Party Wall

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.

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.

Get in Touch

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.

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.

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!

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 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.