Party Wall Surveyor – Adjoining Owners
If your neighbour is proposing to undertake any of the following works then they will need to comply with the Party Wall Act:
- The excavation of ground to install foundations
- The construction of a new wall on the boundary you share with your neighbour
- Any works to a wall shared with your neighbour such as the insertion of beams to support a loft conversion or the removal of a chimney breast
- The excavation to form basement/subterranean accommodation
- The raising of a wall shared between you and your neighbour
- Underpinning of a party wall
- Structural Repairs to a party wall
- Cutting into a wall to insert a flashing or weatherproofing
This legislation states that they must serve you with a Party Wall Notice detailing their proposals. And this includes drawings where they are creating foundations which need to include specific details. Such as the type of foundations, depth and the location of the proposed foundations.
This notices will come usually from a Party Wall Surveyor like Home Heroes Limited with a covering letter. So the works the implications and your choices as an Adjoining Owner.
There are three types of party wall notice namely a Line of Junction Notice. Party Structure Notice and Section 6 Notice. The circumstances under which may be served are detailed below:
Section 1 Notice / Line of Junction Notice
If you are planning to build a new wall either as a Party Wall or a Party fence wall (astride a boundary) subject to your neighbour’s consent. Or up to the line of junction and wholly on your own land, a Section 1 Notice must be served.
Section 3 Notice / Party Structure Notice
So, if you are planning to cut into a Party Wall to insert flashings or a damp proof course. Cut away chimney breasts or projections, raise, rebuild repair, underpin, expose the Party Wall to the weather or enclose upon a wall on or at the line of junction turning it into a Party Wall, in such cases a Section 3 Notice must be served.
Section 6 Notice / Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
If you are planning to excavate within 3m of neighbour’s foundations to a lower depth. Or within 6m to a lower depth than a line struck at 45 degrees down from the underside of the neighbour’s foundations, then a section 6 notice must be served.
If you have received a Notice about proposed works your neighbours plan to carry out to their property. So you are required to respond in writing within 14 days from the date on the Notice. Finally, if you would like free Help or Advice in responding to any Notice served, please contact us [email protected] or 01227 806334
Upon receipt of the Party Wall Notice you as a neighbour have the following options:
- Consent to the proposals. If this is the case then, the work will be undertaken in due course.
- Consent to your proposals, subject to us undertaking a Schedule of Condition of your property. This Schedule of Condition is a written and photographic record of the condition of your property prior to your neighbour commencing the proposed works. This protects you as it should be able to easily identify damage following the completion of the works that were not there at the outset.
- Dissent to the proposals and in such circumstances, a dispute is deemed to have arisen and you agree to our appointment Home Heroes Limited as the agreed surveyor of the parties. In such circumstances, we would undertake a site inspection and schedule of condition and then draft and serve upon the parties a Party Wall Award. Which would authorise the works that you are proposing to undertake?
- Dissent to the proposals and in such circumstances, a dispute is deemed to have arisen and you appoint your own surveyor. In such circumstances, ourselves and your neighbour’s surveyor doing the work would undertake a site visit and schedule of condition and then together agree upon the content of a Party Wall Award which would then be served upon the parties authorising the works you wish to undertake.
Can’t I just ignore it?
You can but the act accounts for these sort of responses and has mechanisms in case, so if you simply ignore the notice, you will be sent a further reminder, 14 days after the initial notice was served. This second notice will give them a period of 10 days within which to appoint a surveyor. In the event that they do not then we, as your surveyor, would make an appointment on their behalf. Once the second surveyor is in place then matters would proceed with an appointment being made on there behalf above as if they had appointed that surveyor.
Ok, so I’ve appointed Party Wall Surveyor(s) then what happens?
There are technical elements of the Act. Which need to be undertaken like appointing the third surveyor and checking each other’s appointments.
Once this is completed the Surveyor(s) will review the proposed works and arrange a site inspection to view the site and understanding the proposed work at the same time. Then they will carry out a schedule of condition on your neighbour’s property to record its current condition before the commencement of the proposed works.
Once the schedule has been created and agreed your neighbour surveyor will draft a Party Wall Award and send it to your surveyor for comment. If there are two appointed surveyors. If there is only an agreed surveyor and once the award has been finalised it will be bound signed and served on you both. Increasingly we are working with our digital platform to serve Party Wall Awards. As long as suitable permission is obtained from all owners this makes it faster and cheaper for you as there are no postage or printing costs.
Now that I’ve been served the award can the work begin?
Once served your neighbour has every legal right to begin words immediately once you have received the Party Wall award from your surveyor. But the parties to any award have 14 days in which they are allowed to challenge the award in the county court. It is always our advice that you don’t begin work within this 14 day period but you can as you wish to.
How much does this all cost, who pays, does my neighbour always pay?
The total cost depends on the surveyor and the work involved we always give a fixed fee price at the start of an appointment. So you know what we will charge to get you to the cost of the first award and an indication of the costs for additional works.
In most circumstances, there is no benefit to the works being carried out for you as a neighbour to the works and in these circumstances, your neighbour would usually be responsible for the fees, although you can have costs awarded against you if this is likely we would discuss them with you before our appointment.
Need Help….Still have questions about your neighbour’s work…. Why not complete the below form tell us a little bit about your work. And we will get back to you to answer your question alternatively you can ring for free no-obligation Party Wall Advice.
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if you have more than two files or very large files please email [email protected]