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Party Wall Surveying

What is the Party Wall etc Act 1996?

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

The Party Wall Surveying Process

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

  1. Works directly to a Party Wall, a Party Structure or a Party Fence Wall
  2. Excavations within 3m or 6m and to a depth lower than 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.

To ensure this, a Party Wall Surveyor will consider the building owner’s construction work from the perspective of the adjoining owner’s property.

The Party Wall Surveyor will ensure the potential risk associated with the construction works is as low as it can 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 in advance of the construction works commencing.

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

Party Wall Notice response options:

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

Consenting to the Party Wall Notice

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

In all normal cases the building owner would then be able to commence the proposed construction works at the earliest opportunity without delay.

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 procedures and protections set out by the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

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.

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

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

Here are some Party Wall Surveying Projects, we have done in the past:

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