Your planning a building project?
If you intend to undertake work to a Party Wall or close to a neighbouring building or property, it is possible that the works will fall under the terms of the Party Wall Act, contact us today.
An owner planning to undertake works that fall within the scope of the Act should start planning early; notice periods are either 1 and 2 months depending upon the type of work but where complex works are to be undertaken it can take longer than that for an award to be agreed.
We always advise building owners to speak to their neighbours before serving the formal notice. Neighbours that feel they are being kept informed are far less likely to immediately appoint a surveyor when a formal notice is served and, often unnecessarily, run up a large bill for surveyor’s fees.
We recommend that building owners have their plans checked over by an experienced party wall surveyor to confirm whether the works come within the scope of the Act and if necessary, draft the required notice(s). We offer that service for a flat fee of £65 plus VAT per adjoining owner.
The Act allows for the same surveyor to be appointed by each of the owners; in that scenario the surveyor will act as ‘Agreed’ and impartially regulate matters affecting both owners. By having a surveyor draft the notice a building owner can increase their chances of having that surveyor adopted as ‘Agreed’ which will help to keep the costs down on small projects.
All affected adjoining owners with an interest of greater than 12 months must be notified so if the adjoining property has been converted in to flats it may be necessary to serve multiple notices. In that scenario it is important that the process is carefully managed to keep the number of surveyors involved (and the resultant fees) to a minimum.
The building owner is responsible for their own surveyor’s fee but also the reasonable fees of any surveyors appointed by the adjoining owners. Adjoining owners’ surveyors are not required to quote in advance, so their fees are calculated by reference to an hourly rate with the final figure being agreed with the building owner’s surveyor. Should the two surveyors fail to agree upon a reasonable amount the matter can be referred to the Third Surveyor who has the final say.
Where the proposed works involve underpinning and basement excavation the party wall award will be more complex to reflect the greater risk and may include issues such as security for expenses and Special Foundations.
If the adjoining owner consents to the notice it would still be prudent to have a schedule of condition covering the parts of their property that are at risk from the works. Neighbours will often look more closely for cracks once work starts next door and may mistakenly believe that some existing cracks are new.
If you are planning on undertaking works that fall within the scope of the Act you are very welcome to contact our party walls team for some initial advice – if you would like a fee proposal remember to attach drawings showing the proposed works.
Our party wall services
Our Party Wall services are designed to legally & professionally conduct surveys for our clients ensuring any building works that affecting their building or their neighbours building are compliant with the Party Wall Act.
- Identification of adjoining property owner and address (if not the tenant) so you can comply with the 2 month notice period and avoid delays.
- Advice on how best to achieve cooperation with your neighbour
- Drafting and serving the notice
- Follow up of the notice after 14 days if required
- Carrying out a schedule of condition survey at the adjoining property before the works start.
- Drafting, negotiating and agreeing the Award with neighbours surveyor.
- Serving of the Party Wall Award.
- Drafting, negotiating and agreeing Award on behalf of the Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
- Note: Your neighbour has the right to appoint their own preferred party wall expert. In most cases this expense is covered by the person doing the build project. For that reason it makes good sense to try and appoint a joint surveyor
- Agreeing the schedule of condition record before the works start. Liaising with the building owner’s surveyor to negotiate and agree the Award.
- Note: In the majority of cases, the adjoining owner surveyor fees are paid for by the one carrying out the building works.
Our most recent customer testimonials
Hourican & Associates are dedicated to providing professional, friendly services to our clients, see what some of them have to say below.
We instructed Richard from Hourican Associates recently to represent us in a party wall issue with o… More…
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I would thoroughly recommend H&A having been referred by the company who are doing my loft conversio… More…
Working with Richard has been the easiest part of our recent building project, would certainly use a… More…
Excellent service, would highly recommend. Richard made the party wall process pain free with both m… More…
We couldn’t be happier with the professional advice and service we received from Richard. He went ab… More…
We were extremely impressed with the service provided by Hourican Associates. We needed a Schedule… More…