Party Wall injunctions are in place to enable an adjoining owner to proceed to the Courts stopping the building owner from progressing the Party Wall works any further until the correct Party Wall procedures have been followed.
However, that being said Party Wall Injunctions will not be sensible for all types of cases and prior to proceeding to Courts, need to be carefully considered through the eyes of a Party Wall Surveyor, a specialist Solicitor and potentially even a Barrister.
In this blog post, I am going to be looking at Party Wall Injunctions in a bit more detail and clarifying those circumstances when I believe a Party Wall Injunctions will be applicable, and more importantly those circumstances where I don’t think it will be applicable.
Generally speaking Party Wall Injunctions should be reserved for those matters that pose a significant structural risk to an adjoining owner’s property. For example, if the building owner is undertaking a basement conversion, underpinning, or other works that significantly change or affect the structural load of their property, or pose a high risk to the adjoining owner’s property, in my opinion a Party Wall Injunctions is the perfect procedure for an adjoining owner to call upon in the event that the building owner doesn’t, or hasn’t followed the correct Party Wall procedures.
However, when works are of a lower risk, for example conventional extensions or loft conversions, in these instances given the risk to the adjoining owner is far lower down the spectrum, a Party Wall Injunction could be perceived as being too strong of a mechanism to hold the building owner to account.
This isn’t to say that a Party Wall Injunctions don’t have a legal standing, as they do and more importantly will if the building owner chooses to ignore, overlook, or misunderstand their legal requirements. However, given the costs involved in obtaining an injunction which would likely be in the region of £3,000 to £6000, I would recommend an adjoining owner carefully considers whether the Injunction itself is the best option open to them.
If you are planning on obtaining an Injunction, I would recommend speaking to an experienced and qualified Party Wall Surveyor at the first instance. Here at Berry Lodge Surveyors, we regularly give 30 minutes free advice to all callers and would recommend any reader who is considering an injunction to utilise this offer.
Party Wall matters can often be misunderstood or misinterpreted, therefore getting sound advice at the first instance is key to ensuring the right and correct steps are taken.