Party Wall Matters

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Party Wall Matters

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 regulates construction work on or in close proximity to the boundary between adjoining or adjacent properties. The Act provides a procedural framework to facilitate construction works and protect adjacent structures.

As party wall specialists, MSA can offer all the assistance and advice needed to ensure that the procedures of the Act are properly dealt with in a timely and thorough manner, whether acting as the appointed surveyor for the building owner, or the adjoining owner or as an agreed surveyor.

MSA have administered and extensive number of party wall matters ranging from simplistic domestic works to large and complex developments. Some examples of works that would fall under the Act include:

  • Excavations works for domestic extensions, new builds, retaining walls, underpinning, basements and piling
  • Cutting into or away from party structures to facilitate the removal of chimneybreasts, insertion of steel beams, loft conversions, rearrangement of internal layouts, wholescale refurbishment and adaptation of buildings
  • Constructing new walls at boundaries whether wholly on one side or as a new party wall shared between the owners to form a rear extension.

The process starts with service of specific notices under the Act by the building owner carrying out the works or a surveyor on their behalf. It is very important to ensure that these notices are accurately served to ensure the subsequent process is valid. MSA provide a very cost effective notice writing service please click on our Notice Writing Service tab for more information.

In response to a notice an adjoining owner has the right to consent to the works, dissent and appoint an independent surveyor or dissent and appoint an Agreed Surveyor.

If surveyors are appointed the relevant structural works will be reviewed with reference to drawings, engineering details, method statements, etc., where appropriate.

The surveyors will also carry out a schedule of condition of the adjoining owner’s property within the vicinity of the works to record any current defects. This provides a useful reference point in the event that there is an allegation of damage.

The culmination of the process is the service of a party wall Award. An Award is a legally binding agreement which sets out the rights and duties of the parties in order to facilitate the works and safeguard the neighbouring property. The Award addresses matters such as confirmation of the notifiable works, protection measures, access requirements, timings of works, allocating costs and more.

Usually towards the completion of the works a re-inspection of the adjoining owner’s property is carried out to confirm if damage has or has not occurred.

In many cases party wall matters can progress smoothly, especially when neighbourly relations are amicable. However there are instances where potential issues arise requiring the expertise of an experienced surveyor such as works undertaken without notice, damage to property, works to the boundary, access, enclosure costs, security of expenses and more.

Whether a building owner, adjoining owner or representative consultant, please feel free to call one our experienced surveyors for further advice.

Please click on our News and Resources page for downloadable material on the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Testimonials

I worked with Martin Surveying for a Party Wall Agreement with our neighbours, which was needed to build a side return extension after we had received planning permission.  This involved multiple agreements, including freehold, individual house owner and housing association agreements.  
 
From the beginning, Martin Surveying were professional, thorough and clear on process. For example, Martin Surveying quickly established the requirements and the introductory letter set out all the possible scenarios and their associated timescales and costs.  I was able to proceed without ambiguity, and engage smoothly with the other professionals, such as the Engineer and Architect.

During the process, Martin Surveying showed excellent technical and professional skills, including dealing with some very demanding neighbours.  Martin Surveying listened carefully to their concerns and also politely and persistently pointed out what was applicable and relevant under the Party Wall Act.  They were very rigorous and discerning, and crucially were able to negotiate effectively with the adjoining house owners' surveyor to achieve the multiple party wall agreements as we needed.

I would like to thank them for their work, and it was fantastic to work with a team who were outstanding professionally and technically.

Mrs Mellor – Haringey

The whole process from start to finish was handled with great care, efficiency and professionalism. Vernon ensured we were kept informed at all times and was always available to answer queries and provide support - a first class personal service!

Mr King – Wandsworth

Professional, knowledgeable, calm, comforting and with a lovely  warm sense of humour, Vernon Siva is the most wonderful Party Wall Surveyor (and Party Wall Therapist!)

My advice is (1) Don’t take a short cut on not securing a Party Wall Surveyor – the investment will be worth every penny (2) Choose Vernon Siva as your Party Wall Surveyor – even my builder and the neighbours were impressed with his approach.  He is that rare combination of a wonderful listener – someone who understands – and a professional guide who is also willing to talk to the builder/neighbour etc too on your behalf.  He and his colleague Will also did a thorough schedule of condition and offered to be there not just for the duration of the build, but also further down the line should there be any questions. 

I feel I am in the safest hands and could not recommend him more highly.

Ms Pride – Westminister

We appointed Vernon Siva from Martin Surveying Associates as our Party Wall Surveyor when rebuilding and extending the conservatory at our house, and thought that he did an excellent job for us.  Vernon was very thorough, professional, well informed and consistent in his advice to us throughout the construction of our new party wall.  He helped us to successfully put party wall agreements in place with both of our neighbours, and he did an excellent job in guiding our builders through the construction of the new party wall along the boundary line, ensuring correct alignment and visiting the site numerous times to ensure the job was done properly.  He also remained in communication with us throughout the building process, and we felt confident in his advice at all times.  It was a genuine pleasure to have Vernon as our party wall surveyor in our building works and would therefore highly recommend him without reservation.

Ms Turner - Islington

We cannot thank Ian at Martin Surveying enough for all their help with our Party Wall agreement.  We were absolutely clueless about the procedure and found it all rather daunting.  Ian guided us through with great ease and confidence. Their approach and 100% commitment and professionalism saw us through.  Would highly recommend!!

Mr Casserly & Ms Ellis - Hackney

I recently required the services of a party wall surveyor in order to construct a basement. On the recommendation of a friend I was put in touch with Martin Surveying Associates, the party wall agreements were awarded relatively quickly and very efficiently at a reasonable cost. Vernon Siva was very professional and I can highly recommend the services of Martin Surveying Associates.

Mr Iszatt - Southwark

We recently engaged MSA to undertake the building survey of the party walls of our house. MSA have been very thorough and efficient, so much so that you discovered that one wall was in fact solely ours. I would definitely recommend their services to others.

Mr & Mrs Knight - Hampstead

Projects

Richmond

Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor.

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for demolition of existing house and construction of new contemporary styled house with basement to footprint and deep excavation works to boundary affecting three adjoining owners.

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Chiswick

Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor.

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for large basement to footprint of existing building with front and rear lightwells and two storey extension affecting two adjoining owners with security of expenses.

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Enfield Chase

Insurance Claims, Building Pathology, Project Management, Design Services, Party Wall Matters.

Full management of insurance claim including determining cause of movement, monitoring and investigations, liaising with insurer, project managing full scope of works including planning and building control design, contractor selection, contract administration for demolition, piled foundation scheme and reconstruction of house.

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Westminster

Project Management.

Preparation of specifications, tendering, contractor selection, contract administration and supervision of works for external refurbishment of front and rear elevations on behalf of shared freeholders including redecoration, masonry works, window repairs, roofing, rainwater goods and balconies.

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Hampstead

Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor.

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for demolition of existing house and construction of new contemporary styled house with retaining walls to boundary affecting a number of adjoining owners.

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Fulham

Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor.

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for redevelopment of public house into accommodation units including, loft conversion, basement and new build mews house with works carried out in programmed phases affecting a variety of adjoining owners.

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Harrow

Measured Survey.

Measured survey and production of CAD drawings of existing pans and elevations for use by architects for proposed redevelopment/structural alterations.

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Palmers Green

Commercial Schedule of Condition for Lease. Bespoke Services.

Schedule of Condition survey and report for Citizens Advice Bureau prior to taking on a new lease at a retail unit with advice on various items requiring further investigation and negotiation with Landlord.

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Muswell Hill

Party Wall Matters. Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor. Bespoke Services.

MSA were brought in after damage occurred to the adjoining owner’s property. Ian Martin acted as the adjoining owner’s surveyor and dealt with the adjoining owners initial losses including loss of rent. The properties were inspected and monitored with the appointed surveyors agreeing that the adjoining owner’s building would have to be demolished and rebuilt. The matter was referred to the Third Surveyor and High Court (Technology and Construction Court) with a number of important legal issues raised in the judgements. Please refer to our News & Resources page for a link to the judgements.

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Kings Cross

Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor.

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for complex conversion of existing retail unit into restaurant including large basement to footprint of building with sequential underpinning, reinforced foundations, temporary works and steelwork. Service included arrangement of security of expenses, movement monitoring, frequent liaison with advising engineers and project team, affecting seven adjoining owners.

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Marylebone

Party Wall Matters. Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor. Bespoke Services.

Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for refurbishment works. Also acted as adjoining owners agent in relation to quantifying and obtaining compensation for damages from basement works carried out prior to our involvement including assisting in instruction of barrister for enforcement of Award.

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Battersea

Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor. Agreed Surveyor

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for construction of new storey to third floor with mansard roof affecting three adjoining owners.

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Finchley

Scaffold Licence. Party Wall Matters. Building Owner’s Surveyor. Agreed Surveyor.

Service of Notices, Party wall Awards and Schedule of Condition inspections for construction of loft conversion to first floor flat. Negotiating Licence for scaffolding on adjoining owner’s land.

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