Works directly to a Party Wall, Party Structure (ceiling or floor) or Party Fence Wall (garden wall)
Excavations within 6 metres of any neighbouring structure
The construction of new walls built up to, or astride a boundary line
If your neighbour’s proposed construction works meet these definitions, as the building owner of the property, it their legal duty and a legal requirement to serve a Party Wall Notice upon you, the adjoining owner, a minimum of 1 or 2 months in advance of their proposed construction works commencing on site.
Once the building owner has served the Party Wall Notice and you’ve responded with a Party Wall Notice Dissent, the Party Wall Surveying Procedures will include:
The Party Wall Surveyor will review the building owner’s construction works from the perspective of your property. The review will include, but is not be limited to:
- Existing and Proposed Architectural Drawings
- Proposed Structural Drawings
- Structural Calculations
- Construction Method Statements
- Land Registry Title Deeds and Plans
- Any other information pertinent to the construction works taking place
The aim will be to ensure that your property has been fully considered through the eyes of the building owner’s proposed construction works.
Schedule of Condition Inspection & Report
During the Schedule of Condition Inspection, the Party Wall Surveyor will accommodate themselves with the lay of the land and ensure that they’ve taken all aspects of the building owner’s construction works and risk into account.
They will then proceed to record and document the full condition of your property ensuring they have a clear and thorough record in place pre-construction works. This record will form part of the Party Wall Award and provide you with legal protection in the event of issue or damage as a result of the building owner’s construction works.
Agreement of a Legal Party Wall Award
Once the Party Wall Surveyor has undertaken full review of the building owner’s construction works and considered all risk and procedural aspects of the work, he or she will then move onto the agreement of the Party Wall Award.
The Party Wall Award governs the building owner’s proposed construction works. Common clauses and additions to the Award include:
- The scope of the building owner’s construction work
- Procedures to be implemented in the event that the building owner’s works cause damage or issue to your property
- Procedures to be implemented in the event that you require compensation
- Permitted working hours for the building owner’s construction works
- Construction method and requirements for the building owner’s works, these would specify how the contractors are to undertake certain parts of the works
- Protective measures that the building owner’s contractors will need to abide to during the course of the construction work
- Temporary access provisions and procedures for any access that the building owner’s contractors may require onto your land or airspace
- Procedures to be implemented in the event of variation to the building owner’s construction work
A Party Wall Award has the legal benefit of being more protective in terms of timing and cost when compared your common law rights. In particular, you’re not liable for any of the cost in proving any issue or damage, or having it dealt with.
Once the Party Wall Award is agreed and served, the building owner will then be free to progress their works on site, subject to adhering to the Party Wall Awards requirements.
Post Construction Work Inspection
Post Construction Work, the Party Wall Surveyor will undertake a further inspection and visit of your property.
The inspection will enable the Party Wall Surveyor to check off the original Schedule of Condition Inspection & Report, assessing if there has been any change to the condition to your property, or damage resulting from the building owner’s construction works.
If there has been issue or damage to your property, the Party Wall Surveyor will then handle the matter and ensure it is repaired by the building owner’s contractor, or ensure you are compensated for the repair costs and loss.
Typical Party Wall Surveying Questions
Can I select any Party Wall Surveyor?
Yes, as an adjoining owner you are within your legal rights to select any Party Wall Surveyor of your choosing.
We’d advise ensuring the Party Wall Surveyor is not only qualified, but also experienced.
How quickly do I need to respond to the Party Wall Notice?
You will need to respond to the Party Wall Notice within 14 days of its service date.
If for any reason you are unable to respond within that time, the building owner, or their Party Wall Surveyor, will likely serve a further Party Wall Notice upon you giving you a final 10 days to respond.
In the event that the further Party Wall Notice isn’t responded to, the building owner does have the legal right to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor on your behalf.
Will the Party Wall Surveyor want to visit my property before the works start?
Yes, as part of the Party Wall Surveying procedures, if you dissent to the Party Wall Notice the building owner’s Party Wall Surveyor will want to inspect your property in advance of the building owner’s proposed construction works commencing to complete a Schedule of Condition Report.
Can I stop my neighbour’s works?
No, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is in nature a facilitating Act.
While you do have the right to have your property protected via the Party Wall Surveying procedures, you do not have the right to stop or prevent your neighbour from undertaking the works.
Do I need to pay for my Party Wall Surveyor’s costs?
No, under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 the building owner is legally liable for your Party Wall Surveyor’s reasonable fee.
It would be unreasonable for an adjoining owner to have to cover the costs of a Party Wall Surveyor as a result of the building owner’s proposed works.
Our team of Surveyors are not only highly experienced but importantly they are also qualified.
We’re proud to confirm our Surveyors hold membership status and accreditation to some of the world’s leading professional governing bodies including; the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), The Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE), the Pyramus and Thisbe Club (P&T) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).
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