An integral component of the construction and renovation process for properties across England and Wales, Party Walls, or the term “party wall” refers to a shared wall or boundary which separates two or more properties (terraced or semi-detached homes). When the renovation process is not handled properly, Party Walls can often be a source of dispute.
As a form of protection, property owners and builders should dissuade from free party wall templates and instead seek the services of a surveyor to ensure full compliance with the law. Additionally, recipients of a Party Wall Notice should also seek out our services to understand their options to respond.
A Party Wall Agreement, also referred to as a Party Wall Award or Party Wall Easement is a legal agreement between owners of an adjoining property, fence or boundary line. The purpose of agreement is to establish both the rights and responsibilities of each property owner concerning the shared structure. It will outline and cover matters like maintenance, repairs, alterations as well as any other issues that might arise when the party wall or boundary is concerned.
Owners will require a Party Wall Agreement when either they, or their neighbour plans to carry out certain types of construction or renovation works that affects the shared wall, boundary or structure between the two properties.
It’s 100% essential to have a Party Wall Agreement in place. Check your local building regulations and consult with qualified surveyors and legal professionals to determine whether any planned construction on a neighbouring wall or property requires an agreement. Failing to obtain the necessary agreements often leads to disputes and legal issues with your neighbours that can result in delays and additional costs before you even get started.
Please note that not all types of construction require notice. For example, routine maintenance and repair work which does not affect the structural integrity of a party wall or fence does not always require notice. But it’s always best to check and seek advice from party wall surveyors like ourselves to ensure you comply with the Party Wall Act 1996.
The Act is required in the following examples:
You must serve a notice as a legal requirement under the Party Wall Act of 1996 to inform your neighbours of proposed work to seek their consent.
If the notices are not consented to, dissented or ignored then this will further trigger the requirement for an appointment of Surveyors to produce and service an Award.
Failure to serve these notices in accordance with the Party Wall Act 1996 might result in legal disputes and financial penalties.
The Party Wall Award is a legally binding document that outlines the framework for the construction works to take place safely with minimal disruption to the adjoining owner.
The Party Wall Agreement is issued by appointed surveyors, often in the event of a dispute. The Party Wall Award will not be required if the adjoining owner consents to proposed works detailed in the notices.
The Party Wall Award includes:
A Condition Survey is not mandatory under the Act but it is recommended to record the condition of the adjoining owner’s property before works begin, which can be served as evidence in case of any occurring damage. The schedule of a condition can help both parties establish the original condition of the adjoining owner’s property and assess any damage.
Once a Party Wall Award is served both parties must adhere to the terms of the agreement, with the owner ensuring that works are carried out in accordance with the terms of the Party Wall Award. So, when hiring contractors, you must ensure they are aware of these requirements. Simultaneously, the adjoining owner must allow the works to proceed and must not unreasonable withhold consent for any measures required to protect their property.
Locally trusted surveyors
Want to undertake renovation work that will invoke the Party Wall Act, or has your neighbour informed you of action that invokes the Party Wall Act?
Strictly operating through Surrey and neighbouring counties, our property consultants and surveyors specialise in Party Wall matters.
At Westville Associates, we have helped hundreds of owners form legitimate, standing Party Wall agreements that authorise works covered by the Party Wall Act 1996.
Our services are regularly engaged in projects throughout Cobham, Elmbridge, Epsom & Ewell, Camberley, Guildford, Reigate & Banstead, Surrey Heath, Woking, Waverley and so many more local areas.
As one of the most recommended surveyors in the county, we offer fast notices, awards and agreements that protect our client’s terraced or semi-detached homes. Plus, we’re five-star rated.
When you choose Westville Associates for your Party Wall Matters, you choose a local business and surveyors who offer competitive fees with no hidden or additional costs like travel, travel time, parking, photocopying, etc.
Whether you’re the property owner, or the adjoining owner, we have the experience and expertise to assist you with every aspect of Party Wall Matters, from resolving disputes and issuing awards to preparing and serving notices.
We know how stressful and complex process like this can be, so consider us as your specialist partners in Party Walls, including any work that requires party structure notices, like loft conversions or section 1 notices and section 6 notices.
Understand your rights and obligations
If you are undertaking work on your property, you may need to serve a party wall notice for your neighbours under the Party Wall Act 1996.
The Act is a piece of legislation that allows you to undertake work within set time frames and protects your neighbour’s rights.
The Party Wall Act of 1996 came into force on July 1st 1997, and applies to homes throughout England and Wales.
The Act outlines particular legal requirements for Party Wall Agreements and Dispute Resolution to set out obligations of property owners who plan to undertake construction work which will affect a shared wall, involves the construction of a new wall on a boundary line, or involves the excavation of ground within certain set distances from the neighbouring structure.
Whether you need our services because your neighbour is planning work or you intend to, we offer a free, 15-minute, no-obligation consultation to discuss any concerns or questions you may have. We are often thanked for simplifying the legal jargon used in the Act and explaining the obligations required of you in less technical terms.