party wall Matters
Flettons Surveyors – Simplifying Party Wall Matters
Serving London, Flettons Surveyors is a renowned firm and member of the Pyramus and Thisbe Society focused on Party Wall Matters. We aim to streamline the process, ensuring everything moves forward smoothly and in compliance with the Act to keep your project on track.
For impartial, free advice on any aspect of the Party Wall process, call:
0203 691 0451
Understanding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
The Party Wall Etc. Act 1996 sets guidelines for managing works that might impact a neighbouring property. Its primary goal is to shield both building and adjoining owners from potential issues that might emerge from proposed works.
The Building Owner’s surveyor
Planning building works, like a loft conversion or extension? You might need to notify your neighbours. Here’s how we can help:
- Guidance on whether the Act pertains to your project and if notices are essential.
- Expert surveyors ensure Act compliance, preventing hold-ups.
- We offer fixed-rate pricing, so costs are clear from the get-go.
For insights on notifiable works or for a quote, reach out to us at 02036910451.
- Initial advice and identification of notifiable works
- Land registry checks
- Creation and serving of notices
- Schedule of condition drafting
- Drafting and finalizing the party wall award
Adjoining owner’s surveyor
Received a Party Wall Notice? Here’s how we can assist:
- Expert advice on your next steps after receiving a Party Wall Notice.
- Our reasonable fees are covered by your neighbours as they benefit from the work.
- Haven’t received a Notice? Chat with our party wall surveyors for guidance.
For unbiased advice on your available options, call us at 02036910451.
- Evaluation of received notices
- Drafting schedules of condition
- Reviewing, providing feedback, and finalizing the party wall award
- Guidance when notices aren’t received
- Dispute resolution
Frequently asked questions
What does the Party Wall Etc Act 1996 entail?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is UK legislation that provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring buildings. It ensures that property owners perform construction work without causing undue inconvenience or damage to adjoining properties.
Which tasks fall under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996?
Activities covered by the Act include:
Work on existing party walls (e.g., cutting into, raising, or demolishing and rebuilding).
Building a new wall on or at the boundary of two properties.
Excavating within 3 or 6 meters of a neighbouring building, depending on the depth of the excavation.
How to proceed if you want to dig near a neighbour’s building?
Before starting any excavation near a neighbour’s building, one must serve a notice, known as a Party Wall Notice, if the excavation falls within the distances stipulated by the Act. It’s crucial to provide details about the work, including plans and sections showing the extent of the proposed excavation. If the neighbour consents, work can proceed. If not, the Act provides a mechanism for resolving disputes.
How can I ascertain the depth of my excavation compared to my neighbour’s foundations?
A survey or professional inspection is typically required. A qualified surveyor or structural engineer can determine the depth of your proposed excavation and compare it to the depth of your neighbour’s foundations by inspecting existing building plans or physically assessing the site.
Who are the ‘Owners’ as per the Act?
The Act defines ‘Owners’ as both the freeholder and leaseholder of a property. It’s not limited to the person commissioning the work; the neighbour is also defined as an ‘Owner’ in the context of the Act.
What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a legally binding document prepared by the appointed surveyor(s) that dictates how the proposed works should proceed. It covers areas such as working hours, protective measures for preventing damage, and a Schedule of Condition to record the current state of the neighbouring property in case of future disputes regarding damage.
Can you explain a Schedule of Condition?
A Schedule of Condition is a report that records the existing condition of a neighbouring property before works begin. It often includes photographs and a detailed written record. This report is crucial if there are future disputes about damage caused by the work.
Is it possible to have just one surveyor?
Yes, the building owner and the adjoining owner can agree to appoint a single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ to act impartially for both parties. If they can’t agree, each owner can appoint their own surveyor.
Who bears the surveyors’ expenses?
Typically, the owner carrying out the work will be responsible for covering all surveyor fees, including those of the adjoining owner’s surveyor. However, the Award can sometimes dictate a different arrangement based on the specific circumstances.
How long is the typical duration of the Party Wall process?
The process can vary significantly in duration. However, once a notice is served, neighbours have 14 days to respond. If they consent, work can proceed immediately. If they dissent or do not respond, the process of appointing surveyors and drafting an award begins, which can take several weeks.
I have a good rapport with my neighbour; is the Party Wall Act process mandatory?
Yes, even with a good relationship, the Act provides a legal framework that protects both parties. It’s essential to ensure that the proper notices are served and that all procedures are followed, regardless of personal relationships.
Can I leverage the Party Wall Act to halt the work entirely?
No, the Act doesn’t give an adjoining owner the power to stop their neighbour’s work from proceeding. It ensures that the work proceeds legally and safely and without causing undue damage or inconvenience.
What if work has commenced without delivering a Notice or settling on a Party Wall Award?
If work starts without proper notice or an Award, it’s considered illegal. The neighbouring owner can seek an injunction to stop or prevent the work from proceeding until the Party Wall Act’s requirements are satisfied. Additionally, it’s more challenging for the building owner to argue against claims of damage if they haven’t followed the Act’s procedures.