Party Wall Surveying

Party Wall Surveying forms a vital element in the world of property management, playing a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and interests of property owners undertaking construction, extension, or alteration projects.

As leading providers of residential surveying services throughout England & Wales, Icon Surveyors specialise in Party Wall Surveying, Boundary Surveying, Building Surveying and Valuation. We pride ourselves on delivering educational, informative, helpful, and diversified content, ensuring our clients and readers obtain a comprehensive understanding of the various services we offer and their relevance in safeguarding property investments.

In this blog post, we aim to provide an in-depth exploration of Party Wall Surveying, illuminating its importance, the surveying process, the legal requirements surrounding party walls, and the essential attributes to look for when choosing a party wall surveyor to handle your project. Armed with the knowledge shared in this article and by engaging the services of skilled surveyors, property owners can navigate the complexities of party wall agreements and processes, maintaining compliance with legal requirements, and ensuring amicable resolutions to disputes that may arise.

The Importance of Party Wall Surveying

Party wall surveying is an essential component of property management, particularly when construction or alteration projects are in close proximity to neighbouring properties. Its importance manifests in several key aspects:

1. Legal Compliance: Adhering to party wall regulations and procedures ensures property owners maintain legal compliance while executing construction or extension projects, safeguarding their property interests and avoiding unnecessary legal disputes.

2. Protection of Property Rights: Proper party wall agreements help to protect the rights and interests of both the property owner undertaking the project and their neighbours, minimising the risk of damage to adjacent properties and resolving potential disputes amicably.

3. Facilitation of Construction Projects: Compliance with party wall agreements and procedures can streamline the construction process, ensuring that project delays, disputes, and interruptions are minimised or avoided altogether.

4. Maintaining Good Neighbourly Relations: Engaging in a transparent and legally compliant party wall process can help maintain harmonious relationships with neighbours, fostering a positive and cooperative atmosphere for all involved.

Understanding the Party Wall Surveying Process

The party wall surveying process typically involves a series of steps, each designed to guarantee adherence to regulations and the protection of property rights:

1. Preliminary Research: Prior to initiating a construction or alteration project, the property owner should engage in preliminary research, determining whether party wall regulations apply to the project and identifying any affected neighbouring properties.

2. Serving Notice: If the proposed project falls within the scope of party wall requirements, the property owner must serve notice to the affected neighbours, informing them of the project and providing sufficient detail and timelines. Neighbours have 14 days to respond, either consenting to the project or requesting a party wall survey.

3. Engagement of Party Wall Surveyor(s): If the neighbours request a party wall survey, the property owner must appoint a part wall surveyor. Neighbours may choose to appoint their own surveyor or opt for an agreed surveyor representing both parties.

4. Assessments and Party Wall Award: The surveyor(s) will carry out necessary assessments, including a schedule of condition documenting the current state of the affected neighbouring properties. They will then outline a party-wall agreement setting the terms under which the construction project must proceed. This is known as the Party Wall Award.

5. Compliance and Dispute Resolution: Both parties must adhere to the agreed terms in the party wall award. In case of disputes, the appointed surveyor(s) can help to resolve issues regarding the construction project and party wall conditions.

The Legal Requirements Surrounding Party Walls

Under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, a property owner in England and Wales has certain legal obligations when carrying out work to party walls, boundary walls, or excavations near neighbouring structures. Key requirements include:

1. Serving a Written Notice: Legally, a property owner must provide written notice to affected neighbours before conducting construction work affecting party walls. Notices must be served at least one or two months before the project commencement, depending on the type of work to be undertaken.

2. Obtaining Neighbour Consent: Property owners must obtain neighbours’ consent or engage in a party wall survey process.

3. Compliance with the Party Wall Award: The property owner must follow all stipulations within the agreed Party Wall Award during construction, adhering to timelines, restrictions, and other conditions outlined.

Choosing the Right Party Wall Surveyor

Selecting a qualified and experienced party wall surveyor is vital in ensuring a smooth and successful party wall process. Consider the following attributes when choosing a surveyor:

1. Experience and Qualifications: Choose a surveyor with a strong background in party wall projects, someone who possesses relevant qualifications and professional memberships, such as membership with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

2. Reputation and Track Record: Look for a surveyor with a positive reputation, strong references, and a proven track record in dealing with party wall matters.

3. Local Knowledge: A surveyor with local knowledge will better understand regional property regulations and procedures and provide valuable insights tailored to the area.

4. Communication Skills and Responsiveness: Engage a surveyor who communicates effectively and is responsive to your needs, ensuring that you stay well-informed and confident throughout the party wall process.

Final Thoughts

Grasping the significance of party wall surveying, the surveying process, legal requirements, and appreciating the value of selecting the right surveyor can equip property owners with the essential skills and knowledge to handle construction projects confidently.

Icon Surveyors, as leading residential surveying service providers across England and Wales, are proud to offer their refined expertise in party wall surveying, assisting clients with the complexities of the party wall process. Trusting in their skills, property owners can execute construction projects smoothly and compliantly, ensuring the protection of their property interests and maintaining good neighbourly relations.

icon surveyors

Icon Surveyors

We are a team of party wall surveying experts based throughout London and the surrounding areas. Here, we share informative property survey blogs created by industry experts.



Get A Quote