A small guide about party wall services

Party wall issues? Here are a few tips: The award will usually record the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered good practice and is duly provided by most good surveyors). The award may also grant access to both properties so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress. Generally, the building owner who started the work pays for all expenses of work and the reasonable costs incurred by all parties as a result, this will include the surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.

In order to ascertain whether any damage to your neighbour’s property has been caused by the execution of the works, a ‘Schedule of Condition’ is normally prepared by the party wall surveyor(s) prior to the works, which can then be referred to following completion. The building owner undertaking the works will be liable for any damage caused. For this reason and to avoid false claims, even in the event your neighbour agrees to the works and accepts the notice it is strongly advisable to prepare a Schedule of Condition of their property in the areas which may potentially be affected.

This decision would be much easier if you knew in advance whether or not your neighbour was planning to consent. Why not smooth the way by giving your neighbour a copy of the plans as soon as they are ready and at least a week or two before serving the official notice? Take the plans round personally and explain the parts of the work which will affect their property. Include your architect’s office number in case they have any technical questions. Having received full details of the work your neighbour should may be able to tell you whether or not they will consent before you serve the notice; although they might wish to consult their own surveyor before making any response.

The Party wall act, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 act to give its full name is a piece of legislation that was mainly transferred from Part VI of London Building Acts (amendment) Act 1939, it applies in England and Wales. The main purpose of the act is to provide a framework for amicably preventing and resolving disputes between neighbours in relation to Party Walls, boundary Walls and Excavations near neighbouring buildings. Building owners are given statutory rights that did not exist in existing common law, when undertaking certain types of construction as defined by the Act. As well as these rights it obliges Building owners to give appropriate notice and for the relevant notice period if they intend on carrying out the defined work. See extra info on Party Wall Surveyor Whitstable.