What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall Act is a process facilitating boundary & excavation agreements between a developer & neighbouring property owner(s) before the developer starts work. Whether you're building or an adjoining owner, we can help you.
I am building
As the building owner / developer you have certain legal obligations under the Party Wall Act that you must fulfil before you even get started on the project, we can help.
My neighbour is building
As the adjoining owner / neighbour you will want to ensure there is a legal agreement on the project and that your building & interests are protected throughout the building development.
We specialise in Party Wall matters, not only do we serve Party Wall Notices for our clients, we also undertake comprehensive Party Wall surveys & ensure our clients buildings & interests are protected under the Party Wall Act.
Contact us today for a no obligation, free quotation from our qualified surveyors to work on your project.
Our experienced surveyors will schedule a visit to the site of your project and conduct a through, professional survey.
On completion of our survey we will produce a complete report, issue notices, or grant a party wall award.
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.
About party wall awards
The Party Wall Award also referred to as a Party Wall Agreement is a legal document prepared by the two appointed Party Wall Surveyors or the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor.
The Party Wall Surveying Process
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers three different types of work:
- Works directly to a Party Wall
- Excavations within 3m or 6m and to a depth lower that the adjoining owner’s (the neighbour’s) foundations
- New walls built up to, or astride, the line of junction.
The Party Wall Agreement procedure is in place to ensure that both the building owner and the adjoining owner are legally protected before, during and after the works.
In order to ensure this a Party Wall Surveyor will consider the building owner’s work from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.
The Party Wall Surveyor will ensure the potential risk is as low as it can possibly be, while also ensuring all the logistics of the works have been considered thereby avoiding disputes between the owners.
The Party Wall Agreement process follows a strict statutory procedure which commences when the building owner serves a Party Wall Notice upon the adjoining owner.
Party wall response options:
Once a Party Wall Notice is served the adjoining owner will have three response options:
- Consenting to the Party Wall Notice: This means that the adjoining owner waives the formalities and protection of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, thereby allowing the building owner to commence their proposed construction work.
- Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing their own Party Wall Surveyor: When an adjoining owner dissents to the Party Wall Notice they are activating the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and all of its protections and procedures. By appointing their own Party Wall Surveyor, the building owner will then be duty bound to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor, with those two Surveyors following the Party Wall procedures and agreeing a Party Wall Award legally protecting both owners.
- Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor: This option is the same as the second response option, with the only difference being that one Party Wall Surveyor acts impartially upon behalf of both the building owner and the adjoining owner.
The party wall agreement
The Party Wall Award is the conclusion of the Party Wall process and once served, it means that the building owner is free to commence their proposed construction works subject to adhering to the requirements set out within the Party Wall Award.
Although every Party Wall Agreement is different and specific to the building owner’s and adjoining owner’s properties, generally speaking the Party Wall Award will contain the following information:
- A description of the works being undertaken
- The agreed protection measures to the adjoining owner’s property
- Method statements for the contractor to adhere to
- Access statements for the contractor to adhere to
- Clarification of the formal procedures in the event of damage or issue
- A timescale for the duration of the works
- The Schedule of Condition Report
- The main benefit of a Party Wall Award is that it places the dispute in the hands of the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor or the two Party Wall Surveyors; this not only means that both owners are fully and legally protected.
It also means that in the event of issue, damage or dispute the Party Wall Surveyor or Party Wall Surveyors are appointed to step in and resolve the dispute through their experience and knowledge thereby ensuring swift and cost effective resolution.