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Understanding the Party Wall Surveying Procedures

Jul 22, 2021

In today’s Party Wall Surveying Blog Post topic, we are going to be delving into the procedures surrounding construction work that falls within the realm of the Party Wall etc Act 1996

If your neighbour wishes to carry out works on their property that is either

  • Works directly to the party wall, a party structure or a party fence wall.
  • Excavations within 3m or 6m of a neighbouring structure.
  • Construction of new walls built up to or astride the boundary line.

Then under the Party Wall Act 1996 they are required to serve you notice of their intended works at least 1 or 2 months prior to the works commencement date.

In this notice the neighbour must set out the nature and particulars of the proposed work and the date on which the proposed work will begin.

Once this notice has been served upon you this leaves you with 3 response options

Consent to the works

If you agree to the notice then you are permitting the building owner to carry out the works specified in the notice without any further party wall procedures implemented.

Dissent and appoint Party Wall Surveyor

This response means that you will employ a Party Wall Surveyor who will carry out the schedule of condition and assess the intended works to ensure that the risk to your property is kept to a minimum.

Dissent and appoint Agreed Party Wall Surveyor

This response option is essentially the same as option 2. However, a Party Wall Surveyor is appointed to act on behalf of both your property and the building owner’s property.

Upon receiving the notice from the building owner, you have a period of 14 days to respond with one of these three options.

If you do not respond within the 14 days then you are considered to have dissented to the works and a dispute is deemed to have arisen.

Under the Party Wall Act 1996 no matter which response you decide to choose the building owner who intends to carry out the works is liable for all the costs of the Party Wall Act procedures.

After you have responded to the notice and either appointed an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor or a Party Wall Surveyor to act on your behalf, the Party Wall Procedures will commence.

At the first stage of the procedures the Surveyor will carry out a review of the proposed works and identify any risks to your property.

Once this has been completed the Surveyor will then visit your property to carry out a schedule of condition which will thoroughly document the condition of your property prior to the works. This will provide you with the legal protection should there be any issue or damage to your property as a result of the building owners works.

After the schedule of condition has been completed, the surveyor will then draw up the Party Wall Award and the surveyors from both parties will reach an agreement.

The Party Wall Award should consist of:

  • The plans of the building owner’s construction work
  • The procedures that will be in place if the building owners work causes damage to your property, as the building owners are required to make good all structural and decorative damage
  • The date that the works will finish and the hours in which the building owner’s contractors are entitled to work
  • The methods of construction that the building owner’s contractors will be using
  • The access provision, which sets out what parts of your land the building owner can temporarily use to carry out their works.
  • The procedures that will be followed if the building owner wishes to alter the works being carried out.

Once all factors within the award have been agreed and served the building owner is legally permitted to carry out the works.

The final stage of the Party Wall procedures involves your appointed surveyor undertaking a further inspection of your property, once the building owners works have been completed. The purpose of this inspection is to reference the post works condition of your property to the original schedule of condition carried out prior to the works commencing.

This allows the surveyor to identify if there has been any change to the condition of your property since the building owners works have taken place.

In the event that the condition of your property has changed, your appointed surveyor will then quantify the damage and ensure that either the building owners contractor repairs the damage or you are compensated for the repair costs.

If you would like to speak with our team of Party Wall Surveyors today, give us a call and we will be more than happy to arrange for 60 minutes of free no strings attached advice!

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