Is your neighbour proposing building works? Legally, they are required by the Act to serve a notice to neighbours who will be immediately effected by the job. An Adjoining Owner is any freehold owner or a leaseholder of land, buildings, storeys or rooms adjoining those of the building owner.
Things we can help you with
Inform you on the safe methods of construction that should be undertaken by the building owner in order to keep your property undamaged.
Help produce and serve a counter notice on the building owner in the case of unsatisfactory proposals.
Managing any compensation that may be owed to you during the period of the works.
Upon appointment, Party Wall London will ensure your property is properly safeguarded and protected from any unnecessary inconvenience from the Building Owner's works. When you are served a notice from the Building Owner, we can advise you on the ramifications of the proposed works on your property.
Our role as your appointed Surveyor involves reviewing the Building Owner’s proposals from a technical and party wall matter standpoint throughout the construction phase and thereafter, ensuring the building owner is fully acquainted with their obligations as detailed in the award.
In the case of you consenting to the building work notice from your neighbour, although not necessary, it is still highly advisable to appoint a party wall surveyor to prepare a schedule of condition as your property can be unfavourably affected by the works.
How does my wall affect my neighbour?It is a common misconception that owners own their respective half of a party structure (i.e. half of a party wall). However, considering the matter of shared ownership in compliance with the Act, both owners have full ownership of the entire thickness of the wall or strucutre. Therefore, it is paramount you let the Adjoining Owner know what you intend to do with the shared strucutre.
Can I start my project if the Adjoining Owner consents to my notice?Yes, when the Adjoining Owner consents to the Party Wall Notice in writing, you are permitted to begin your works. However, it must be noted that Adjoining Owners are able to dissent to the Notice further down the line, even with an inital consent, triggering the provision of the Act.
What happens if my neighbour dissents to my propsed works?When this occurs, you should appoint a chartered party wall surveyor to guide you through the dispute process. Your adjoining neighbour can either appoint their own surveyor or you can both agree on an "Agreed Surveyor". Your surveyor(s) will then visit the site to prepare a Schedule of Condition. An award will then be drafted with the required execution manner of the project. The surveyor(s) will write this award taking into accout of any unnessessary inconveniences your work may cause for the Adjoining Owner, and produce prevention methods for these. As long as you fulfill your obligations as defined in the award, you will not receive any disruptions with undertaking your works.
I have started my building project and my neighbour is unhappy, will the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 protect my works?The short answer is no. A Party Wall Notice must be served prior to ANY works commencing in order for the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to be invoked.
Who will have to pay for the costs of a Party Wall Award?In most cases, it is the Building Owner who pays for the award and the subsequent surveyor(s) costs. This is because it is the Building Owner who benefits from the facilitation of the project.
Do I need to serve a notice to build a wall that will be built wholly on my own land?The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers not only matters to do with a party wall, but also excavations. If your project involves excavating within 3 metres of a neighbouring property and will be deeper than your neighbour's existing foundation, you will need to serve a Notice under Section 6 of the Act. Similarly, if you are excavating within 6 metres of a neighbouring property and your excavations would be intercepted by an imaginary line drawn from the bottom of your neighbour's foundations at a 45° angle, a Notice under Section 6 will be required to be served.