Building Surveying

Party Wall Supporting you with Party Wall issues and opportunities

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Party Wall Supporting you with Party Wall issues and opportunities

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Party Wall Supporting you with Party Wall issues and opportunities

Party Wall

Whether you’re the one undertaking the works (Building Owner) or the one who has received a Party Wall notice (Adjoining Owner) Our Chartered Surveyors are happy to assist.

What does the Party Wall etc. Act do?

The Act came into force on 1 July 1997 and applies throughout England and Wales (the Act does not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland). The Act provides a framework for preventing or resolving disputes in relation to party walls, party structures, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

Who pays the surveyor’s fees?

The surveyor (or surveyors) will decide who pays the fees for drawing up the Award and for checking that the work has been carried out in accordance with the Award. Usually and in most cases the Building Owner will pay all costs associated with preparing the Award, if the works are solely for the Building Owner’s benefit.

Building Owners

The Act provides a Building Owner, who wishes to carry out various types of work to an existing party wall, with additional rights going beyond ordinary common law rights. The most commonly used rights are:-
  • Excavation works for an extension within three metres proximity of a neighbouring property or shared structure.
  • Cutting into the party wall to insert beams for a loft conversion.
  • Removing chimney breasts on a party wall.
  • Underpinning a party wall for a basement extension.
If you are planning to undertake one of the above works, under the Act you are referred to as the “Building Owner”.  The Act states that it is necessary for a Building Owner to serve notice on any Adjoining Owner who may be affected by the works.
The Adjoining Owner will then have three options when responding to the notices:-
  1. Consent to the works.
  2. Dissent to the works and appoint their own Surveyor to act as the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor.
  3. Dissent to the works and appoint the Building Owner’s Surveyor to act as the Agreed Surveyor.
With options 2 and 3 above, a Surveyor or Surveyors must be appointed so that the dispute can be resolved by way of a Party Wall Award.

Adjoining Owners

Have you received a Party Wall Notice from one of your neighbours?
If the answer is “yes”, this is because one of your neighbours is planning to undertake works which fall within the scope of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
The following are typical examples of works which could be covered by the Act:-
  • Excavation works for an extension within three metres proximity of a neighbouring property or shared structure.
  • Cutting into the party wall to insert beams for a loft conversion.
  • Removing chimney breasts on a party wall.
  • Underpinning a party wall for a basement extension.
As an Adjoining Owner, you will have 14 days in which to respond to the Notice with one of the following options:-
  1. Consent to the works.
  2. Dissent to the works and appoint your own Surveyor to act as the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor.
  3. Dissent to the works and appoint the Building Owner’s Surveyor to act as the Agreed Surveyor.
With option 2 and 3 a Surveyor or Surveyors must be appointed so that the dispute can be resolved by way of a Party Wall Award.
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