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.
Party Wall Awards
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.
Any works that will affect a shared wall or boundary must adhere to a strict legal procedure. With over 20 years’ experience in Party Wall matters, our team will protect your interests and help you stay within the law.
Basement extensions can often be delayed by failure to follow the correct Party Wall procedures. By working with our team from the start, we can ensure that your project progresses smoothly.
The Party Wall Act 1996
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 development is proposed that has the potential to affect the shared boundary.
Do I need a party wall agreement?
If there are plans to cut into or build upon the Party Wall, or building or excavation works are proposed to be carried out nearby, a Party Wall Notice must be served on the adjoining building owner, and consent for building works obtained before any works can commence.
It is often the case that Party Wall Surveyors may need to be instructed to act for the building owner and for the adjoining owner concerning any building works on or near the boundary. As a property owner who commissions building works, 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.
For valuable professional advice from an experienced Party Wall Surveyor in North London, please contact Squarepoint Chartered Surveyors today on 0207 651 0000 or send us a short email here. Whether your property or commercial premises is located in Enfield, Kensington, Hampstead or further afield, our friendly team will be happy to discuss your specific query and guide you through all Party Wall matters, including serving Party Wall Notices and preparing Party Wall Awards.
Party Wall FAQs
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 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 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.
If either party feels that the surveyor has acted improperly or unfairly when drawing up the award, they have 14 days to appeal its terms via the County Court.
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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 […]