Our Party Wall team have served many clients across London on a wide range of projects

What is the Party Wall etc Act 1996?

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is a legal process that provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to Party Walls, Party Structures, Boundary walls and excavations that are taking place close to neighbouring properties.

Party Wall Advice – We provide free Party Wall Advice, we put your needs first and try to understand your project, your relationship with your neighbours and make suggestions to help minimise costs and proceed without any delays to your project.

Party Wall Consultancy – Taking the free advice to the next step to discuss your project in a little more detail should you want the involvement of a Party Wall Surveyor in the design process or just want to run your ideas and plans through us to get our expert advice on it.

Party Wall Notices – A Party Wall Notice is the first step of the Party Wall process. Within this notice, you are addressing your neighbour informing of the works you intend to carry out. Whilst this is simple enough, there are certain criteria’s of a Party Wall Notice that needs to be fulfilled in order for it to be a valid Party Wall Notice.

Upon your neighbour receiving a Party Wall Notice, they have 3 options available to them under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

Consenting to the Notice:
This simply means that your neighbour has received the party wall notice and is happy with all the information provided within the notice which means you as the building owner are free to proceed with your works once you have that confirmation.

Dissenting and appointing an Agreed Surveyor:
This response simply means that your neighbour would like to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to look after their interests and handle the Party Wall Process on their behalf. They are happy for the same surveyor to be used on behalf of both respective owners. The Agreed Surveyor has to Act impartially representing both parties.

Within this response the Agreed Surveyor inspects the neighbours property to carry out a Schedule of Condition inspection which involves taking pictures and recording the descriptive condition of the property. This is then formulated into a report format.

Once the inspection is completed, typically a Party Wall Award is put together which sets out clauses on how the build is to go ahead. The full agreement usually consists of the Party Wall Award, the Schedule of Condition Inspection report and a Document Register with all the relevant plans and structural information added to the agreement.

Dissenting and appointing your own Surveyor:
This response is fairly similar to the Agreed Surveyor option in the sense of what is included in the final Party Wall Agreement. The difference however is that instead of one surveyor representing both parties and acting impartially. Each party will have their own surveyor representing their interest. Both surveyors will work together to inspect the property and produce the final Party Wall Agreement.

What type of works require a Party Wall Award?

The works that trigger the Party Wall etc Act 1996 typically fall under 3 main categories.

Section (1)
Building a new wall upto or beyond a boundary line.

Section (3)
Cutting into or cutting away from a Party Wall (A Shared Wall), Party Structure (Ceiling or Floor) or a Party Fence Wall (A Shared Garden Wall)

Section (6)
Excavating and pouring new foundations within 3-6 Metres of a neighbouring property.

Please feel free to get in touch to discuss your works if you feel they may fall under 1 or more of the above 3 categories.

Schedule of Condition Inspection:
A Schedule of Condition inspection involves recording the condition of a property relative to where the neighbouring works are taking place. This involves a written record of the current condition as well as pictures to accompany it and is then put together into a report format. This is all typically done before any works have taken place. This report can then be used as a reference point should any damage later arise from the neighbouring works.

Party Wall Award:
The creation of the Party Wall Award is the final step of the process. At this point the appointed Surveyor(s) will have a good grasp and understanding of the works taking place, the existing condition of the property and the potential risks and considerations to the respective owners. With this information the Surveyor(s) puts together a legally binding document which sets out how the build is to go ahead whilst setting out what considerations the Building Owner and their contractor must be aware of.

Once the Party Wall Award has been completed. This is served to the respective owners at which point the Building Owner is free to commence their works.

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