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Frequently Asked Questions About Party Wall Surveying in London

ARM Property Services

3 min read

Apr 15

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If you own a property in London, chances are you will encounter party wall issues at some point, whether during a planned construction, renovation, or refurbishment project or as a result of your neighbour’s activities. The Party Wall Act, a crucial legislation governing shared walls and structures, plays a significant role in ensuring respectful and harmonious neighbourly relations in our bustling urban landscape. Still, many property owners remain unclear on the essentials of the Act and the role of a party wall surveyor.

 

So, let’s clear the fog around these topics by addressing the most frequently asked questions concerning party wall surveying in London. Here, you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions and gain a comprehensive understanding of party wall surveying in London. So keep reading, and you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge to make well-informed decisions about party wall issues and how to safeguard your property interests.

 

What is a Party Wall?

 

In the context of London properties, a party wall is a shared wall that separates two adjoining buildings or a boundary wall between two separate plots of land. The Party Wall Act 1996, a legislation governing England and Wales, provides a legal framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near shared buildings. It also highlights guidelines on performing work along or near these shared structures while preserving the rights of all property owners involved.

 

What Do I Need to Know About Party Wall Notices?

 

As a property owner, if you are planning to undertake any work that may directly affect shared party walls, it's essential to serve party wall notices to your neighbours. The notice provides a formal declaration of your intent, allowing neighbours to review the proposed works and put forth any concerns. Some critical points to keep in mind when serving party wall notices include:

 

  1. Types of Notices: There are three main types of party wall notices: party structure notice, line of junction notice, and notice of adjacent excavation. Your party wall surveyor in London will help determine the appropriate notice type based on your planned construction work.

  2. Timelines: Serve the party wall notices to affected neighbours ideally two months before starting any party structure work and at least one month prior to a line of junction or adjacent excavation work.

  3. Validity of Notices: A notice remains valid for 12 months, after which it lapses if the property owner does not commence the project within this timeframe.

 

What if my Neighbour Disagrees with the Proposed Work?

 

If your neighbour does not consent to the proposed work, the Party Wall Act allows you to resolve the disagreement by appointing party wall surveyors. The surveyor(s) appointed can be selected from either a single surveyor agreed upon by both parties or each party appointing their own surveyor. The appointed surveyor(s) then:

 

  1. Conduct a thorough inspection of the property to assess the potential impact of the proposed work on all parties.

  2. Draft a legally binding document called the Party Wall Award, which outlines the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of everyone involved in the construction process.

  3. Monitor the project and ensure that all parties adhere to the guidelines mentioned in the Party Wall Award.

 

Remember that communication plays a pivotal role in resolving disagreements, and an experienced party wall surveyor in London can provide valuable assistance in maintaining clear and open channels of dialogue throughout the process.

 

How Can I Ensure Compliance with the Party Wall Act?

 

As a property owner, staying up to date with the Party Wall Act requirements and engaging a qualified party wall surveyor are the key steps to ensure compliance. Here are a few tips to help you stay on the right side of the Act:

 

  1. Plan Ahead: Understand the timelines and procedures stated in the Party Wall Act and ensure your project is correctly planned and executed accordingly.

  2. Serve Notices in Time: Ensure that party wall notices are served promptly and provide all necessary details to your neighbours to minimise confusion and streamline the consent process.

  3. Appoint a Professional Surveyor: Engage a trusted party wall surveyor in London to guide you through the technical aspects of the Party Wall Act and ensure that all legal requirements are satisfied.

 

Conclusion

 

Understanding the fundamentals of party wall surveying in London and the Party Wall Act is crucial for property owners planning to undertake construction work affecting shared walls and boundaries. Adequate knowledge can not only help you navigate the legal and technical challenges of the Act but also maintain good relationships with your neighbours.

 

Whether you are about to embark on a building project or need assistance with party wall issues, consider enlisting the expertise of ARM Property Services. With over 20 years of experience in party wall surveying, we provide honest and reliable services designed to protect your property and legal interests in and around London. Don’t hesitate to contact us today.

ARM Property Services

3 min read

Apr 15

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0

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