At Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors, we pride ourselves on offering a comprehensive range of professional services to commercial clients across London, including Enfield, Highgate, and Chelsea. We can provide advice on a wide variety of property related issues and are highly experienced Party Wall Surveyors with extensive experience in all matters pertaining to the Party Wall Act 1996.
Looking for a party wall surveyor near me?
As experienced party wall surveyors in London, our skilled team has many years’ experience in advising on all party wall matters, bringing the necessary expertise to guide you safely through this often complex legal process from start to finish. We can help you prepare Party Wall Notices and Party Wall Awards as necessary to ensure all building works are completed in accordance with the legislation, with the minimum of disruption and inconvenience to yourself and the affected building owners.
The Party Wall Act provides a framework for preventing and/or resolving 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. Typical works covered by the Act 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.
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.
We can help you prepare the necessary Party Wall Notices and Party Wall Awards to ensure all building works are completed properly and in accordance with the Party Wall Act, and with the minimum of disruption and inconvenience to yourselves and your neighbours.
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.
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.
- 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.