Staggered Roofs

Party Wall Surveyor London

Advice and Guidance on all Party Wall Matters

Why choose Squarepoint as your Party Wall Surveyor?

We are a team of experienced Party Wall Surveyors operating in London and the surrounding regions. We can provide the advice and guidance you need on any party wall-related matters, whether you’re a building owner looking to carry out work, or an adjoining owner who has been served with a party wall notice – we serve customers everywhere from Highgate and Enfield to Chelsea and beyond. Get in contact with our highly knowledgeable and experienced team today.

We also provide a no obligation and free review service for architects, engineers or developers who require party wall advice in the early stage of any project or development scheme.

Our Party Wall Surveyors are all experienced chartered building surveyors who enjoy and specialise in party wall work, ensuring that they are up to date with the latest case law and industry best practice. We are members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and the Pyramus and Thisbe club which are the leading forums on party wall matters.

When Do You Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

If you wish to carry out construction or building work on a party wall, you need to follow the framework set out by the Party Wall Act 1996. This act was designed to prevent and/or resolve disputes between neighbours in relation to alterations to a party structure, such as a shared wall or floor, the construction of new walls at the boundary, and excavations near adjoining buildings.

These kinds of work might include:

  • Inserting beams into a party wall as part of a loft conversion
  • Removing chimney breasts attached to a party wall
  • digging for a building extension within 3 metres of a shared structure
  • Underpinning a party wall as part of a basement extension

The legislation requires the building owner to serve notice on any affected adjoining owner and obtain their consent before the works can commence. If consent is not given, the parties are deemed to be ‘in dispute’ under the Act, and Party Wall Surveyors must be appointed to draw up an agreement known as a Party Wall Award.

What If You Are Served a Party Wall Notice?

With many years’ experience on advising on all party wall matters, Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors have the necessary expertise to help you manage this often complex legal process from start to finish, guiding you safely throughout.

If you have received a party wall notice from a neighbour, you may require impartial expertise to help you resolve the matter. Party Wall Surveyors can also be instructed by adjoining owners in this situation.

Remember, there can be issues arising not just with the party wall itself, but in the vicinity of the party wall or an adjoining building or the boundary line. What’s more, the possible consequences of any proposed building works on the surrounding ground and foundations must also be considered.

We would highly recommend that you instruct an experienced Party Wall Surveyor as early in the process as you possibly can. The process to be followed can be tricky and requires the knowledge of an expert, while acting without professional assistance could lead to added expense, building delay and potential dispute.

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What Our Customers Say

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.

I used Squarepoint for a party wall agreement. From my initial conversation with Eve through to Adam completing the party wall award, the process was smooth, professional and timely given the challenges of COVID lockdown. Thank you for your great service.

Really helpful team at Squarepoint, on hand to help with any queries and take you through the whole process clearly and at a pace guided by you. Our party wall surveyor, Adam, was great at communicating and efficient throughout  the whole process, could not ask for more.

I had been hunting for a simple job that required a surveyor’s expertise, but had been struggling to find trust throughout my enquiries, until I spoke to Adam.

The advice simply and honestly given by Adam on our first call was remarkable. His friendly but competent application and manner made it easy for me to hire him, and not only did he more than deliver on the required services, but his price was the most competitive I could find. Would highly recommend Eve and Adam at Squarepoint.”

 

I recently hired Adam to help with a party wall award required on both sides of my terraced house.

He was able to liaise with both parties to answer their initial questions/concerns, which led to them both appointing him as the agreed surveyor, which saved me time and money.

Adam prepared the final award comprehensively and quickly. I would thoroughly recommend him and his friendly Admin assistant Eve.

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.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Party Wall?

A party wall is an adjoining wall that separates two different properties. Typically (although not always) the divide between the properties is at the centre of the wall. This means the owner of one of the properties containing the party wall must notify the other if they want to have any kind of work or changes carried out on the wall.

The Party Wall Act 1996 is enshrined in English law and places a legal requirement on building owners who are planning to alter their property in a way that may affect a wall or boundary shared between adjoining neighbours – the party wall. The requirements apply to residential and commercial property where extensions, or new developments, are proposed that have the potential to affect the shared boundary.

What is a party wall survey?

A party wall survey consists of the work carried out by a professional surveyor when they act either for a building owner or an adjoining owner. This work typically involves inspecting the wall to understand if the work being carried out is going to affect the party wall or the surrounding area, as well as providing professional advice and guidance.

Do I need a Party Wall Surveyor?

If you want to have any work carried out on a party wall, you need to first provide your adjoining owner with a party wall notice. It is advisable to take the advice of a RICS Party Wall Surveyor to make this process as simple as possible. If you have been served with a party wall notice by a neighbour, you may need a Party Wall Surveyor to provide impartial opinion and guidance.

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.

Discuss Your Party Wall with a RICS Accredited Surveyor

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