CHARTERED BUILDING SURVEYOR & PARTY WALL ADVICE
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.
A selection of the services we are able to provide our clients include…
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.
Whether you are looking to buy a family home in Highgate, refurbish a multi-storey office block in Chelsea, need Party Wall Surveyors in Enfield or are looking for a general building surveyor in North London, Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors should be your first port of call.
MEMBERS OF THE FACULTY OF PARTY WALL SURVEYORS
RICS ACCREDITED, NORTH LONDON SURVEYORS
Our RICS membership assures our clients that they will receive the highest standard of advice and client care. For more information and to discuss your requirements, please contact us today.
Get A Free Quote & Discuss Your Property Requirements with a RICS Accredited Surveyor Today
What our clients say…
“Squarepoint Surveyors helped us sort out our Party Wall Agreement with patience, speed and professionalism throughout”…Read More
“From the very first time I called Scott, he was attentive to my requirements for a building survey in North London. From the outset, he noted down my areas of concern”… Read More
“Brilliant and professional surveyors. Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors helped us sort out our Party Wall Agreement with patience, speed and professionalism throughout”… Read More
As specialists in Party Wall matters, our team assists clients with serving Notice, drawing up Party Wall Awards and ensuring that the rights of Building Owners and Adjoining Owners are protected. If you are planning works or have been served Notice, we can help.
Are you planning to buy, sell or renovate a large or old property? A RICS Building Survey will offer you a detailed analysis of its condition and provide you with essential advice about defects, repairs and required maintenance.
The Party Wall Act 1996
Do I need a party wall agreement?
If there are plans to cut into or build upon the Party Wall, to carry out building or excavation works nearby, a Party Wall Notice must be served on the adjoining building owner, and consent for the building works obtained before any works can commence.
It’s common for issues to arise not only with the Party Wall itself but with adjoining walls and structures, property foundations and nearby boundary lines. Building owners and adjoining owners may need to instruct a Party Wall Surveyor to act on their behalf and protect their interests, in drawing up a formal Party Wall Award and providing guidance about possible consequences of the proposed work.
Resolving Party Wall matters can be tricky without expert knowledge, which is why we would highly recommend instructing an experienced Party Wall Surveyor as early in the process as you possibly can. It may initially seem like an added expense in a matter that should be possible to discuss amicably with your neighbour, but misunderstandings can quickly escalate into delays and disputes if not effectively managed.
Party Wall Act 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.
Testimonials From Our Clients
Dear Vanessa and Scott, I am emailing you both to express my heartfelt sentiments over the high level of professionalism and determination you have presented whilst negotiating a party wall agreement between ourselves and our neighbours. This was an awkward and difficult case, there have been times of great stress during the process and throughout it there was always grounded reassurance, patience and support which in the end prevailed. Vanessa, I need to thank you in particular for always being reliable, and going beyond what your job asks of you. Scott, you have an incredible employee. She needs a promotion! We will definitely come back again as and when an opportunity arises. Thank you both very much for taking care of us in this process.
Recently Completed Projects
Squarepoint was appointed to design, specify, tender and project manage the on site construction works until completion. Learn more about the design and refurbishment project here.
Latest Posts on Party Wall Agreements
London’s high-density housing means that party wall issues are commonplace in the capital. Our team at Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors has a lot of experience working with clients to provide advice, carry out a schedule of condition party wall award […]
If your adjoining neighbour is proposing a building project that affects the regulations pertaining to the Party Wall Act 1996, he must make sure that you are served the correct Party Wall Notice before the works can begin. This is to ensure that all building works are carried our safely, correctly and without the […]