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Alpine Surveys are experts with regards to Party Wall Act Surveys and the Party Wall Act. With over 30 years surveying and building experience, we are here to support you through what can be a problematic process. Our qualified Party Wall Surveyors support both the property owner where the works will be undertaken, and / or the adjacent owner(s). With offices throughout the South of England including Greater London, we have Party Wall Surveyors ready to assist nearby.
Our Party Wall Surveyors will in effect control and monitor the process for you… this includes undertaking the required Building Condition Survey(s), producing the detailed report, in order that a complete condition record of the property(s) is obtained prior to commencing with the proposed works. We will serve the required notices, and liaise with any other Surveyors that are involved.
The first step is to give us a call on 0330 333 9238 to discuss the proposed building project. We will assess the proposed plans, and fully ascertain who is affected by the works, and who should be notified. In short we will walk you through the whole process, ensuring that the Party Wall Act is fulfilled correctly, and in turn all parties are covered.
There are various scenarios that are considered to be a “party wall”. The main types of party walls are:
The Act covers:
This may include:
If you still have questions, please feel free to get in touch, we will be more than happy to answer any of your concerns
Call 0330 333 9238
The Party Wall Act 1996 is preserved in English law and enforces a legal requirement on homeowners who plan to modify their home in a way that could affect a boundary or wall which is shared with adjoining neighbours – this is known as a Party Wall. These requirements will apply to all residential and commercial properties where extensions, or new building work is propositioned that may have the possibility to affect a shared boundary.
If you are planning to cut into or construct on the party wall, or building or if you are excavating, a Party Wall Notice will have to be served on the owner of the adjoining building, and consent must be received for these works prior to commencement.
Most often the Party Wall Surveyors would need to be informed to act for the building owner and/or for the adjoining building owner/s with regards to any works on or near a boundary. As the owner who would like to commence building works, you may face issues not just with the Party Wall, but in the area of an adjoining building, party wall or boundary. All possibilities of any proposed building works on the surrounding foundations and grounds must be taken into consideration.
It would be very highly recommended that you would give instructions to a well-versed Party Wall Surveyor at the first opportunity you get. The following processes may be quite complicated and with the guidance of Party Wall Surveyor with exceptional expertise, could save you from unnecessary expenses, construction delays and potential disputes.
Please see below for some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) with regards to party walls and the procedures which are outlined in the Party Wall Act 1996. Through the use of these FAQ’s, we will attempt to offer some guidance on what type of issues you may face.
The Act covers three types of work:
This will also include cutting into the party wall dividing terraces houses to insert beans as part of a loft conversion or extension, excavating within 3 or 6 metres (depending on the depth and type of foundation) of the neighbour/s property/properties to construct the foundations to an extension and erect the flank wall of an extension at or close proximity of the boundary.
The appointed surveyor/s will prepare a Schedule of Condition covering the parts of the adjoining owner’s property that is at risk before any construction work commences and for this reason it is strongly recommended that a surveyor is appointed. The report will detail the current condition of the property with photos. The schedule of condition report protects both parties in the event of any damage occurs from the notifiable works undertaken from unfair or misleading claims made by the other party. This document is proof of the property’s condition prior to the works so it will help dealing with such matters.
Unfortunately, yes. It is outside of the law and you could be penalised if you have commenced works and not gained consent from any affected adjoining owners or have not gone through the Act’s dispute resolution procedure. You should not continue until you have served the notice to cover the remaining work and followed the procedures under the Act. Any dissents to the notices will have to be dealt with by the surveyors appointed under Section 10 of the Party Wall Act.
Prior to any major works that may affect a party wall or adjoining structure the owner is required to take consent from the owner/s of the adjoining property/s. If the owner of the property has not received consent from you, they are in breach of the law and you may be able to take action against them to stop their works.
The process of stopping any illegal works would require applying for an injunction from a County Court. The judge will listen to your case and you will most likely be required to provide cross-undertaking in costs, this would mean if your neighbour has not been doing illegal works, you will be responsible for any costs incurred as a result of the injunction. It would therefore be wise to seek legal advice prior to applying for an injunction.
As an adjoining owner or occupier, you are expected to tolerate “reasonable disturbance”. However, the building owner who is carrying out the works has a responsibility to conduct their construction works without causing unnecessary inconvenience. If you suffer a quantifiable loss as a result of the works covered by the Party Wall Act, you will be eligible for compensation (i.e. if you operate a business and customers can no longer enter your premises).
The building owner must adhere to keeping noise and vibrations within local limits and working within time restrictions given by the council.
The Party Wall Act does require you to grant your neighbour access to your land if their construction work cannot be completed any other way, however they must provide you with the required notice. This is normally 14 days, but if it’s an urgent matter (such as a pipe burst), the notice can be reduced due to the matter. We always try to advise that works should be undertaken within the building owners land unless it is absolutely necessary and there is no other way.
The surveyors will also prepare a Party Wall Award to regulate the manner of works and the time covered by the Act. The Award covers important aspects such as access, working hours and safeguards to reduce the risk of damage.
The part of the works that is covered by the Act cannot start until the Party Wall Award is agreed. It will be considered unlawful.
If damage has been caused to your property as a result of the notifiable works undertaken next door by the Act, you can either allow the building owner’s contractor to make good works to restore your property to the condition it was at prior to works commencing or request a payment in lieu. The appointed surveyor/s will be able to handle any disputes over the cause of the damage or the cost of making good generally in a further award. The award will include a timescale within which the payment in lieu must be made. Should this payment covered in the award not be made, you can take enforcement action in the Magistrates’ Court.