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Party Wall Surveyors

Party Walls can be those walls which support structures or simply act as a boundary demarcation point. In the majority of cases, such walls are protected under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 and, as a result of this any works that are undertaken on or near these structures require notification to the adjoining owners by the building owner who is intending to undertake these works.

Despite its title, the Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 is not solely concerned with party walls. It regulates the relationship between neighbouring owners in the context of a number of specified types of construction work happening on, or in close proximity to, the boundary between two adjoining premises. This work will often involve a party wall but in many cases it will not.

Adherence to the Act is a legal requirement on all developers. Failure to comply with the act can result in delays to projects and additional costs.

If you wish to avoid delays, cost and penalties, then we will be happy to discuss your particular project or concern, and provide the appropriate professional support to enable you to navigate through the intricacies of the party wall legislation.

We are able to liaise with neighbours in the preparation of schedules and appropriate party wall awards. Further reading can be obtained from the Pyramus and Thisbe Club, of which individual members of Hardings Chartered Building Surveyors are members, as well as being members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

For more information, including services relating to Party Wall Expert Witness reports, contact us today.

Party Walls: Frequently Asked Questions

What works are covered by the Party Wall Act?

The 1996 Act applies to alterations, extensions, construction or excavation to, or near to, a wall or boundary shared by neighbouring properties. Even if you don’t share a wall with the adjacent property, excavation within 3 metres of a structure on their land is covered by the Act and will require notice.

How do I serve Notice?

Before any plans to cut into or build upon a party wall commence, a Party Wall Notice must be served by the property owner on the adjoining owner, who must give consent for the works to go ahead.

Notice has to be served between 2 months and a year in advance of your works. While you can legally do this without professional assistance, incorrect Notice will delay your building work and may invalidate a Party Wall Award once it is in place.

For this reason, it’s recommended that you seek the expertise of a Party Wall Surveyor so that you know your Notice has been properly served and won’t face legal repercussions down the line.

What is a Party Wall Award?

A Party Wall Award is the legal document that details the precise nature of the intended works and how they will be carried out. It will also set out the measures taken to safeguard the rights of the adjoining property owner and provide some protection to both parties from damage or claims.

The Party Wall Award (or Party Wall Agreement) must be drawn up by a specialist Party Wall Surveyor who can assist both parties in finding agreeable terms.

Do I need a Party Wall Survey?

As part of the Party Wall Award, the surveyor will usually carry out a Schedule of Condition on any area of the adjoining property that might be affected by the building work. This is a report detailing the current condition of walls using text and images, so that they can be returned to their original state upon completion of the work.

What happens if I receive a Party Wall Notice?

If you are served with a Party Wall Notice and agree to the proposed works, then you should give consent within 14 days. If you are uncertain about the project plans you should seek professional advice to help you decide the best course of action in regards to your property. You may choose to appoint a joint surveyor with your neighbour or appoint your own surveyor if you prefer. They will then draw up a Party Wall Award to ensure the work is carried out in a way that keeps both parties happy.

Case Studies:

 

    Initial Contract Value: £82,063.12
    Final Account Value: £86,000
    Project Duration: 8 weeks
    Actual Duration: 10 weeks

 

The main focus of the work at Frognal Way was the conservation of a retaining wall, which was failing as a result of too much pressure from soil build-up and four large oak trees. The cause of the emerging cracks and fractures was determined to be from the movement of heavy plant machinery at a residential redevelopment project nearby.

On behalf of the London Borough of Camden, HardingBond was appointed to manage the scheme, including:

    - Assessing and appointing an engineer
    - Preparing budget costings
    - Specifying, tendering and completing all necessary administration of a building contract
    - Construction and Design Management

 

The project involved planning works around the underlying gas, water, electric and telecom services in the development area. This dramatically altered the programme of works and, ultimately, the entire project. Additional obstacles presented themselves in the form of a buried live manhole and a gas main that were not recorded, all of which required further design solutions to ensure they remained active and were not compromised by the works.

This is just one example of what our team here at HardingBond Property Consultants are capable of producing. Our goal is to work with our clients providing a flawless service, in order to achieve their ultimate goals during their project. We ensure that each aspect of the project is co-ordinated, and we produce a strict programme of works for each project we attend.

Whether it be Defect Analysis, Feasibility Studies, or full-blown Project Management and Monitoring, our team at HardingBond Property Consultants will use our wealth of experience combined with our innovation and ingenuity to bring your ideas and dreams into reality.

Download PDF for full survey report:

Frognal Way - Case Study

Thank you SO much for your efficiency. I would be delighted to recommend you to anyone I know who needs your services!

Marion Dunn, Charing