Southdown Chartered Surveyors and Building Consultants have been providing clients in Battle and 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 Party Wall Act.
Matthew Symmonds, our founding Director, has a particular interest in Party Wall matters and is highly experienced in understanding and working 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 Party Wall Act 1996.
The Party Wall Act 1996
A party wall is a dividing wall between your property and a neighbour’s property, or an excavation near to a neighbouring property. For any construction project or refurbishment proposals involving building works to a party wall, the regulations set out in the Party Wall Act 1996 will become applicable. This Act came into force in July 1997 and is now enshrined in English law.
The general premise is that any building work that might affect the structural strength or support function of a party wall between two properties, or has the potential to cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall, must be notified in writing.
If the Party Wall Act does apply to any building works carried out by yourself or the neighbour on the other side, 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 Party Wall Act 1996 before building works begin, is strongly advised. An overview and general guidance given by the Government can be obtained here, with a detailed explanatory booklet available to read here. However, it is highly recommended that specific advice be sought from a professional surveyor who is fully conversant with the Act, and has solid experience of Party Wall matters.
At times, issues and disputes can arise over any building project. If, for whatever reason, it has not been possible to reach a satisfactory agreement between the neighbouring parties and written consent has not been given under the Party Wall Act 1996, Southdown Surveyors can help to 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.
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 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 Party Wall Act etc, 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