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How Long Does It Take To Agree a Party Wall Agreement?

Nov 19, 2022

Hello and welcome to today’s installment of our informative property surveying blog post, in today’s installment, we are going to be discussing Party Wall Surveying matters, more specifically we are going to be taking a look at how long it takes to agree a Party Wall Agreement.

Throughout this blog post, I may refer to the Party Wall Agreement as a Party Wall Award as under The Party Wall etc Act 1996 there are one in the same thing.

When it comes down to the timings that it will take on average to determine a Party Wall Award, this can be quite a difficult thing to determine, as each case can be unique with there being a wide variety of factors that are involved when it comes to the Party Wall procedure.

 Sometimes the Party Wall procedure can involve multiple parties even within the same property, with each party being able to appoint its own Party Wall Surveyor.

So as there can be a lot of moving parts involved with the Party Wall procedure, it can be difficult to give an accurate representation of the times involved before a Party Wall Award can be agreed upon.

Party Wall Notice

One of the first aspects of the Party Wall Procedure is the service of the Party Wall Notice,

Before the Party Wall Procedure can begin a Party Wall Notice would need to be served which is essentially a letter that will outline the types of planned works that are going to be carried out.

With the Notice itself, there are statutory requirements that govern the way the Notice must be served, such as the amount of time that a Notice needs to be served before the planned works are to be carried out (one to two months depending on the type of planned works) and the amount of time that an adjoining owner will have to respond to the Notice.

Upon the serving of the first Notice, the adjoining owner/s will have a total of 16 days to respond, this is made up of 14 statutory days and 2 days postage allowance.

If this notice is not responded to then a second notice must be served. The second Notice allows for a 12 day response time with that consisting of 10 statutory and 2 days postage allowance.

Finally, if that is not responded to then a 10(4) notice must be served, which will give you the right to appoint a Party Wall surveyor on the unresponsive neighbor’s behalf.

When it comes to the actual response to the Party Wall Notice, there  3 ways that an adjoining owner is capable of responding, but for the purpose of this blog post, I will not go into too much depth on the different response options.

The important thing to note is that the first response option would be the best with regards to timing, as this response option would be your neighbor (adjoining owner) agreeing to the Party Wall Works and so there would be no need for the creation of an award.

The second response option is also very favorable when it comes to seeped as this will be your neighbor agreeing to the appointment of one Party Wall Surveyor who will oversee the Party Wall procedure for all parties involved.

Whereas the third response option would be the lease favorable as within this option the adjoining owner has the ability to appoint their own Party Wall Surveyor and this, in turn, could significantly slow down the Part Wall procedure and so as a result can also slow down the agreement of a Party Wall Award.

Schedule of Condition Report

After the notice has been responded to then the next step in the Party Wall procedure would be to carry out a Schedule of condition survey or SOC for short.

This is an inspection that takes place on the adjoining owner’s property per the planned works being carried out so we have an accurate representation of the current condition of the property.

The SOC will also be accompanied by hundreds if not thousands of photographs, this way not only will we get a though the record of the condition of the neighboring property but this is also unfull in case damage were to occur, we would be able to identify this immediately.

This is an area throughout the Party Wall procedure that could cause some delay as it will rely on coordinating a time that would be suitable for the adjoining owners (and their Party Wall Surveyor if they have chosen to appoint one), but once a Party Wall Surveyor has been on to site and completed the inspection we aim to have the report turned round within under 7 days.

Party Wall Award

The Award is one of the final parts of the Party Wall procedure and can be relatively straightforward if there is only one appointed Party Wall Surveyor, although can become a very lengthy process when there are multiple Party Wall Surveyors involved, as this will require the two Party Wall Surveyors to go back and forth with one another to come to the creation of the award. 

At this stage where we are likely to see significant delays to the creation of the Party Wall Award in cases where there is a disagreement between the two Party Wall Surveyors which can not be resolved amicably and so a third Party Wall Surveyor has to become involved. As the third Party Wall Surveyor will now have to review the work of the two other Party Wall Surveyors and come to a decision on that aspect of the award independently.

I hope this gives you further insight into the Party Wall procedure and if you have any questions or queries in regards to the Party Wall procedure or any of the other services that we offer here at Stokemont, then please do not hesitate to get in touch by either giving us a call or alternatively you can pop us over an email and one of our team of experienced Party Wall Surveyors will be happy to assist and advise you.

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