees are, in normal circumstances, paid by the Building Owner undertaking the work.  

In this event the two Surveyors will firstly agree a "third" Surveyor to adjudicate between them if they cannot agree, the two Surveyors will then take the schedules of condition and produce the Award in the same way as the "agreed" surveyor.

 

Unless the works are complex in nature and/or there are existing areas of conflict between yourselves there is very little to be gained other than incurring additional cost for your neighbour by proceeding this way.

 

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The information on this site can only ever provide you with a brief insight into the Act. 

 

We would be happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have.

 

If you would like to contact us on 0207 118 4331 for further information.

 

What our clients say....

Sally, Middlesex

“Party Wall Surveyors gave me a great choice of options to help me with my loft conversion. I would recommend their service to anyone needing professional help. They were happy to guide me through the process of resolving issues”.

Ella, Chelsea

You have a sense of panic when you find a Notice land on your doorstep!   Party Wall Surveyors provided me with a free assessment and undertook the legal work to my home within my own time schedule. Half the price of the lowest other quote”

Margret & George, North London

Buying our first home caused us enough stress but the intended extension gave us more. Party Wall Surveyors provided us with explanations to what the steps would be to resolve the issue. We were able to make the right decision for us. Recommend these guys! Substantially less than others”

Deborah, Ilford

As our family grew we decided a basement conversion would be a great option for us.  Party Wall Surveyors explained to us what we would need to do to have a great room space for the kids. The kids seem happy and so are we. They served all the Notices and supervised the works getting my neighbours informed all along the process”

Hannah, Harrow

“I had an experience with a previous Surveyor over charging which appears very common, that left me out of pocket, Party Wall Surveyors came to my rescue; if you want a service you can trust – this is the one to use”

Ryan, Essex

‘’We knew we needed work but was worried about getting the wrong Surveyor I have read so many horror stories and paying more than what we should. After a few quotes it was obvious that Party Wall Surveyors was the right choice to sort all the legal and Notices”.

 

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In order to reach us

Party Wall Surveyors

Windsor Avenue

London

SW19 2RR

 

Tel: 0207 118 4331

Text:07764 589804 

E-Mail

info@localpartywallsurveyors.com

 

We're also available via our contact form

News Oct 2018

New office opening & Local Council appointment

We are proud to announce the opening of our third office in London.

 

We have been appointed as the preferred Surveyors for the London Borough of Lewisham.

 

We collectively completed over 200 Party Wall Awards in September 2018 without fault.  

 

 

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Specialist Party Wall Surveyors are respected Experts in all Matters Relating to the Party Wall ect. Act 1996