Residential Development & Land Agency Consultants
Residential Development & Land Agency Consultants

Party Wall Matters

Party Wall Matters can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never dealt with any party wall matters before.

The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 (The Act) is a piece of government legislation that affects properties only in England and Wales.

The Act exists to ensure that a Building Owner is able to undertake their proposed works to their own property, on their own land.  At the same time, the Act ensures the adjoining properties (the Adjoining Owners) are also fully protected whilst the work is undertaken.

As a Party Wall surveyor, our job is to resolve any disputes arising between the Building Owner who is undertaking the renovation work and the affected Adjoining Owner or owners.  It’s important to point out that party wall surveyors do not represent either side, but are instead appointed to ensure that The Act is correctly applied and enforced.

Often, we find many of our clients first contact with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is when they’ve received a daunting looking legal letter, together with a formal Party Wall Notice and Acknowledgement Letter through the post or delivered by hand.

As members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) we can provide you with the expert and professional advice required.

If you’re an architect, building contractor or planning advisor and in need some help to determine if one of your projects requires a Party Wall Notice to be served, then we would be happy to assist.

Call us for an informal initial chat and receive some free advice. 

Landsync Surveyors are more than happy to provide you with some free initial advice, or if you would like to review some more information first, this very useful free Explanation Booklet on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 from the Communities and Local Government should help to answer any initial questions. Click the button below to download the PDF.

FREE Party Wall Guide Download

Some advice if you’ve….

Received a formal Party Wall Notice: –
If you’ve received a letter and Party Wall notice in the post or had it delivered by hand, then we can assist.

On a positive note, receiving a party wall notice from your neighbour means that they are intending to undertake works that may affect your property and are following the law and by notifying you of the works they are proposing.

Having received a Party Wall Notice you have three options: –

Option 1 – In some cases, it may be appropriate to ‘consent’ to the proposed works, therefore no dispute exists between the Building Owner and Adjoining Owner, and there is no need for the involvement of party wall surveyors. (Apart from undertaking a Schedule of Condition report on your property prior to the neighbouring works commencing).

Option 2 – Dissent to the proposed works and appoint the neighbours notifying surveyor to enforce the Act for both parties. Known as appointing an Agreed Surveyor.

Option 3 – The final option is for you to appoint your own party wall surveyor, known as the Adjoining Owners Surveyor.  In the vast majority of cases, the notifying Building Owner will be responsible for all surveyors fees and costs.

Call us for an informal initial chat and receive some free advice.

Are proposing works on my own property: –
If you’re planning to undertake works to your own property, you must first determine if they involve: –

1. Work on an existing wall or structure shared with another property (covered by section 2 of the Act)

2. Building a free-standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property (covered by section 1 of the Act)

3. Excavating near a neighbouring building (covered by section 6 of the Act)

Should the proposed works include one or more of the above, then you are required under The Act to serve a formal Party Wall Notice to ALL adjoining owners.

If it all seems a little confusing, then call us for an informal initial chat and receive some free advice.  We’d be happy to help.