Hourican & Associates Ltd is a leading multi-disciplinary chartered building consultancy that specialises in the core disciplines of:
- Party Wall Awards
- Full Architecture Services
- Building Surveying
- Asbestos Surveys
- Project Management
- Home Condition Surveys
- Expert Witness
- Schedule of Condition Surveys
- Schedule of Dilapidation
Our company is built on the principles of design quality and providing reliable services.
Our diversified skill set continues to grow by following trends, improving our standards, and listening to our customers.
Our varied services range has established our place in this industry. This allows us to make a distinctive and substantial impact for our clients.
We are a Chartered Building Consultancy regulated through the CIOB and also a regulated Firm through the RICS.
Party Wall Awards
Party Wall Surveyors
Contemplating building works and wondering if you need to notify your neighbors as works are near the ‘Party Wall’ boundary? Have you received a ‘Party Wall Notice’ from your neighbour informing you about works near your party wall? Are you worried that a company has contacted you warning of works to a neighbouring property which should be notified to you? Involved in a neighbour dispute about building works next to your property?
If your building works involve a free standing wall or the wall of a structure on/close to a boundary that:
a) is to be constructed anew (Section 1)
b) already exists but is to be changed/extended or (Section 2)
c) is to be disturbed by closeby excavation (Section 6)
then the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 is quite likely to apply. Under the Party Wall Act you, not the Local Authority, are legally obliged to determine if your project falls within the scope of the Act. You are legally responsible to advise your neighbours and obtain their consent or the reverse if they are the Building Owners undertaking works next to your property.
Hourican & Associates Ltd offers a complete service: one of our Surveyors will advise if works fall within the scope of the Act; serve the required legal Notices to appropriate parties and ensure the correct procedures are followed. More significantly, we can verify that your best interests are protected when it comes to understanding and managing the implications of structural works adjacent to you and your neighbours’ homes.
Whether you are undertaking the works as a ‘Building Owner’ or are merely involved as ‘Adjoining Owner’ (ie. a neighbour) Hourican & Associates Ltd are able to offer advice and act as Party Wall Surveyors. We are pleased to act solely for one client or are happy to act for both parties as Joint Party Wall Surveyor (Agreed Surveyor) if required.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996
Often an Adjoining Owner only becomes aware of their neighbour’s plans to extend when a Party Wall Notice lands on their door mat. An Adjoining Owner has the option to either consent or dissent to a notice – if no response is made within 14 days the parties are deemed to be in dispute under the act. Where a dispute arises each Owner must appoint a surveyor so that a Party Wall Award can be agreed. Although not stated in the Act the surveyors will Award that their reasonable fees must be paid by the Owner undertaking the works.
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). 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.
Some examples of works covered are:
- Loft conversions
- Excavating within 3m or 6m of a neighbouring property
- Building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
- PSome alterations or internal refurbishment
The Party Wall Act does not change any requirement for Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval for building works, and equally obtaining Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval does not negate the legal requirements under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
If you or your neighbour are carrying out work and you are unsure if the works fall under The Party Wall etc 1996 Act, please contact us for free independent advice on all party wall matters.
What is a Party Wall award?
A contract between the two owners, prepared and served by the surveyor or surveyors, setting out the duties and obligations of both parties. It also serves as a “buffer” between the parties in the event that there are matters under dispute that fall within the Act. It also makes it possible to find a resolution to problems that may arise without a long and expensive legal procedure, as long as the problem falls within the surveyor’s remit.
Call our office on 0208 849 8390 for more information.
Buying a property to live or work in is the biggest financial commitment most people ever make, yet as many as 80% of purchasers do not commision an independent building survey or property inspection.
A building survey will almost certainly draw your attention to defects that you didn’t know existed or the seeriousness of which you may not have apprectiated. A building survey enables you to make an informed, objective and considered decision and in many cases to renegotiate your purchase price.
Any defects identified on a property survey may mean you have considerable immediate or future expenditure to consider - in some cases you may decide not to buy at all.
Suddenly a modest investment in a building survey or homebuyer report becomes money well spent in protecting your
money and your biggest asset.
We are able to offer a comprehensive range of project management services including:
- Project Management Services
- Project Monitoring
- Client Representative
- Employer's Agent
- Client Adviser
- Project Programming
- Developement Consultancy & Strategy