Party Wall Surveyor Bristol
About Party Wall Matters
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 has placed on property-owners in England and Wales a legal obligation to follow the Party Wall Act procedures when building work has an effect on a Party Wall or structure. Although not as famous it is just as important as planning permission and building regulations. It was created to enable home owners to develop their property and at the same time provide legal protection to their neighbours against damage to their own property.
All attached properties have (and on occasion detached) Party Walls and Party Structures. A Party Wall or Structure separates you and your neighbour’s property, sometimes even a garden wall when straddling the boundary line.
When you instigate work which will have an effect on the Party Wall or Structure you must serve the relevant party wall notice on your neighbour’s and get their agreement before you commence your building works. Usually this is in the form of document called a Party Wall Award prepared by a Party Wall Surveyor, which is obtained from your appointed Party Wall Surveyor.
It is important to understand a notice period of between 1 to 2 months is required before commencement of works applies depending on the works proposed. Advice should be sought at the inception of any project to include the obligations detailed within The Act.
The notice period gives all parties adequate time to prepare for the notifiable work and agree the method of construction to protect the Adjoining Owners property.
Common activities that invoke the act
The most common works that affect a walls and other structures include, but are not limited to:
Internal or external structural alterations (e.g. removing walls and inserting structural beams)
Excavating for foundations, constructing basements and damp proofing
It is important to know when undertaking excavation work to a level deeper than your neighbour’s foundations and within 3 meters (or in some cases 6 metres) of the Party Wall, notice is required on your neighbour.
What to do
When the planned work constitutes a Party Wall matter a written Party Wall notice must be served on your neighbour. This includes the freeholder and anyone leasing the property with a tenancy longer than one year. This is generally two months’ prior to commencement or one month in the case of excavation works.
The Act allows both owners to appoint their own Party Wall surveyor or preferably to most parties appoint an Agreed (Party Wall) Surveyor.
The Party Wall Surveyor will draw up a document called a Party Wall Award, the Party Wall Award will include details of the work to be carried out, when and how it will be done and records the condition of the adjoining property before work begins.
Once the contents of the Party Wall Award has been agreed by the Party Wall Surveyors it is published and the work can commence. Generally, the building owner who started the work pays for the Party Wall Surveyor.
Our services typically include:
Assessment of the awards and notices required in relation to the proposed party wall works
Make contact with and liaise with the adjoining owners and or their Party Wall Surveyor
Prepare and serve the relevant party wall notices
Prepare schedules of conditions with the other Party Wall Surveyor
Agree pre-construction phase party wall awards and correctly serve the party wall awards
Review the schedules of condition post completion of the works
Please contact Norton Surveyors to discuss the Party Wall Act and your project