The Party Wall Act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. The Act applies throughout England and Wales so clearly covers property in London, and is based on the tried and trusted system which existed in inner London for many years.
When proposing to carry out work on your London property you are required by law to inform all adjoining owners if the work might include the following:
• Work on an existing wall shared with another London property
• Building on the boundary with a neighbouring property
• Excavating near a neighbouring building
The surveyor will draw up a document called a Party Wall Award, which authorises building work under the Act subject to stipulations to safeguard the interests of the owners of both properties. This "Award" includes a Schedule of Condition to record the condition of neighbouring properties allowing the surveyor to ascertain any damage caused after the works.
The building owner carrying out the work is usually responsible for the cost of repairs to the neighbouring property, as well as the party wall survey costs.
If work is undertaken without first giving notice in the proper way, then the adjoining owner may seek redress through the courts. Even if you consider the work to be of a minor nature you should seek expert advice before starting.
Woodward Surveyors have a great deal of experience in this field and we are members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
If your neighbour is planning works that fall under the categories above and has not served Party Wall notice on you, or has and you wish to know how to respond, then also contact us immediately.
Contact Woodward Chartered Surveyors for further advice on whether you or your neighbour need to arrange a Party Wall Award. You can also get a quotation for a London Party Wall Survey.
If you need more information to help you decide which survey is right for your property then please take a look at our building & party wall survey information videos.