Party wall issues are common in England. Surveyors are crucial to avoiding conflict with neighbours or solving disputes regarding these matters. To make things smooth between both parties, a surveyor acts as a bridge and brings both parties to a mutual understanding.
Different agencies offer the service of a licensed party wall surveyor tailored to your needs. However, issues in such cases are pretty standard; still, many people get confused about the term or do not know how to solve their party wall issues.
Do you also want to know all about adjoining wall issues and why you might need to have a surveyor by your side? This article makes it easy for you to grasp things and explains everything you need to know. We will start by giving you the basics of a party wall, why it’s important, and what the Party Wall Act says about it.
What Is a Party Wall and Why Is It Important?
A party wall is a structure that is shared between two or more properties and can be found in buildings that share a boundary with another property. It may be a wall, floor, or ceiling and can serve as a physical boundary between two different properties. Along with its physical significance, a party wall also has legal implications that both parties must be aware of. Both parties have equal rights and responsibilities for the maintenance and repair of the wall or structure.
If one party intends to carry out any work that could potentially affect the adjoining wall, they must follow the necessary legal procedures to obtain permission from the other party. The process is called a party wall notice, which must be provided to the adjoining owner at least two months before the work commences. The notice must outline the details of the proposed work, including the start date, duration, and scope of the work. It should also explain the steps the party carrying out the work will take to minimize damage and disruption to the adjoining property.
Party Wall According to the 1996 Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act of 1996 was a crucial step towards resolving party wall conflicts and disputes between neighbouring property owners. The act was introduced to provide a legal framework for dealing with combining wall matters and ensuring that both parties rights are protected during construction work.
The Party Wall Act sets out specific legal procedures to be followed when carrying out work that may affect a wall. It’s important to note that the Party Wall Act of 1996 outlines severe legal actions that can be taken if the act’s sections or points are not adhered to. These legal actions could result in significant financial penalties or even an injunction to stop the work entirely.
What is a Party Wall Survey?
A party wall survey is an assessment conducted by a qualified and experienced surveyor to determine the condition of a party wall or boundary, as well as to assess the potential impact of any proposed works on the wall or boundary. The purpose of the survey is to provide impartial and expert advice to the building owner and adjoining property owners to ensure that any works carried out on the shared wall or boundary are done so in accordance with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Why Do I need a party wall survey in 2023?
A party wall survey may be required in 2023 if you plan to carry out building work that involves the construction or alteration of a shared wall, boundary wall, or party fence wall with a neighboring property. The purpose of a survey is to assess the condition of the wall or structure, determine any potential impact of the proposed work on the wall, and agree on any necessary measures to prevent damage and protect the interests of both parties.
What Comes After a Survey?
When the condition is assessed and the purpose of a survey is completed, there are two legal steps that you have to take. Both of these depend upon the situation the construction or alteration will lead or had led to:
Party Wall Notice
A party wall notice is a legal requirement that you must serve on your neighbor for at least two months before starting any work. The notice should include details of the proposed work and its likely impact on the adjoining wall, as well as the date on which you intend to start the work. Your neighbor then has the option to consent to the work, dissent, and appoint their own surveyor, or agree to the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both parties.
Party Wall Award
A party wall award is a legally binding agreement between the parties and their surveyors that sets out the rights and obligations of each party regarding the proposed work. It should detail the scope of the work, any protective measures to be taken, and the cost of the work, including any compensation or damages payable to the neighbor if damage occurs. It’s suggested to seek guidance from a surveyor to carry out everything as planned.
How are these two Important?
Both the party wall notice and award are equally important in protecting the interests of both parties and ensuring that the proposed work is carried out without causing undue disruption or damage to the neighboring property. Failure to comply with the legal requirements can result in disputes, delays, and costly legal action. Therefore, seeking professional advice and engaging a qualified party wall surveyor is essential to help you navigate the process and ensure compliance with the relevant legislation.
Party Wall Agreement
A party wall agreement is a legal document that sets out the rights and obligations of both parties involved in building work that affects a shared wall, boundary wall, or party fence wall. The agreement is drawn up by surveyors, who are experts in their field and can ensure that the agreement is fair and legally compliant.
One of the main benefits of a party wall agreement is that it can help to avoid disputes and potential legal action. The party wall agreement sets out the work that will be carried out, the time frame for the work, and any measures that will be taken to protect the neighbor’s property. This can help to ensure that the work is carried out without causing undue disruption or damage to the neighbor’s property.
Who is a Party Wall Surveyor?
A party wall surveyor guides you through the complete adjoining wall conflict and dispute process. They help you plan your next step and try to make the case work to your benefit in a legal way.
In case of disagreement of the second party to a particular project that involves a party wall but the first party still starts the project, the case can attract legal pitfall for the first party.
Role of the Party Wall Surveyor
A Party wall surveyor is a legal advisor who surveys the conflicted project involving the party wall or party wall structure. They are the legal person who is the central bridge between two parties to reach the main point.
There are many roles that a surveyor is supposed to perform in the party wall matter according to the party wall act. The central goal of hiring a party wall surveyor London is to solve the dispute legally without involving any pitfalls.
Party wall matters can be negligible, but if you forget to pay the right amount of attention to the subject, it can turn ugly. A surveyor makes the process easy and accessible for you in a legal way to carry out your dream project with complete privacy and minimal disturbance.
Read more about Party wall:
- Retrospective Party Wall Agreement UK
- Party Wall Disputes
- How Long Does a Party Wall Agreement Last?
- What Happens If you Fail To Serve A Party Wall Notice in 2023?
- What is a Party Wall Agreement? What you Need To Know