Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors is your professional point of contact for building surveying services and party wall advice throughout London and the Home Counties. We are a dynamic and client focused firm of Chartered Surveyors with offices in Winchmore Hill, North London.
Understanding buildings is our passion. As experienced London building surveyors with a solid track record of 20+ years in property surveying and the construction industry, we take great pride in providing professional building advice to a wide range of clients. We frequently work with residential property owners and property management companies, contractors and building professionals, real estate companies and landed estates. If you need any professional assistance with a property, we would be delighted to offer our services.
From the very first time I called Scott, he was very attentive to my requirements for a building survey. From the outset he noted down my areas of concern, updated me with progress prior to the survey and gave me a thorough debrief after the survey. The quality of his report was excellent, very easy to understand and, importantly, comprehensive.
I was extremely pleased with the excellent service provided by Scott Buchanan of Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors, and I hope to contact yourselves in due course with a view to getting further advice.
Working with Adam Graham at Squarepoint was a very smooth and easy process. He was always clear and thorough in our communication and provided very detailed advice. I would highly recommend Squarepoint!
The team at Squarepoint were very helpful, knowledgeable and understanding when dealing with my loft conversion and party wall agreement.”
We have used Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors at several of our Parishes and have found them to be very efficient in the production of reports on a variety of issues such as building condition surveys and PPM, defect investigations and Party Wall matters.
Young, trustworthy, professionally competent and committed to delivering on time and on budget.
Fast and friendly service with an extremely thorough survey. The Surveyor’s phone call to explain the findings of the report, before the official survey was sent, was invaluable.
Why Choose Squarepoint?
As specialist commercial building and party wall surveyors, we provide our clients with clear and cost-effective guidance to help them manage their obligations and minimise delays. We work with clients to address party wall matters, resolve boundary issues, provide technical building surveys, manage contract administration, provide project management and more. From rising damp to refurbishment services, our team will give you a clear picture of any problems that a property might be concealing and provide experienced advice about how to deal with them.Read more
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who is my adjoining owner?
Your adjoining owner is anyone that has an interest greater than a year-to-year tenancy in the neighbouring property that will be affected by party wall work. This means that if the property is occupied by a long-term tenant or a leasehold owner, you will need to notify them as well as their landlord and/or freeholder.
- How do I notify the adjoining owner(s)?
You or your representative will need to disclose a detailed plan of your proposed works, including the project schedule and how it will affect the neighbouring property. It will need to clearly state that it is a notice under the provisions of the Act, and has to include your name and address (as well as the address of the building project, if this is different). This Notice can be delivered personally or by post, at least two months prior to your proposed start date.
If possible, you should discuss your construction plans with your neighbours informally before you need to give notice, so that any potential issues can be negotiated beforehand and they feel more comfortable providing consent.
- What happens after a Party Wall Notice has been served?
After you or your surveyor has served Notice, your adjoining owner should respond with written consent within 14 days if they are happy with your plans. If they wish for any changes to be made to your plans then they will need to provide you with a counter-notice requesting these alterations. Where consent has not been given in the 14 days following Notice being served, it is considered as a party wall dispute.
- What if the adjoining owner does not consent to the works?
When an adjoining owner is not satisfied with the proposed works, both parties are entitled to seek professional arbitration through a surveyor. This may be the same surveyor (known as an ‘agreed surveyor’), or separate ones for the building owner and adjoining owner. The surveyor(s) then impartially negotiate the terms between parties to draw up an “award”.
- What does a party wall award cover?
A party wall award states the work that will be carried out and the agreed terms of it being conducted. For example, the adjoining owner may stipulate that construction cannot be carried out during evenings or weekends, or that certain access can only be granted at particular times.
It should be noted that adjoining owners ultimately cannot prevent the work from happening by denying access to the contractors or surveyors. However, the building owner must provide appropriate notice (typically 14 days) to the occupier and adjoining owner, unless it’s an emergency.
The party wall award will also include a Schedule of Condition, documenting the current condition of the adjoining property so that any damage can be identified and made good once the construction has finished.
- How can I dispute a Party Wall Award?
According to the Party Wall Act 1996, the Party Wall Award should resolve any dispute between neighbours. However, should either party object to its terms, they have 14 days from the date the award is finalised in which to appeal it at the County Court.
Be aware that if your appeal is overturned, you may be liable for the other building owner’s costs and costs resulting from delays to the building work.
- Is it possible to retrospectively serve Notice or agree on completed works?
In short, no. A formal Party Wall Notice must be served in order for Adjoining Owners to provide consent. If no Notice is served, no consent can be given and any works carried out will be outside of the law. In some cases, this situation arises in error – Building Owners did not realise their work would be covered, or the scope of the project has had to change after work has started.
If an Adjoining Owner was not given the opportunity to dissent to works they may apply for an injunction to stop further activity. They may also claim against the Building Owner for any damages that may have occurred as a result of the works and without a Party Wall Award and Schedule of Condition, it will be difficult for Building Owners to dispute their liability.