Party Wall Surveys in Worcestershire
We regularly advise and act as Party Wall Surveyors as defined by the Party Wall Act. We may advise upon owners’ rights and obligations, prepare schedules or conditions, serve notices, make appointments and prepare and serve Party Wall awards in accordance with the Act.
Do I Need A Party Wall Agreement?
A party wall is the shared wall, usually between a terrace or semi-detached house and divides the homes of two separate owners. It also can include garden walls built over a boundary and excavations close to a neighbour’s property within three or six metres depending on the depth of the new foundations.
In the home, it is common for any work including loft conversions, insertion of damp proof courses and digging new foundations, that a party wall agreement is likely to be required.
Before any work can start, the homeowner needs a written party wall agreement from all affected neighbours.
The Party Wall Award
If both home owners involved agree of the appointed surveyor, they will then draw up an agreement (also known as the Party Wall Award) to resolve the dispute. Alternatively, each party can appoint their own surveyors to draw up the agreement together. An award is a legally binding document which will detail the work that will be carried out, who and when the work will be carried out, additional work that may be requires and provision of access for the surveyor to inspect the work as necessary.
If you need any advice on this, or are not sure if you need a party wall surveyor, please get in touch where we will be happy to discuss your situation and advise you on the best practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
When do I need a Party Wall Surveyor?
If you are carrying out work close to your neighbour’s property you may have a legal obligation to notify them in respect of the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
The Act gives you rights and responsibilities whichever side of the ‘wall’ you are on, whether you or your neighbour is doing the work. The Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Permission or Building Regulations approval.
The Act does not only relate to the party wall, it also covers:
- A wall of any building on the boundary line between two properties.
- A wall which is common to two or more properties.
- A garden wall close to the boundary.
- Floors and ceilings of flats etc.
- Excavation close to a neighbour’s property.
It is always better to reach a friendly agreement with your neighbour prior to the start of any work rather than resorting to the law.
If you notify your neighbour in writing of intended works and do not receive their written agreement within 14 days, a dispute is deemed to have arisen.
A Party Wall Surveyor or Surveyors will then need to be appointed to resolve the dispute. You would be responsible for settlement of the fees of the Surveyor or Surveyors. This process could delay the work significantly.
For further useful and more detailed information relating to the Party Wall etc Act 1996, we would recommend that you download The Party Wall etc Act 1996 explanatory booklet.
Do you have to use a party wall surveyor?
Not necessarily, but it does depend on the complexity of your project in relation to the wall and co-operation of your neighbour. To give you an accurate answer we would advise you give us a call for advice.
Existing Walls - What happens there?
If you plan to carry out work to an existing party wall or party fence wall, you must give the adjoining owner two month’s notice before any work commences. You may also obtain the adjoining owners prior written consent to the work. If the adjoining neighbour causes dispute you will need to instruct a surveyor.