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Party Wall Surveying

The Party Wall Agreement process is a legal procedure that needs to be invoked before a building owner (the person undertaking the construction works to their property) commences their proposed work.

The Party Wall Act 1996 covers three different types of work:

  1. Works directly to a Party Wall
  2. Excavations within 3m or 6m and to a depth lower that the adjoining owner’s (the neighbour’s) foundations
  3. New walls built up to, or astride, the line of junction.

The Party Wall Agreement procedure is in place to ensure that both the building owner and the adjoining owner are legally protected before, during and after the works.

In order to ensure this a Party Wall Surveyor will consider the building owner’s work from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.

The Party Wall Surveyor will ensure the potential risk is as low as it can possibly be, while also ensuring all the logistics of the works have been considered thereby avoiding disputes between the owners.

The Party Wall Agreement process follows a strict statutory procedure which commences when the building owner serves a Party Wall Notice upon the adjoining owner.

Once a Party Wall Notice is served the adjoining owner will have three Notice response options:

Party wall response options:

Once a Party Wall Notice is served the adjoining owner will have three response options:
1

Consenting to the Party Wall Notice

This means that the adjoining owner waives the formalities and protection of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, thereby allowing the building owner to commence their proposed construction work.

2

Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing their own Party Wall Surveyor

When an adjoining owner dissents to the Party Wall Notice they are activating the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and all of its protections and procedures.

By appointing their own Party Wall Surveyor, the building owner will then be duty bound to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor, with those two Surveyors following the Party Wall procedures and agreeing a Party Wall Award legally protecting both owners.

3

Dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing an Agreed Party Wall Surveyor

This option is the same as the second response option, with the only difference being that one Party Wall Surveyor acts impartially upon behalf of both the building owner and the adjoining owner.