Angell Thompson
| Consulting Structural Engineers & Surveyors

Party Wall Matters

Statutory Legislation

The Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 extended legislation previously confined to the Inner London Boroughs, to cover all areas of England and Wales. All Building Owners proposing to undertake works to a Party Wall or carry out excavations in close proximity to an adjacent property are likely to be required to serve Notice on the owner of the adjoining property.

The role of the 'Party Wall Surveyor' is independent of the works to be undertaken, and is to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Act, whether appointed by the Building Owner, the Adjoining Owner or acting as ‘Agreed Surveyor’ for both.

Our Services

  • Acting as Party Wall Surveyor to owners of domestic and commercial buildings
  • Expert knowledge of the Act
  • Serving of Notices and agreement of Awards, to ensure projects can proceed in compliance with the legislation without undue delay
  • In-house engineering expertise where load and stability issues are in question.

If you are unsure whether your works require you to comply with the Act, or if you have been, or believe you should have been, sent a Notice by your neighbour and would like to discuss the matter, please contact our Director, Steve Burbridge.

party wall matters

Party Wall Matters Made Simple

Party Wall Matters - 1

Before Relevant Works Commence

If you intend to:

work on an existing shared wall or shared structure….

Party Wall Matters - 2

...build up to or astride a boundary with a neighbour,

Party Wall Matters - 3

or excavate within 3m of a neighbour’s building….

….it is likely you will be affected by the provisions of the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996

  • If you are carrying out the work you are the ‘Building Owner’ and you will be required to serve one or more of a variety of Notices on the affected neighbour/s. We can undertake this on your behalf.
  • If you are the neighbour of someone indending to carry out work, and/or have received a Notice from them, you are the ‘Adjoining Owner’. We can respond to, or request such Notices on your behalf.
  • If a Building Owner serves Notice on an Adjoining Owner, and the Adjoining Owner agrees (consents) to the works, then no further action is necessary and no Surveyor need be involved.
  • If the Adjoining Owner wishes, he can ‘dissent’ to the work, and a ‘dispute’ is then deemed to have arisen. The language is unnecessarily contentious; a ‘dispute’ does not necessarily mean there is an objection from the Adjoining Owner. It does however mean that further action must be taken to protect the rights and interests of both parties:
  • The Building Owner will need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to act on his behalf, at his own cost. The Adjoining Owner is entitled to appoint a different Party Wall Surveyor, also at the Building Owner’s reasonable cost. If both neighbours agree, it is possible to appoint an ‘Agreed Surveyor’ to act on behalf of both. As mentioned above, any Party Wall Surveyor is independent – he is there to ensure that the rights of both property owners are protected under the Act.
  • When two Surveyors (or an Agreed Surveyor) are appointed, they will serve and respond to any Notices, and will then collaborate in an examination of the areas of the Adjoining Owner’s property which might be affected by the works, usually preparing a jointly-agreed schedule of condition and photographic record. This will form part of the Party Wall Award which they will then issue, and have signed by both Owners. The Surveyors will return once the works are completed, re-examine the same areas and record any new damage. Any damage caused by the works will be repairable at the reasonable cost to the Building Owner.
  • It is relatively unusual for damage to be caused. However, if damage is caused, the prior preparation of a schedule of condition and photographic record ensures the Adjoining Owner is able to demonstrate their loss. If damage is alleged, the Building Owner possesses the same schedule to protect him against a spurious claim. It is in the interest of both parties to have a professional record of made of the condition of neighbouring property in close proximity to proposed construction works.

If you would like further information on Party Wall Matters, please click on the link here to download the R.I.C.S. Guide to Party Walls pdf.

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    Mrs M, Weybridge, Surrey

     

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    Mr C - Kent

     

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    Mr and Mrs C, Broadstairs, Kent

     

     

  • We are really loving our beautiful new home. We can still hardly believe it.
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