Party wall Agreements

Party Wall Surveyors London
for all your design and build projects in London

Follow us -

What is a Party Wall Agreement?

If you or any one of your adjoining neighbours is planning to kickstart a kitchen extension project, excavate a basement, reconfigure internal layouts of their property, or convert the loft space, then the proposed works may be subject to the provisions of The Party Wall Act of 1996.

The Party Wall Act or simply ‘Party Wall Agreement’ is a very important piece of legislation covering England and Wales which many homeowners and builders are already familiar with. It was passed to prevent the likelihood of any construction related disagreements or disputes between neighbours before the proposed works begin – providing a clear legal framework to refer to for resolving disputes which typically arise due to party walls and other party structures.

Party Wall Agreements broadly cover three kinds of distinct proposed works:
  • Party structure alternations like walls dividing terraced or semi-detached homes, for example, which can be made into flats;
  • Excavation work which is 3-6 metres lower than the current neighbouring foundation structures;
  • Construction of new walls along boundary lines.

When any work falls within the scope of the Party Wall Act, it becomes necessary for the house owner or building owner to serve notice to the neighbouring property owner in order to gain the adjoining owner’s consent. If this consent is not given after the first attempt, the parties are effectively in dispute, at which stage, Party Wall Surveyors need to be appointed in order to resolve the dispute through what’s called a Party Wall Award.

Therefore, any time you want to carry out renovation or alteration work on an existing Party Wall/Party Structure, dig below the 3m or lower foundation level of the adjoining wall or build anything along the boundary line of the two properties, you must send a Party Wall Notice. In some situations, however, it may be difficult to gauge whether you need to send a notice at all, in which case, our Party Wall Surveyors in London can assist.

With that said, generally speaking, when two properties are sharing a Party Wall, Party Wall Surveyors must be called upon to help with the preparation and administration of a Party Wall Agreement as per the Party Wall Act, 1996.

Our expert Party Wall Surveyors in London will act on your behalf, assessing the nature of the Party Wall and its relative position to both the individual properties, and provide completely impartial advice to either party keeping in view the planned structural alterations or repairs.

How to know if you require Party Wall Surveyors in London

When undertaking any of the above mentioned projects, you may need the assistance of one of our expert Party Wall Surveyors in London under the following circumstances, some of which we have already discussed:

  • You want to build a new wall along the boundary of the two adjoining properties;
  • You’re planning to cut into a Party Wall – e.g. to insert a steel supporting beam or remove a chimney breast;
  • You want to knock down or rebuild the current Party Wall;
  • You need to knock down or rebuild a boundary wall according to the Line of Junction Notice; this may also be required if you’re planning an extension, especially a side extension;
  • Your project requires excavations within a 3-6 metre depth of your neighbour’s property’s foundation.

Therefore, a Party Wall Notice must be served by a Party Wall Surveyor any time work needs to be done in relation to a Party Wall. Just to quickly recap what we’ve discussed, a Party Wall Agreement in essence covers any kind of work or project which could potentially affect both sides of the wall – this could be anything from inserting damp proof course into the party wall or cutting into it in order to install a beam, to knocking down or rebuilding it in order to accommodate your home improvement project.

Either way, our Party Wall Surveyors can help as they have served many Party Wall Notices over the years and boast years of experience in handling the various complexities that often surround it. In most cases, your planned work may affect the co-owning party – i.e. your neighbour – so, you absolutely need to obtain their consent before beginning works.

Our Party Wall Surveyor in London would be happy to assess the scope of your project and quickly determine if a Party Wall Notice will need to be served to the affected properties’ owners. Failing to do so may cause unnecessary problems in obtaining Planning Permission, for instance, or the timely and on-budget completion of your project.

A Party Wall Notice needs to be drafted properly and served at least two months ahead of the planned work – our Party Wall Surveyors in London would be happy to take the stress of your hands, so that you can focus on completing the project.

Why choose Design and Build as your Party Wall Surveyors?

Design and Build are fully independent and impartial Party Wall Surveyors in London. We are also registered with RICS and regularly oversee different kinds of Party Wall matters for both owners of adjoining walls and builders dealing with Party Wall issues.

We still advise each one of our clients on the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with their neighbours – it’s always a good idea to share your construction or alternation plans with your neighbour before serving a Party Wall Notice.

From the initial surveyor review and condition inspection & report through to the actual Party Wall Agreement and post project survey, our expert Party Wall Surveyors in London have you covered. We cover the entire London area, so in the event you need honest, transparent and completely impartial advice on matters related to a Party Wall, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly and insightful Party Wall Surveyors.