The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 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 and is based on the tried and trusted system which existed in inner London for many years.
You are required by law to inform all adjoining owners if you are proposing to carry out work which would include the following:
• Work on an existing wall shared with another 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 Owner carrying out the works is responsible for the cost of repairs to his neighbour's building as well as the surveyor's costs in most instances.
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.
We have experience in this field so please do not hesitate to contact us. As well as being Chartered Surveyors, our surveyors undertaking this work 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.
Telephone Woodward Chartered Surveyors for further advice on whether you or your neighbour need to arrange a Party Wall Award.
Woodward Chartered Surveyors, Surveyors in Harrow, Surveyors in Middlesex, Surveyors in North West London, Surveyors in Hertfordshire and Surveyors in Buckinghamshire. Regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors