Building 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 proposed construction works meet these definitions, as the property owner undertaking the works, you are referred to as the building owner.
As the building owner, it is your legal duty and a legal requirement for you to serve the Party Wall Notice upon the neighbouring owner, known as the adjoining owner, a minimum of 1 or 2 months in advance of the proposed the construction works commencing on site.
Party Wall Notice
Party Wall notification is in the form of a Party Wall Notice which you will need to serve upon the neighbouring owner, known as the adjoining owner, in advance of the works.
Once you’ve served the Notice, the adjoining owner 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 the adjoining owner doesn’t require any of the Party Wall Surveying procedures implemented. You 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 the adjoining owner has appointed a Party Wall Surveyor to represent their interests. The Party Wall Surveyor will look at the construction works from the perspective of their property ensuring the risk is as low as it can be.
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 on behalf of both yourself and the adjoining owner. In the event of a dissent, this is likely to be the most cost and time effective response for you.
Irrespective of the adjoining owner’s Party Wall Notice response, you will be responsible for any costs, expense or fees associated with the Party Wall Surveying Procedures and the administration of the Party Wall Act.
Once you’ve served the Party Wall Notice and once the adjoining owner has responded with a Party Wall Notice Dissent, the Party Wall Surveying Procedures will include:
The Party Wall Surveyor will review your construction works from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s 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
We would therefore advise that you compile this information early and ideally in advance of the Party Wall Notice service, that will ensure there isn’t any delay once the adjoining owner’s Notice response has been received.
Schedule of Condition Inspection & Report
During the Schedule of Condition Inspection, the chartered surveyor will accommodate themselves with the lay of the land and ensure that they’ve taken all aspects of your construction works and risk into account.
They will then proceed to record and document the full condition of the adjoining owner’s 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 the adjoining owner with legal protection in the event of issue or damage.
Agreement of a Legal Party Wall Award
Once the Party Wall Surveyor has undertaken full review of your construction works and considered all risks and procedural aspect of the work, he or she will then move onto the agreement of the Party Wall Award.
The Party Wall Award governs your construction works. Common clauses and additions to the Award include:
- The scope of your construction work
- Procedures to be implemented in the event that your works cause damage or issue to the adjoining owner’s property
- Procedures to be implemented in the event of compensation for the adjoining owner
- Permitted working hours for your construction works
- Construction method and requirements for your works, these would specify how the contractors are to undertake certain parts of the works
- Protective measures that your contractors will need to abide to during the course of the construction work
- Temporary access provisions and procedures for any access that your contractors may require onto the adjoining owner’s land or airspace
- Procedures to be implemented in the event that your construction work have any variations
Once the Party Wall Award is agreed and served, you will then be free to progress your works on site, subject to adhering to the Party Wall Award’s requirements.
Post Construction Work Inspection
Post Construction Work, the Party Wall Surveyor will undertake a further inspection and visit of the adjoining owner’s 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, or damage resulting from your construction works.
If there has been issue or damage to the adjoining owner’s property, the Party Wall Surveyor will then handle the matter and ensure it is repaired by your contractor, or ensure the adjoining owner is compensated for the repair costs and loss. You would need to bear these costs.
Typical Party Wall Surveying Questions & Video FAQ
Do I have to serve a Party Wall Notice in advance of my works?
In the event that Party Wall Surveying procedures are overlooked, there is a significant risk of the adjoining owner obtaining a Party Wall injunction.
This would ultimately result in the works having to be delayed until the correct Party Wall Surveying procedures are followed, while also resulting in very high legal cost.
Do I have to pay for the Party Wall Surveying costs?
How do I start the Party Wall Surveying procedures?
The building owner can either serve the Party Wall Notice themselves or instruct a Party Wall Surveyor to serve it on their behalf.
We’d always advise a Party Wall Surveyor serves the Notice as that ensures legal validity and avoids costly issue further down the line.
How soon after I serve the Party Wall Notice can I start the works?
In reality, the timings are very much dependent upon the speed at which the adjoining owner responds to the Party Wall Notice, as well as their Party Wall Notice response.
If they dissent to the Party Wall Notice, we’d advise allowing in the region of 2 weeks to 8 weeks for the agreement of the Party Wall Award once their Party Wall Notice response is received.
Here are some Party Wall Surveying projects we've done in the past:
Rutland Mews South, Knightsbridge, SW7
The Stokemont team were very pleased to be able assist with the completion of a Party Wall Surveying Schedule of Condition Report for a stunning mews house located on Rutland Mews South, Knightsbridge, SW7. The neighbouring works included a single storey basement conversion and extension on Rutland Street.
Timeline: 27 days
High Street Kensington, London, W8
The Stokemont team were very pleased to be able assist with the completion of a Party Wall Award for this mid level flat located on High Street Kensington, London. The construction works included the removal of internal structural walls, the introduction of new steel support and the replacement of floors and ceilings.
Timeline: 12 days
St Stephen's Terrace, Stockwell, SW8
The Stokemont team were very pleased to be able assist with the service of Party Wall Notices, a Schedule of Condition Report and Agreement of a Party Wall Award on this mid terraced turn of the century home on St Stephen's Terrace, Stockwell. The Party Wall works included the installation of steel work into the Party Wall and relocation of internal walls.
Timeline: 22 days
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).
I had a great experience with Stokemont who recently carried out a full building survey on a house we are buying. We had an extremely thorough and detailed report sent to us I’d recommend Stokemont to anyone needing a survey.
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!
We worked with Stokemont for a RICS survey and have only positive things to say. Thorough, clear, professional, and took time to explain findings in details. Would definitely recommend.
Stokemont was extremely prompt in their responses at every stage and we were assisted on every occasion when needed. The delivery target met our very tight deadline requirements. Will definitely recommend without any hesitation.
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