As an adjoining owner in the United Kingdom, it is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding party walls. The Party Wall Act of 1996 was enacted to protect the interests of both property owners when one owner plans to carry out certain types of construction work on or near a shared boundary. So before consulting a boundary surveying company, here's how adjoining owners benefit from the Party Wall Act and how they can object to proposed works.
How Do Adjoining Owners Benefit From the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall Act provides a framework for resolving disputes between adjoining owners over construction work that affects a shared wall, boundary or structure. It also guides how to minimise disruption and damage to the neighbouring property.
This act requires the property owner who wants to do the work to notify their neighbour before starting. This allows the adjoining owner to raise concerns about the proposed work and seek professional advice.
If the adjoining owner raises concerns, the Party Wall Act requires the parties to agree on how the work will be carried out. This may involve appointing a surveyor or a panel of surveyors to help resolve disputes.
The Party Wall Act also safeguards the neighbouring owner's property during construction. If the construction involves digging near the boundary, the person doing the work must guarantee that the neighbouring owner's property is not harmed during the process. The act also mandates that the person doing the work reimburse the neighbouring owner for any damages.
How Can Adjoining Owners Object to the Proposed Works?
If an adjoining owner objects to proposed works, they have a few options for raising their concerns. They can respond to the notice served by the owner carrying out the work, outlining any concerns the adjoining owner has and requesting further information.
In the event of a disagreement, the Party Wall Act permits either party to appoint a surveyor who will act as a neutral party to resolve the issue. The surveyor will assess the situation based on evidence and make a fair decision.
If both owners agree, they can appoint a single surveyor to act on behalf of both parties. This can be a cost-effective option but may only sometimes be suitable for significant disputes. In some cases, it may be necessary to seek legal advice if the dispute cannot be resolved through the Party Wall Act process.
Boundary surveying is a crucial part of the Party Wall Act procedure, as it involves determining the precise boundary between two properties and guaranteeing that any building work does not infringe on the adjacent landowner's property. This can be challenging, particularly if there is doubt about the boundary's location. Hiring a boundary surveyor to offer professional guidance may be necessary.
Understanding your rights as an adjoining owner regarding party walls is crucial to avoid disputes and ensure a smooth construction process. It is important to communicate with your neighbour and follow the legal guidelines set by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Remember that party walls are a shared responsibility, and respecting your neighbour's rights is as important as protecting your own. By knowing your rights, you can protect your property and maintain positive relationships with your neighbours.
Icon Surveyors offers comprehensive boundary surveying services in London. Our team of experienced professionals prides itself on delivering accurate and reliable results that meet the needs of our clients. We will work with you to ensure your project is completed on time and within budget. Contact us now to learn how we can help you with your property rights.