Owners 2018-04-16T13:35:31+00:00

Party Wall Surveyors for Building Owners

A Building Owner is an owner of land who is desirous of exercising rights under the Act.

DO I NEED TO SERVE NOTICE UNDER THE ACT?

If you are contemplating undertaking the following works, then notice is most likely to be necessary:

  • EXTENSIONS
  • LOFT CONVERSION
  • BASEMENT CONVERSION
  • GARAGE CONVERSION
  • CONVERTING HOUSE INTO FLATS
  • INTERNAL ALTERATIONS

YES

  • Demolition and re-building of party wall;
  • Underpinning the party wall;
  • Cutting into a party wall or ceiling/floor (if a party structure such as in flats) for any purpose, but generally to accommodate load bearing beams and bearings;
  • Knocking down and rebuilding a party wall/party fence wall;
  • Reducing or increasing the height of the party wall;
  • Inserting a damp proof course etc.
  • Removing partitions or chimney breasts from a party wall;
  • Excavations and foundations within 3 metres and to a greater depth than the foundations of any structure or building belonging to an Adjoining Owner;
  • Excavations and foundations within 6 metres of an Adjoining Owner’s structure or building that intersects a 45° line drawn from the bottom of the Adjoining Owner’s foundations;
  • Work to some boundary walls, known as “party fence walls”;
  • New building up to or astride the boundary line.

NO

  • Insertion of rawl plugs;
  • Screw fixing wall units and shelving;
  • Plastering (providing not using powered percussion tools);
  • Inserting or renewing electrical sockets.

The service of a Notice is a legal requirement and failure to do so can lead to expensive delays and legal costs if the Adjoining Owner seeks to stop your work by seeking a Court Injunction or other legal remedy. We strongly encourage Building Owners to openly discuss their proposals with their neighbours prior to serving notices, which can often prompt a positive response.

There is nothing preventing a Building Owner from serving Notices himself, but professional advice should ideally be sought from a Chartered Surveyor experienced in dealing with party wall matters, as any error contained therein, can render the notices invalid.

Yes. Such statutory approvals do not negate the requirements imposed upon a Building Owner under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

YES. However, if a further dispute arises in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the Act relates, then the Adjoining Owner may appoint a surveyor to determine such a dispute.

In all normal circumstances, the Building Owner undertaking the works, is required to pay the reasonable costs of the appointed surveyors, but ultimately the costs must be determined by the appointed surveyors.

Each scheme will need to be evaluated on its own merits. The costs depend on the nature of the proposed works, the response of the Adjoining Owner, the cooperation and efficiency of the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor and information provided by the Building Owner. We can discuss your proposals in depth and we will be able to provide you with a detailed summary of the procedures involved and associated costs for your consideration.

Access rights to an Adjoining Owner’s land are permitted to facilitate the works pursuant to the Act, but only where necessary. It is not a carte blanche right for a Building Owner to place scaffolding on an Adjoining Owner’s land just for convenience purposes.

A surveyor under the Act cannot be a party to the matter and therefore you cannot represent yourself. The appointed surveyor should ideally be Chartered, experienced in party wall matters and ideally not be involved in the design or specification of the works. Being a member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and Pyramus & Thisbe Club is recommended, as both organisations promote party wall excellence.

Whenever two party wall surveyors are appointed, their first role is to select a Third Surveyor. The Third Surveyor is merely selected and is only appointed in the event that either of the appointed surveyors or owners make a formal referral to him, usually if there is a difference of opinion that cannot be agreed between the surveyors. In such an instance, the Third Surveyor will make an award determining the issue that has been referred to him and his costs will be paid by the party depending on his determination.

ADJOINING OWNERS

An Adjoining Owner is an occupier or owner of land, buildings, storeys or rooms adjoining those of the building owner and for the purposes only of section 6 within the distances specified in that section.

IF YOUR NEIGHBOURS ARE PROPOSING TO UNDERTAKE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WORKS ADJACENT TO YOUR PROPERTY, THEY MAY BE REQUIRED TO SERVE YOU WITH A NOTICE:

  • EXTENSIONS
  • LOFT CONVERSION
  • BASEMENT CONVERSION
  • GARAGE CONVERSION
  • CONVERTING HOUSE INTO FLATS
  • INTERNAL ALTERATIONS
  • Demolition and re-building of party wall;
  • Underpinning the party wall;
  • Knocking down and rebuilding a party wall / party fence wall;
  • Cutting into a party wall or ceiling/floor (if a party structure such as in flats) for any purpose, but generally to accommodate load bearing beams and bearings;
  • Reducing or increasing the height of the party wall;
  • Inserting a damp proof course etc.
  • Removing partitions or chimney breasts from a party wall;
  • Excavations and foundations within 3 metres and to a greater depth than the foundations of any structure or building belonging to an Adjoining Owner;
  • Excavations and foundations within 6 metres of an Adjoining Owner’s structure or building that intersects a 45° line drawn from the bottom of the Adjoining Owner’s foundations;
  • Work to some boundary walls, known as “party fence walls”
  • New building up to or astride the boundary line.
Party Wall Awards

WHAT DO I DO IF I RECEIVE A NOTICE?

If you are an Adjoining Owner and you receive a notice under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you will have 14 days to carefully consider how to safeguard your interests. You have three options as follows:

Consent to the Notice and choose not to appoint a surveyor:
If you have no objection to the works and are confident that the risk thereof is minimal, then you may consent to the works and the Building Owner will be able to proceed with his proposed work without the appointment of surveyor/s.

Dissent to the Notice and appoint your own surveyor:
You are entitled to appoint your own surveyor and he/she and the Building Owner’s Surveyor will prepare an award authorising the rights of the Building Owner to proceed with his proposed works.

Dissent to the Notice and concur in the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor:
You may concur in the appointment of one surveyor (Agreed Surveyor) to represent both parties’ interests and he/she will act impartially to draw up an Award. Once the award is served, the works may proceed.

If you do not respond to the notices within a period of 14 days following the date of service, a dissent will automatically be deemed to have arisen and a further letter will need to be served by the Building Owner, requesting that you appoint a surveyor within 10 days. Failure to respond thereto, will empower the Building Owner to appoint a surveyor on your behalf, so not to frustrate the progress of his proposed works. Therefore, if you do wish to appoint a surveyor of your choice, you must respond to the notices in writing within such a time period.

If work proceeds without any formal notification being served, an Adjoining Owner has the right to apply to the court for an injunction to be served. This has the effect of ceasing work immediately, until such time surveyors are appointed and the statutory provisions of the Act are adhered to. The service of an injunction is a last resort as it can often be cost prohibitive, but judges take a dim view of Building Owners ignoring their obligations under the Act and in most circumstances, costs are indeed recoverable. Attempting to openly discuss party wall matters with your neighbours at an early stage can often help prevent disputes.

An Adjoining Owner cannot prevent a Building Owner from commencing works that he is entitled to execute under the Act. The Act is an enabling piece of legislation and an Adjoining Owner cannot frustrate the statutory process other than appoint a surveyor to protect his interests.

Although an Adjoining Owner would lose the benefit of having an award prior to the works commencing, if damage does indeed arise as a direct result of the works and the remedy, or costs thereof, cannot be agreed between the respective owners, then the Adjoining Owner may appoint a surveyor at such a stage to resolve the dispute in question. The costs thereof, would be determined by the appointed surveyor/s and are likely to be awarded against the party depending on the validity of the damage claim.

Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

Call us on 01932 820374 or email us: info@partywallexperts.com or complete the Party Wall Enquiry Form

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Party Wall Notices

Party Wall Notices

Do I need to serve Notice? What is a notice?

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Party Wall Awards

Party Wall Awards

What is a party wall award?

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Building Owners

Building Owners

Are you proposing to undertake works?

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Adjoining Owners

Adjoining Owners

Is your neighbour proposing to carry out works?

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Regulated by The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors - RICS
01932 820374
info@partywallexperts.com