If you're planning to carry out any construction work on a property that is shared with a neighbour, then you need to understand the Party Wall Act and the role of a party wall surveyor. The Party Wall Act 1996 is a piece of legislation that provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes between neighbours when one party undertakes building works that affect the shared wall or boundary with the adjoining properties. In this article, we'll provide an overview of party wall surveyors, their role in the process, and what you need to know when appointing one.
What Is a Party Wall Surveyor?
A party wall surveyor is a professional who specialises in disputes arising from the Party Wall Act. The party wall surveyor's primary role is to act as an impartial third party between the building owner and the adjoining owner(s) to ensure the rights and obligations under the Party Wall Act are upheld.
When Is a Party Wall Surveyor Required?
A party wall surveyor is required in several circumstances. If you're planning to carry out any of the following works, then you need to notify your neighbour and appoint a party wall surveyor:
1. Building a new wall on the boundary line
2. Cutting into a party wall to insert beams or joists
3. Underpinning a party wall
4. Excavating within three metres of a neighbouring building
5. Excavating within six metres of a neighbouring building if the depth of excavation will go beyond a line drawn at 45 degrees downward from the bottom of the neighbouring foundations
What Does a Party Wall Surveyor Do?
A party wall surveyor has several responsibilities. Their primary role is to protect the interests of both the building owner and the adjoining owner(s) by ensuring that the requirements under the Party Wall Act are met. Their duties include:
1. Providing advice on the Party Wall Act
2. Serving party wall notices on behalf of the building owner
3. Agreeing on a party wall award between the parties
4. Inspecting the works to ensure compliance with the party wall award
5. Resolving disputes that arise during the works
When appointing a party wall surveyor, it's essential to ensure they're experienced and qualified to carry out the work. Look for someone who is a member of a professional body, such as the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors or the Pyramus & Thisbe Club.
How to Appoint a Party Wall Surveyor?
When appointing a party wall surveyor, there are several steps that you need to follow:
1. Notify your neighbour(s) in writing at least two months before the works are due to commence
2. Provide a detailed description of the works you intend to carry out
3. Include a drawing showing the location and extent of the works
4. Specify the proposed start date of the works
5. Include a statement explaining that the notice is being served under the Party Wall Act 1996
6. Provide the name and contact details of the party wall surveyor you have appointed
Your neighbour has 14 days to respond to the notice. If they agree to the appointment of your party wall surveyor, then the surveyor can proceed with their duties. If your neighbour appoints their own surveyor, then the two surveyors will work together to agree on a party wall award.
A party wall surveyor is a professional who specialises in disputes arising from the Party Wall Act. Their primary role is to ensure the rights and obligations under the Act are upheld and that both the building owner and the adjoining owner(s) are protected during the works. If you're planning to carry out any works that affect the shared wall or boundary with your neighbour, then you need to notify them and appoint a party wall surveyor. When appointing a surveyor, it is essential to ensure that they're experienced and qualified to carry out the work.
Prevent party wall disputes with the help of Icon Surveyors. We are party wall surveyors in London that can help you achieve success with your Party Wall Surveying need. Our expert team will provide you with all the information you need to weigh your options and proceed with confidence. Get in touch with us today!