Party Wall – More information

1. What is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act is legislation which provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes regarding specific works under the Act.  All disputes will be settled by a Party Wall Award from the appointed Surveyor(s).

2. What is Party Wall Notice?

A party wall notice is the first ‘official’ correspondence a Building Owner would serve on an Adjoining Owner(s).

They will indicate, in writing what works they propose to build and what section this applies to under the Act.  This would be served one or two months before the Building Owner intends to commence works (depending on what section applies).

A party wall Notice is the first ‘official’ correspondence a Building Owner would serve on the Adjoining Owner(s).  They will indicate the proposed works and what section applied under the Act.  The Notice would served one or two months before the Building Owner intends to commence works.

Party Wall Surveyors are legally obliged to act impartially under the Act.

There will also be a ‘reply form’ which will give the Adjoining Owner two options.

  1. Consent to the notice – This then means that the Adjoining Owner is happy with the proposed works and does not require the services of a Party Wall Surveyor – it is recommendable to have a ‘schedule of condition’ undertaken on the Adjoining Owners property before works commence in the event potential damage does arise in the future.
  1. Dissent to the notice – This means that the Adjoining Owner requires the services of Party Wall Surveyor to agree a Party Wall Award on their behalf before works commence.

The Building Owner and Adjoining Owner may appoint an ‘Agreed Surveyor’ or two separate surveyors to act on their behalf.

3. Works under the Act

If you are building a loft conversion, extension, new development or proposing internals works then the Act has three different sections where works may be notifiable.

Section 1 – Where a Building Owner intends to build a wall on or astride the boundary line. You would need to serve this notice 1 month before you intend to commence works.

Section 3 – Any works that may affect a party wall, party structure or party fence wall.  These can include cutting into a wall to insert a steel beams or DPC, removing chimney breast, demolishing and re-building shared party structures.  You would need to serve this notice 2 months before you intend to commence works.

This is a very broad section of the Act and we would be happy to take a look at the proposed works to determine if they are notifiable.

Section 6 – If a Building Owner intends to excavate within 3 metres of any neighbouring permanent structure and to a depth below their foundations then section 6 will also apply.

There is also a 6 metre rule, however this would typically apply for deep excavations – we would be very happy to advise if you believe this may apply. You would need to serve this notice 1 month before you intend to commence works.

4. What a Party Wall surveyor does

A Party Wall Surveyor can act as an ‘Agreed Surveyor’ or act as the surveyor for a Building or Adjoining Owner.  The typical services include;

  1. Review of drawings and how the works apply under the Act
  2. Make the necessary HM Land Registry searches
  3. Serve the Party Wall Notices and necessary follow up documents (10 day notice)
  4. Undertake a ‘schedule of condition’ of the adjoining owners property
  5. Agree the Party Wall Award with the neighbour’s Surveyor or serve Award if acting as agreed Surveyor
  6. Make re-inspection of adjoining owner’s property on completion of works

5. What is a Party Wall Award?

The Award will make reference and deal with the right to execute the works and the manor they are carried out.   A schedule of condition will typically form appendix to the Award, although this isn’t a legal requirement under the Act.

It will be the duty of the appointed surveyor(s) to serve thel Award for both the building and adjoining Owner.  The Award will be referred to in the event damages occurs.

If you have received a Party Wall Notice and would like to appoint Shore Engineering to or would like free advice on how to proceed please do not hesitate to contact us or fill out the form below:

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