Party Wall Surveying
Prices start from £75 plus disbursements per hour (No VAT Payable).
When undertaking certain works, a Building Owner should serve the appropriate notice on neighbours under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. These works include those which involve building on (or near to) the line of boundary, working on an existing party wall (or party structure) and excavating near to and below the foundation level of neighbouring buildings. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is there to facilitate works of this kind happening fairly.
Typically, works such as new builds, extensions, beam insertions for through lounges and loft conversions may invoke the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
It is important to consider the Act properly as failure to serve notice could lead to a court injunction stopping the works from proceeding.
The person undertaking the works (Building Owner) would need to consider appointing a party wall surveyor (Building Owner Surveyor) and the neighbour (Adjoining Owner) may also wish to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor (Adjoining Owner Surveyor). Both parties can also consent to using one surveyor (an Agreed Surveyor). I am happy to be appointed in any of these Party Wall Surveying roles.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss a potential party wall matter as it is not always clear if the Act would be invoked or not.
The Building Owner Surveyor role usually includes a visit to the property to review plans to ensure the correct notices on the Adjoining Owner(s) is/are served, a search of the Land Registry for Adjoining Owner information, production and serving of notices. On receiving the notice, if the Adjoining Owners consent to the works the surveyor involvement stops there. The Adjoining Owner can also choose to have an Agreed Surveyor or appoint their own surveyor. In the these scenarios a Party Wall Award needs to be put into place. This is usually drafted with a Schedule of Condition of the Adjoining Owner's property attached. This is a reference document that helps to show if any damage is caused by the works. Once the Award is in place, surveyor involvement can stop but another visit to check off the Schedule of Condition of the Adjoining Owner's premises is usually undertaken at the end of the works to check for any damage and close the matter.
This type of work is charged on a time charge basis because the amount of time taken for each party wall matter can vary greatly.
The RICS has produced a helpful consumer guide to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (left).