Party Wall Surveyors
Are you about to undertake work to or near a neighbour? Or, are you concerned about your neighbour’s planned work? With our party wall expert’s help, we can efficiently deal with all Party Wall matters and concerns you may have.
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Why You Should Appoint Prinsegate
Our team of Chartered Surveyors has extensive property experience and is here to provide you with the best support.
The following are reasons why we are fast becoming the go-to Party Wall surveying service in the UK. We offer:
What is a Party Wall?
A Party Wall is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that are shared by the occupants.
Why Do You Need a Party Wall Surveyor?
When you decide to have work done to or near a neighbour’s wall, you have a legal duty to serve a Party Wall Notice to all affected neighbours.
A “building owner” is the person carrying out the works, whereas the “adjoining owner” is the neighbour not carrying out the works.
What’s a party wall agreement?
An official party wall agreement must be in place between the building owner and the adjoining owner for the works.
Suppose an adjoining owner does not consent to the proposed works within 14 days of receiving notice under the Party Wall, etc. Act 1996.
The parties will then be deemed as “in dispute.” At this point, both the building owner and the adjoining owner will need to appoint a party wall agreement surveyor to settle an agreement. This is mandatory.
Party Wall Notices
Notifiable works under the relevant sections of the Act (such as excavating within 3 metres of a neighbouring foundation) will require notice. Serving such a notice invokes the Party Wall, etc. Act 1996.
Once the Act has been invoked, an adjoining owner (the neighbour who has had notice served on them) may consent or dissent.
Dissenting to a notice will require a Party Wall Award to be drawn up by the party wall surveyor(s).
Party Wall Disputes
If any issue occurs between the building owner and adjoining owner before or after the Award has been served, they would then bring this to the attention of the party wall surveyor(s), who would have an impartial quasi-judicial role in resolving the dispute.
The surveyor(s) would inspect the property and reason with what has occurred within the framework of the Party Wall Award. Often, these issues can be resolved efficiently and without involving lawyers. Problems such as illegal works are covered under common law; however, Party Wall Awards often have the function of negating court action.
This is the purpose of the Act: to achieve a resolution between neighbours in a bid to avoid costly legal proceedings. Our party wall experts will be able to talk you through any issues or disputes.
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Party Wall Agreements
A Party Wall Award is a legally binding agreement that can nevertheless be
used in court.
It contains all the relevant details from:
- the building owners and adjoining owners
- the party wall surveyors
- the type and description of works
- relevant sections of the Act applicable to the works
The Award should also include all architect’s plans;
engineer’s drawings/calculations; ground investigation reports; and method statements for more tricky areas in order to set out exactly how the works are to be carried out. This documentation helps keep the surveyor(s) and adjoining owner informed of precisely what is occurring next door as permitted under the Act (e.g. where the foundations will be built).
Deviating From the Agreement
Once an Award is drafted, there can be no deviation from the notifiable works without the owners’ or party wall agreement surveyors’ written permission.
Suppose deviations from the plans and notifiable works occur: this can be brought to the building owner’s attention to rectify, preventing a contractor from potentially carrying out any (further) unlawful works. If unauthorised works continue, an injunction may be taken out by the adjoining owner. Our party wall services can help you and your neighbour abide by the agreement.
The Party Wall Award also sets out the building owners’ obligations, such as providing support to retain the neighbouring land and buildings: this will include protection measures against even minor issues, such as dust and debris resulting from the works. The building owner will be held responsible for keeping the neighbouring property free from defects and nuisances.
The Award will ensure that the building owner is held responsible for any damages occurring due to the notifiable works. If damages occur to a neighbouring property, the adjoining owner can communicate this to the building owner via their surveyor to achieve resolution. However, disagreements can happen, and it’s not always clear-cut.
The Award will ensure that the building owner is held responsible for any damages occurring to the adjoining owner’s property as a result of the works. If damages occur to a neighbouring property, the adjoining owner can communicate this to the building owner via their party wall surveyor to achieve a resolution. However, disagreements can happen, and it is not always clear-cut.
If neighbours are in disagreement about damages, they can then refer to the party wall agreement surveyor(s) to award damages if applicable. The Schedule of Condition will help prove whether damages occurred as a result of the works. This is done by referring to the before and after state of the property.
Adjoining Owner's Party Wall Surveyor Fees
If you are a building owner and your neighbours (adjoining owners) decide to appoint their own party wall surveyor, you will be responsible for their fees, which must be reasonable. These party wall services are likely to be charged at an hourly rate. The adjoining owner does not ordinarily pay for the fees of any party wall surveyor unless the adjoining owner has acted unreasonably.
At Prinsegate, our party wall services try to minimize the adjoining owner’s surveyor’s time by providing them with all the information they require from the offset and keeping to only essential negotiations. We are also accredited by RICS as well as the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors (FPWS). So, you can be assured your party wall surveys are carried out to the highest standard.
Get in Touch
You will be communicating with one of our in-house experts who will be able to expertly handle your call or message and advise for FREE.