Party Wall Surveying
Fully Qualified Party wall specialists serving
Staffordshire and West Midlands
Fully Qualified and Professional Party Wall Services
We are fully qualified and offer a full Party Wall professional advice service, where your looking for information on Party Wall notices or you have a problem with the works carried out by your neighbour we can help. We are happy to give a free consultation at our offices with impartial advice in respect to any proposed or indeed notifiable building works that either your neighbour or yourself may be considering.
For more specific information regarding our party wall services, please click the tabs below depending on whether it is yourself or your neighbours carrying out the works.
We are party wall specialists and can help with any issue you may be facing. Our offices are based in Armitage and we serve a large area includes Cannock, Lichfield, Rugeley, Burntwood, Burton and Staffordshire and the West Midlands, however we have carried out work all over the UK.
Party Wall Notices
Putting it simply, if you are carrying out works on your boundary line, a joint wall or excavating near your neighbours property you will need to enquire about our Party Wall Notice service inline with the Party Wall Act. If you want to know more about The Party Wall Act click here.
We offer full Party Wall professional advice and services and are equally happy to give free consultation at our offices and impartial advice with respect to any proposed or indeed notifiable building works that you or your neighbour may be considering. Please see below for a more detailed guide to our services if you are carrying out works;
Party Wall Notices
If you are planning works that fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, and that are therefore deemed and classed as being “Notifiable Works”, correct Party Wall Notices are required to be served on all parties concerned, e.g. leaseholders, freeholders, persons with a vested interest in the property.
Under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 there are certain timescales that you need to adhere to as both the Building and Adjoining Owner. These timescales allow the necessary time to ensure safeguarding measures have been considered and protection to an adjoining owner’s property has been correctly made and more importantly that these are in place to prevent any damages from occurring.
Obviously serving Notice yourself is the first way to save money, I often find many building owners try to do this themselves which is ok, but please be aware that if the Notices are incorrect in any way and a dispute does arise, then often they will not be accepted by an adjoining owner’s surveyor and these would be deemed invalid and new Notices would have to be served and the Notice period will start all over again.
If you would like any further advice on Notices or would request myself to serve Notice on your behalf, please contact my offices.
Schedule Of Condition Surveys
Prior to works commencing, a schedule of condition survey is carried out. This involves taking compehensive photographic records of the condition of existing structures to ensure that there is no damage caused during the construction process. For example; If you are converting your loft space then we would extensively photograph the party wall from your neighbours loft space. This protects your neighbour from damage being caused to their property but it also protects the person carrying out the works from dishonest claims of damage that were existing prior to the works being carried out. We recommend as a minimum, that a Schedule of Condition Survey is carried out prior to works commencing.
Dissent to the Notice
If your neighbour does not consent to the notice served upon them, then a full party wall award would be required before works can commence.
This is an impartial, but legally binding award, which sets out how the works should be executed including; working hours, Details of the proposed works, Access arrangements and a time limit for the commencement of works.
This is when a surveyor is agreed by both parties (the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner). The qualified surveyor is expected to act impartially at all times, maintaining client care and transparency and is required to administer all the rights and duties of both owners. This process can often be quicker and more cost effective than each neighbour using their own surveyor. If the adjoining owner decides to appoint their own surveyor, then under the legislation it is mandatory that the building owner (the person doing the works) would pay both sets of Surveyors fees.
No Notice Served?
If your neighbour is carrying out notifiable works and you have not been served a Notice, and you are concerned about the safety of your own building because of these works being carried out, then do not hesitate to call us as soon as possible.
Should your neighbour refuse to stop work until surveyors have been appointed to resolve a dispute, an”ex-parte” injunction can be applied for and put in place to stop and prevent any further works being carried out.
This is necessary to stop potential damage occurring to your property’ until an agreement is in place with a Party Wall Award.
Notice received from neighbour
If you have received a Party Wall Notice detailing and regarding the proposed works your neighbours plan to carry out to their property, you are required to respond in writing within 14 days from the date on the Notice. If you would like help or advice in responding to any Notice served, please contact myself or my office.
Your Choices are to either AGREE (Consent), or DISAGREE (Dissent)
Should you consider allowing your neighbours proposed works to go ahead, without a Party Wall Award being produced, I would strongly recommend you do so based on having a Party Wall Agreement put in place.
This is a document produced and agreed between the Building Owner and the adjoining owners.
The purpose of this agreement/document is to provide both parties with a written detailed description of the proposed works. It also includes a Schedule of Condition that records any historical damages that may exist and that were present often well before works commenced.
Dissent to the notice
Should you have any concerns that the proposed works may compromise your property and damage may be caused because of the proposed works, or even if the proposed works may at some point in the future prevent you from carrying out your works, then I would advise that you should dissent to the Notice, providing you have done this within the allowable timeframe.
Unfortunately, some adjoining owners try to use the party Wall act and its mechanisms to frustrate and delay works from being carried out. The act is designed to prevent this from occurring and gives the building owner the right to carry out necessary works, without incurring any unnecessary delays and should any adjoining owner try any stalling tactics or try to prevent a building owner from having his works reasonably completed, then there are provisions set aside within the legislation to prevent this from occurring. Any competent qualified surveyor shall be able to use their experience and the Act to prevent this from occurring. This then allows you the opportunity to appoint your own party wall surveyor and this is at the cost solely of the building owner.
Have a Party Wall issue? We can help
If you have a Party Wall issue or require Party Wall services such as Party Wall notices or Awards we can help, please contact us using the below.
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 requires Building Owners to serve Notices on their neighbours when:
- building on or up to a boundary line (Section 1)
- carrying out works to a wall (Section 2/3)
- excavating near the neighbour’s property (Section 6)
The Party Wall Act sets down the rights & duties of owners undertaking such works and provides protection to the Adjoining Owners.
The Party Wall Surveyor’s duty is to examine the proposed works, ideally before they have started. This then ensures that they have been properly designed and works are executed in a correct manner which is not likely to cause any damages to the adjoining buildings or property.
The building owner is required to ensure that he has complied with all the expected statutory duties. Some of the following are listed below.
- Town & Country planning
- The Building Regulations (2010)
- Construction design management
- Sewerage undertaker’s bylaws
If these have not been adhered to correctly, then the building owner would be in breach of statutory duty and face potential legal action against them.
In the unlikely event damage does occur, the party wall surveyors can award costs against the building owner, so that the adjoining owners property is fully protected. If works are also deemed to be unsafe then an injunction can be applied for, to stop works in order to prevent further damage being caused.
The Party Wall Act also makes provisions for rights of access, to allow both party wall surveyors, and building owners access to carry out necessary works safely. This allows surveyors to carry out any necessary inspections and also allows building owners and their builders any rights of access that are required for carrying out the work safely i.e. the erecting of scaffolding etc on the adjoining owners’ land for an agreed amount of time. This is normally agreed in writing with a scaffolding licence.