The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 provides a framework to resolve any dispute resulting from construction works to a party wall or excavations within 6 meters of a neighbouring property. Party wall surveyors are considered specialists who, are appointed in order to resolve deemed disputes within the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, between the Building owners undertaking works and the neighbouring properties.
Party Wall Surveyors Role
Party wall surveyors could be any individual that is not considered an owner or adjoining within the remit of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
When choosing a Party Wall Surveyor, ensure they are both experienced and qualified, please keep the following points in mind.
- Party Wall Surveyors, must act impartially.
- Section 10 of Party Wall etc. Act 1996, confirms a person, being appointed as a ‘surveyor’ need not have experience or qualifications, in order to act as a surveyor. With this in mind it is important to look around and appoint someone who is both experienced in construction and has adequate knowledge regarding the procedures of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
- Party Wall Surveyors, only act in pursuance to the Act.
Party Wall Agreements and Party Wall Notices: General Information
A professional appointed by the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner is known as the Agreed Surveyor. The Agreed Surveyor will prepare the Party Wall Award, in turn resolving the dispute between the parties. The Party Wall Award is legally binding and usually includes the following points.
- Structural information for proposed works.
- How the works will be undertaken.
- Protection measures.
- Additional work that may be required.
- Access statements, for contractors to adhere to.
- Method statements.
- Dispute resolution, in the event damage to the adjoining owner’s property occurs.
- Drawings specifying the construction works.
- Security for Expenses. (if applicable)
- Enclosure Costs. (if applicable)
A Party Wall Agreement is served upon completion of the party wall surveying process. There is a 14 day appeal period, in which either owner can appeal the Award. Once complete the Building Owner (who proposed the construction work) can proceed with the construction works ensuring they adhere to the specifications within the Party Wall Award.
Party Wall Notices are can be served prior or post to appointing a Party Wall Surveyor. The Notice needs to be addressed to the legal owner, of the neighbouring property. Within the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, there are three types of Party Wall Notices.
- Line of junction Notice.
- Party structure Notice.
- Adjacent excavation Notice.
Upon receipt of a Party Wall Notice, the Adjoining Owner may consent or dissent to the proposed construction works, this will need to be in writing, as a verbal answer is not considered a response. The Adjoining Owner is required to respond within 14 days of receiving the notice.
If the neighbour dissents or does not respond a surveyor will be appointed.
Can a Party Wall Agreement be made without a Party Wall Notice being served?
YES, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. enables a Party Wall Surveyor to agree a Party Wall Award with the absence of a Party Wall notice being served to an Adjoining Owner prior to starting the construction works. The idea is to save a neighbouring property owner incurring the cost of an injunction.
Here at Icon Surveyors, our team are qualified, experienced and considered experts in Party Wall matters. Feel free to give us a call for your free 30 minutes consultation our team of experts will give you impartial Party Wall advice.