PARTY WALL SERVICES
Party Wall Services in Haringey, Islington, Barnet and throughout London
We offer a clear and transparent fee structure for our Party Wall Services. We offer a hassle-free service and will administrate the entire process from issuing Notices, drafting the Award as well as carrying out a Schedule of Conditions.
We provide support to the Property Owners construction works in respect to the Party Wall owners property. Our role is to review the drawings, ensure correct Notices are served depending on the nature of works. Our role will also involve inspecting the Party Wall Property in order to protect you from future claims of detects caused as a result of building works.
After all the above is undertaken we will issue a Party Wall Awards- this will include information on the works, the schedule, method statements, inspections, details on reasonable precautious and other provisions to ensure the protection of Party Wall assets.
The application of The Party Walls Act etc 1996 is applicable:
Any works to a Party Wall or a Party Structure
Any excavations within 6 metres of the boundary line
Any construction of new walls built up to the boundary line
The below types of construction works fall under the remit of the Act:
Modifications to side fencing
Demolition & Rebuild
Removal of chimney breast
Removal of walls tired to the party wall structure
Party Wall FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the Party Wall Act and Party Wall issues. Hopefully, these FAQs will answer any queries you have surrounding Party Wall matters; if you have any further questions about The Party Wall Act and other Party Wall issues, please get contact us.
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall Act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes concerning Party Walls, Party Fence Walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
What is a Party Wall?
A Party Wall is a wall that stands astride the boundary of land which belongs to two or more owners and either forms part of a building, separates two or more buildings or consists of a Party Fence Wall. A Party Fence Wall is a wall that is not part of a building and sits astride the boundary between the land of different owners to separate their land, i.e., a garden wall. A wall can also be a Party Wall if it stands wholly on one Owner's land but is used by two or more owners to separate their buildings.
Do I need to serve a Party Wall notice?
If you plan to carry out any building work near or on the Party Wall, you must tell your neighbours, also known as Adjoining Owners. You must inform all Adjoining Owners by giving written notice, usually at least two months before the planned start date. The Party Wall notice is only valid for one year; therefore, it is important not to serve too early.
We advise building owners to speak with their neighbours before serving a formal notice. As they have been consulted and kept well informed, they are less likely to immediately appoint a Surveyor when notice is served. This avoids running up a hefty bill for Surveyor's fees.
Do I need to serve a Party Wall notice to work internally on shared walls?
Yes, you need to notify the Adjoining Owners if you intend to carry out work to The Party Wall. However, you do generally not need to serve Party Wall Notices if you are completing minor work like putting up shelves or renewing plaster to an existing internal wall, as these are unlikely to affect the wall's structural integrity.
When should I appoint a Party Wall Surveyor?
Ideally, at least three months before works start. The serving of Party Wall Notices takes 14 days, followed by an additional ten days if no response is received – it could take up to a month before any surveying can be done.
What does a Party Wall Surveyor do?
The Party Wall Surveyor offers advice on the procedure, obligations and responsibilities. They will first review the proposed plans and confirm if the works meet the criteria under The Party Wall Act. If so, they will prepare the relevant Party Wall Notices and serve all affected neighbours. Suppose the Adjoining Owner does not respond to notices. In that case, it is considered automatic dissent, a site visit will be conducted, and a schedule of the condition of the neighbouring properties will be prepared. Once completed, the Surveyor will finalise the terms of the Party Wall Award, serve this to all owners and building work can start. The Surveyor also deals with any other matters arising from a dispute.
Who pays for the Party Wall Surveyor?
The Building Owner will typically pay all costs associated with drawing up the Party Wall Award, including the Adjoining Owner's surveyors' fees if the works are solely for the Building Owner's benefit. Your Surveyor can provide you with a fixed cost at the start of the work. The Adjoining Owner's Surveyor is unlikely to do this and will charge by the hour. Therefore, it's essential that the process is managed efficiently to keep Adjoining Owner's Surveyors fees to a minimum.
The matter can be referred to a Third Surveyor if the two Surveyors fail to agree upon a reasonable amount. The appointment of a Third Surveyor must be carried out under the legislation.
Are there other costs I am liable for?
The Building Owner is responsible for covering the costs of any repairs to the Adjoining Owner's property because of their work. They also cover the Surveyor's fees for dealing with any dispute.
What happens after works have completed?
There is no formal sign-off procedure for Party Wall works as, particularly with excavation work, any damage due to the works would take time to manifest. We recommend checking with the Adjoining Owner is happy upon completion – comparing the current condition of the area against the schedule of conditions conducted before works began.
Should I consult a solicitor?
Usually no, The Party Wall Act was introduced to avoid expensive litigation between Property Owners. Instead, it introduced the role of expert Party Wall Surveyors in this field.
Does the Party Wall Act allow access to a neighbour's property?
The Party Wall Act does provide certain rights to access your neighbours' land, but only if the proposed access is reasonably necessary to carry out that work. Notice should be given, usually 14 days, unless access is required to deal with an emergency urgently.
What if I undertake excavation near neighbouring buildings?
Excavation within 3 meters of and below the level of a neighbour's foundations falls under the Party wall Act.Additionally, deep excavations within 6 meters of a neighbour's foundations may fall under the Party Wall Act.
Can I build against a Party Wall?
This work will fall under the Party Wall Act if it involves cutting into or away from the Party Wall or excavating below the foundations of the Party Wall.
Who is responsible for the repair of a Party Wall?
Maintenance of Party Walls is shared according to the responsibility for any defect or want of repair and the use the Owners make of the wall.
Can I conduct a Party Wall Agreement myself?
Unfortunately, no. The Party Wall Act requires the appointment of a Surveyor who is not a party to the matter. This is a statutory requirement. However, you can go ahead without a Party Wall agreement if your neighbour provides written consent for you to do so. This would include the architect's drawings to ensure they know exactly what they are approving. Consent should not be given lightly.
All neighbours want to protect their property with a qualified Surveyor overseeing matters; therefore, an "Agreed Surveyor" who acts for both parties independently and impartially can be appointed.
Works have started without a Party Wall Notice or Award being served; what are my rights?
Suppose your neighbour has commenced works notifiable under The Part Wall Act without serving the appropriate Notices. In that case, a temporary injunction can be applied for at the County Court. This means a court order prevents further work until a Surveyor is appointed to finalise a Party Wall Award.
Can the Party Wall Act be used to resolve boundary issues?
No, the Party Wall Act has no provisions for resolving boundary disputes. They can be resolved through Boundary Surveyors, the Courts, or mutual agreement between the parties.