Understanding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
How Does It Affect You?
How Does it Affect Your Building Works?
QUESTION: What Work Falls Under the Act?
ANSWER: Most Extensions
Structural Alterations inc:
Chimney Breast Removal
Removal of Internal Walls
WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU
ANALYSE YOUR DRAWINGS TO ASCERTAIN THE NOTIFIABLE WORKS
SERVE NOTICES ON YOUR NEIGHBOURS
ACT AS AN AGREED SURVEYOR FOR BOTH PARTIES TO RESOLVE DISPUTES
ACT WITH ANOTHER SURVEYOR APPOINTED BY YOUR NEIGHBOUR TO RESOLVE DISPUTES
WORK ALONE OR WITH ANOTHER SURVEYOR TO SERVE AN AWARD (A LEGAL DOCUMENT SETTING OUT HOW THE BUILDING WORK WILL PROCEED)
PREPARE DETAILED SCHEDULES OF CONDITION
HELP TO RESOLVE DISPUTES
ACT IMPARTIALLY TO GET WORK STARTED
MOST IMPORTANT ADVICE
ACT EARLY: Avoid delays or disruption to your construction project!
I AM CARRYING OUT THE WORK
WHEN TO SERVE A NOTICE
If you are planning an extension, a loft conversion, a new build or any structural alterations to your home that fall under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, notice needs to be served on all parties concerned.
Under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 there are certain timescales that you need to adhere to as the Building Owner and also as the Adjoining Owner.
If you would like any further advice on serving Notices or would like Berry Party Wall Surveyors to serve Notice(s) on your behalf, please contact us for free, expert, professional and impartial advice, we will be only too happy to help you.
WHEN AN AWARD IS REQUIRED
Once the Notice has been served, your neighbour has 14 days to reply
Your neighbour may:
Agree to your works, at which point you can proceed with their written consent. However, it is also recommended that you get a Schedule of Condition drawn up by a professional Surveyor, as this protects both parties if there is any damage to the neighbours property as a result of the building works. At Berry Party Wall Surveyors for London, Kent and the South East we can compile a comprehensive Schedule of Condition for a fixed fee.
If the adjoining owner does not consent and a dispute arises between the owners, then you will need to appoint either one Party Wall Surveyor (the Agreed Surveyor) or you can both appoint your own independent Party Wall Surveyor. The goal is the same, that is to prepare and serve an Award, which is basically a legal document setting out how the work will proceed giving consideration to both parties.
SCHEDULE OF CONDITION
At Berry Party Wall Surveyors we strongly recommend that you have a Schedule of Condition compiled before work starts as this protects both parties if there is damage as a result of the work being carried out. We offer to draw up a comprehensive Schedule of Condition on the areas that will be affected by your building works in your neighbours property, including extensive photographic documentation for a fixed price.
MY NEIGHBOURS DOING THE WORK
AFTER YOU RECEIVE A NOTICE
If you have received a Notice about proposed works that your neighbours are planning to carry out to their property, you are required to respond in writing within 14 days from the date on the Notice.
There are two main ways you can respond:
CONSENT TO THE NOTICE
If you are going to CONSENT to your neighbours proposed works, without a Party Wall Award being produced, we recommend you do so on the basis of having a Schedule of Condition prepared by a Party Wall Surveyor, who will produce a record of the current condition of the adjacent areas prior to work commencing so that in the unlikely event of damage being caused it can be easily identified. The fee would usually be paid by the party proposing the building works(the Building Owner) .
At Berry Party Wall Surveyors we can prepare a detailed Schedule of Condition including comprehensive photographic evidence to protect your interests.
DISSENT TO THE NOTICE
If you are concerned that the proposed works may adversely affect your property and thus DISSENT to the Notice, a Party Wall Award would be required before the work could commence.
It is a fair and impartial report, prepared by a Party Wall Surveyor which will deal with the right to execute the party wall works, the time and manner of executing the work, and any other matters that arise between the parties concerned.
Dissenting to the Notice is not a tool to delay or stop the proposed works.
You may concur on an Agreed Surveyor or you may each appoint an Independent Surveyor.
NOT RESPONDING WILL NOT DELAY THE PROPOSED WORKS
If no response is received by the Building Owner within 14 days a further follow-up “Ten Day Notice” will be served stating that the parties are now deemed to be in dispute and a Surveyor MUST be appointed.
If no written response is received a Surveyor will be appointed for the Adjoining Owner by the Building Owner’s Surveyor under Section 10(4) of the Act.
DO NOT DELAY