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Adjoining Owner Information

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 governs 3 particular types of construction work and covers all properties within England and Wales.

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.

Party Wall Notice

Party Wall notification is in the form of a Party Wall Notice, which the building owner will need to serve upon you in advance of their works.

Once the building owner has served the Notice, you will have the right to select one of three Party Wall Notice responses:

1. Consent to the Works

Consenting to the construction works means that you don’t require any of the Party Wall Surveying procedures to be implemented. The building owner will then be free to commence the construction works without any further formality.

2. Dissent and appoint a Party Wall Surveyor

Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice will mean that you appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to represent your interests. The Party Wall Surveyor will look at the construction works from the perspective of your property ensuring the risk is as low as it can be. The building owner would also need to appoint a Surveyor on their behalf.

3. Dissent and appoint an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor

This is the same as response option two, the only difference being that one Party Wall Surveyor acts jointly and impartially on behalf of both yourself and the building owner.

Irrespective of your Party Wall Notice response, the building owner will be responsible for any costs, expense or fees associated with the Party Wall Surveying Procedures and the administration of the Party Wall Act.

Party Wall
Surveying Procedures

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:

Surveyor Review

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.

Team Qualifications 

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).

Testimonials

Thoroughly recommend Stokemont! Professional and knowledgeable. We had a few problems but Stokemont’s experience and advice helped us find the best solution to the problem and moved us forward with no delays. They were quick to respond and always kept us in the loop with the process. Will definitely be using their services again in the future and recommending them to friends/family. Thank you again!

JL 03/05/21

I have experienced an excellent service from Bradley. His knowledge and expertise have been invaluable as well as his professional courtesy to make himself readily available to guide us through the process.

RM 30/04/21

Bradley at Stokemont has been extremely helpful and professional. We had some potential issues with our neighbours but he put our minds at rest and talked us through the options as well as going above and beyond in our personal circumstance. Having used a few party wall surveyors in my own professional capacity I thought Stokemont had the good balance of the right advice and looking after our interests. Would definitely look to them for any future Party Wall Matters.

AH 26/04/21

Great experience with Stokemont surveyors so far, in helping us move forward with our home renovation project. I spoke to a few surveyors before deciding to go with Stokemont. Bradley's knowledge, experience and professionalism gave me the confidence that I had found a company I could work with.

DZ 29/03/21

I am removing a Chimney breast from my Semi-detached home, and Bradley from Stokemont talked me through all the options (couldn't believe how many ways this could go) involved with serving a Party Wall Notice. It took less than 48 hours from me speaking with Bradley, to serving the party wall, and then my neighbour had it returned in less than a week after that. Simple, efficient and easy. Will 100% recommend their services.

HC 08/03/21

A fantastic, efficient and honest service from Stokemonts Bradley Mackenzie. He was clear, transparent and very helpful dealing with our party wall matter. He came as a recommendation and will be my recommendation if anyone ever asks me for a Party Wall Surveyor!

NH 30/02/21

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