Party Wall Surveyors
As Chartered Building Surveyors, Record Associates are experienced Party Wall Surveyors in the administration of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. We act as either the building owners’ appointed surveyor, the adjoining owners’ appointed surveyor or an agreed surveyor for both parties. We are pragmatic & efficient and aim to achieve the best outcomes in the shortest time and most cost-effective manner.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a complex piece of legislation that places rights and duties on neighbours on both sides of a boundary where works on or close to the boundary are proposed. If correctly administered, the legislation is an effective tool to fairly and equitably deal with issues that arise.
Under the Party Wall Act, the person who initiates the work is referred to as the building owner. A building owner must consider the impact that planned works may have on any neighbours, and particularly if it is necessary to serve a notice under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Such works might include deep excavations close to any adjoining property, building works along the boundary line or works to the party wall itself such as raising the height of the wall, fixing of steels or removal of chimney breasts.
It is important that such works are correctly notified and consent sought otherwise the works could get stopped by injunction.
Under the Party Wall Act, the neighbour is termed the adjoining owner. If you have received notification for works under the Party Wall Act or are aware of works that you think might be notifiable, we can advise.
As the adjoining owner, you are entitled to appoint a Surveyor to protect your interest and in most circumstances, you will not have to pay for the Services of a Surveyor. Where a formal Award is required, costs are usually borne by the building owner.
In our experience, any works which affect one’s neighbour need to be treated with respect. We find that most issues arise where inadequate information is provided which detail the works and crucially the manner in which the works will be undertaken or where works start without any serving of notices or pursuance of the Act.
Where we act for Building owners, our approach is to first establish the boundary line and identify what works are ‘notifiable’. Assuming that notification is required then we critique the designs to make sure that adequate details are provided and a method statement is produced covering such works. We will also approach the adjoining owners to introduce ourselves and our role. The successful administration of the act is often about winning hearts and minds and communicating openly and clearly. Having, completed the due diligence then the notices are served.
Suffice to say, this approach does not always work. Some adjoining owners are inherently cautious and will require their own surveyor, which can be very frustrating but it is always good practice to do the basics right first.
If you would like to discuss your situation on a confidential basis please contact our Julian Record and he would be delighted to assist.