Party Wall Surveyors

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 was brought into effect on 1 July 1997.  The Act derives from previous Acts that only covered the London; the new Act applies to England and Wales.

The Act applies to certain building and construction operations undertaken by a building owner on or close to neighbouring properties.  Operations such as the construction of new or replacement walls to boundaries, excavations close to neighbouring properties, and works to adjoining structures.

Any works falling under the Act require the Building Owner (or Developer) to issue Notices to Adjoining Owners detailing the proposals and ultimately seeking approval to proceed.  If the Adjoining Owner does not consent to the works then a dispute has, or is deemed to have, arisen.  The dispute triggers the requirement for Party Wall Surveyors to be appointed to settle the dispute by way of an Award.

Assuming that the neighbouring parties are in agreement then they can appoint an Agreed Surveyor, as opposed to each appointing their own.  This is considered a prudent approach in terms of time and expense.

Cunliffes are always happy to provide advice or act as agent for Building Owners to issue Notices on their behalf.  The issue of Notices must follow set procedures and must include set criteria.  If the Notices are issued incorrectly, then all that follows can be considered invalid.

Party Wall Awards produced by Cunliffes are robust and we engage with specialist advisors as and when required.  The condition of neighbouring properties is assessed and the Awards include detailed references supported by a photographic reference schedule.

The Party Wall team is headed up by Peter Buck BSc(Hons) MRICS.  Peter has over 17 years’ experience in dealing with Party Wall and other neighbourly matters and is a keen and participating member of the Pyramus and Thisbe Club.  The P&T seeks to advance knowledge of party wall legislation and procedure and to promote best professional practice in its application – see link below  for further information.

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