Party Wall Act Surveyors working in East Sussex
Southdown Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants have been providing clients across Sussex with professional, independent surveying services for over 10 years. The Party Wall Act is an area we specialise in and our knowledgeable team can provide professional advice on your specific situation, implementing the necessary legal procedures to ensure that your proposals are undertaken within the rules of the Act.
Matthew Symmonds, our founding Director, has a particular interest in Party Wall matters and is a highly experienced party wall surveyor. He understands and works within the parameters of this significant piece of legislation. Matthew is a member of The Pyramus & Thisbe Club, the professional organisation that promotes best practice in the application of the Act.
Party Wall Notice
A party wall is a dividing wall between your (the building owner) property and the adjoining owner property or excavation near a neighbouring property. For any construction project (including loft conversions) or refurbishment proposals involving construction work to a party wall or structure, the regulations authorised and regulated by the Party Wall Act 1996 will become applicable.
This Act came into force in July 1997 and is now enshrined in English law. A party wall agreement is an agreement between you and your neighbours regarding any building work affecting a shared boundary, wall or outbuilding.
The general premise is that any planning works that might affect the structural strength or support function of an existing party wall between two properties, or has the potential to cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall, must be notified in writing with a Party Wall Notice. The adjoining owner should then provide consent or serve a counter-notice within 14 days.
If the Act does apply to any construction works carried out by yourself (building owner) or the neighbour on the other side (adjoining owner), the process laid down in the Act needs to be followed and administered correctly. This requires a detailed understanding of what is (and is not!) permissible, and what you must (and must not!) do.
If the processes under the Act are not followed correctly, ongoing on-site work may be stopped while the issue is resolved, which is likely to result in undesirable delays and extra costs being incurred.
Clearly, obtaining pertinent advice and gaining a general understanding of the processes and obligations of the Act before works begin, is strongly advised. An overview and general guidance are given by the Government can be obtained, with a detailed explanatory booklet available to read. However, it is highly recommended that specific advice be sought from an agreed surveyor who is fully conversant with the Act and has solid experience of Party Wall matters.
At times, issues and disputes can arise over the proposed work of any building project. If it has not been possible to reach a satisfactory agreement between the neighbouring parties and written consent has not been given under the Act, then both parties should appoint a surveyor to draw up a Party Wall Award (part of which will outline the work being carried out and any potential additional work). Southdown Surveyors can help with dispute resolution procedures to swiftly resolve the situation.
Why not let Southdown Surveyors use their impartiality to liaise with your neighbours (and their surveyors, where necessary) to ensure that all parties meet their obligations under the Act, and everyone is treated fairly? We have extensive experience in acting as either the Building Owner’s surveyor, where you intend to undertake the works or as the Adjoining Owner’s surveyor, where your neighbour is undertaking works. We can provide you with peace of mind and confidence in the success of your project with a professional service to match.
If you wish to discuss your requirements for any construction works or building project that may fall under the Party Wall Act 1996, or if you are the neighbouring party, please feel free to call our registered office and chat to our helpful team on 01323 739183. To arrange an appointment please contact us by filling in the form on this page. Or, for more information on the Act, please visit either of the links below:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/party-wall-etc-act-1996-guidance – Guidance on preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls.
http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/glossary/party-walls/ – A clear, impartial guide to party walls.