Party Wall Surveyors London

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Party Wall Survey London

What is a party wall?

A party wall is the dividing wall that separates the building between two owners; it is usually the center of the wall. A party wall will always stand on two or more plots of land, where the party wall forms a part of the building on that land. A party wall can stand on the land without being a separator for any buildings, a garden wall is an example. Other separating methods such as wooden posts or fences will not count as a party wall.

What makes the party wall different to others?

As by the Party Wall Act, almost any work that is to be carried out on the party wall must be suspended until the neighbors have been given a proposal of the work; all neighbors must agree on the proposal before it can begin. If they do not agree with the proposal, you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor to create a party wall award. The only time that a party wall can have work done without an agreement or party wall act is if the work being done is very minor. If you are just wanting to do a simple task such as repairing some electrical wiring or plastering the wall, you can use a party wall agreement to log any work.

What is a party wall award?

A party wall award is what is required if an adjoining owner dissents to the proposal or has not given an answer within 2 weeks of the proposal. Each party will need to get a party wall surveyor. If the opposing party doesn’t respond to your proposal, then you can appoint a surveyor for them. If they do get a surveyor and there is not a joint decision,  a third surveyor can be brought in to give the final decision on what work is to be done and who is to pay for it.

What work is covered by the party wall act?

  • Building a wall which is going to connect to the party wall.
  • Cutting into the party wall or changing its structure.
  • Changing the height or the thickness of the party wall.
  • Removing a chimney breast that is connected to the party wall.
  • Rebuilding any part of the party wall.
  • Digging below the foundation of neighboring properties.

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Frequently Asked Questions

There are different classifications of Party Walls the two main types are separated in Section 20 of the Party Wall etc. Act as Party Walls(a) and Party walls (b) .

Party Walls(a) include :

  • When the boundary is part of a building.
  • When the wall separates two or more buildings.
  • A wall is astride the boundary line between the land of two owners but is not part of a building this is a party fence wall.

Party Walls (b) include :

  • When an external wall of an owner has been enclosed upon and therefore the wall is then being shared. The adjoining owner would share responsibility of the section of wall that they enclose upon depending on the point that they share the wall.
  • Section B includes party structures these can be party walls, Floors or a partition dividing different parts of a building. Each section of building would have a separate entrance.

Works included under the Act are referred to as notifiable.

The Act covers a variety of works starting with works directly related to a party wall under section 2 of the Act. The works include cutting in to a wall for support, cutting in to the wall to provide weathering, inserting a damp proof course, raising a party wall, removing projections over the boundary where required, to underpin, Demolish and rebuild a party wall.

The Act covers any proposed building or wall built along or astride the boundary line between the properties.

Works involving excavation can come under section 6 of the party Wall etc. Act , depending on the depth and the proximity to the  adjoining owners property the works may be notifiable.

Works are notifiable within three meters of the foundations of the adjoining owner and will be going lower than the existing foundations.

For works to be notifiable work within six meters of the neighbours structure the foundations would be below a 45° Angle from the adjoining owner’s foundations. With basement conversions you may need to serve a notice on neighbours two along either side if the property is less than 6 meters wide.

The earlier the involvement with Consult Construct can mean that the relevant notifiable works are determined and negotiations can start flowing.

The process of Party Walls starts with serving written notice on the adjoining owners. Consult construct can serve notice on your behalf explaining the relevant works and provide drawings. It is recommended to talk to your neighbours before appointing a surveyor and explain your plans. The key to early negotiations can allow an agreed surveyor to be used or consent given in writing.

Appointment of Building owners surveyor:

In most cases the building owner will appoint Consult Construct to serve notice on their behalf. An appointment is made by the building owner sending a letter to the representative they wish to act for them stating who they are, the address of the property and the type of works they wish for the consultant to undertake.

Notices:

To serve notices we review the plans and the proposed works and follow the government legislation and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors guidance this enables us to make valid notices. Acknowledgement of notices should be sent with the notices so that the adjoining owner can respond. We can be appointed by adjoining owner’s as there representative and respond to the relevant notices served to the adjoining owner. If a response is not received in 14 days a dispute is assumed and a surveyor will be appointed to represent the adjoining owner.

Schedule of Condition:

In most cases we will attend the adjoining owner’s property to assess the condition of the property and record a schedule. This document can be used during and after the project to see if the works undertaken by the building owner have caused damage to the property and protecting both parties.

The Award:

We will work with both parties so we can agree the contents of the Party Wall Award. As surveyors we have jurisdiction under section 10(12) of the act to make binding awards. The award will highlight the works that the building owner has the right to execute under the Act, and the time and manner of executing any such work can be stated within the award.  Any other matter that relates to the dispute may be included if it comes under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 this includes the cost of making the award. Items that will be agreed by the surveyors include the hours of noisy works, the method statements and protection to the exposed party structure or party wall.

  • Peace of mind that a firm of chartered surveyors are ensuring the legal framework is followed and therefore protecting your property and rights.
  • Initial consultation over the phone.
  • Serve or respond to notices on your behalf.
  • Undertake all party wall negotiations on your behalf.
  • Complete a schedule of condition recording the existing condition of properties.
  • Work with the other surveyors to negotiate the terms of the Party Wall Award, bespoke to property requirements.
  • Keep the project on programme with negotiations to minimise disruption to all adjoining owners.