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Building Surveyors Surrey: 01932 864375

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Party wall services in Surrey for building owners

Are you planning to undertake works under the Party Wall Act? Want to approach your construction or renovation project appropriately and legally? As a building owner, we can help maintain both your and your neighbour’s rights and have undertaken hundreds of party wall matters across Surrey.

What we can do for you

Planning a home extension, loft conversion or a basement extension? Or perhaps you’re doing maintenance work that involves construction or changes near or around a party wall? Then, you’ll likely need our help to serve a Party Wall Notice – which our surveyors have done hundreds of times. Building owners have a statutory duty to serve written Party Wall Notices to all affected neighbours.

To ensure your works comply with the Party Wall Act, we provide a full party wall surveying service, including Party Wall Notices, meticulous Schedules of Condition and Party Wall Awards. Our party wall matter surveying is offered on a fixed-fee basis, where we carry out the work on behalf of the building owner.

Discuss your project with us today for free to see how we can help.

When handled incorrectly, a Party Wall is often a source of dispute. 

The Party Wall Act protects a property owner’s rights by outlining specific rules and processes for construction and renovations concerning properties that share a wall or boundary (as seen in terraced and semi-detached homes). 

These shared walls between two properties are referred to as Party Walls, and when one side plans to make renovations or changes to the property that affect the shared boundary, a Party Wall Notice must be served. 

To fully protect their property and investments, owners and builders should dissuade from free Party Wall templates and seek services from a surveyor like ourselves, who ensures full compliance on both sides. Recipients of a Party Wall Notice should also seek surveyor services to understand their options and how to respond legally.

The Party Wall Act of 1996 establishes a framework to prevent and resolve disputes related to building work on shared walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring buildings. It ensures that property owners legally notify and obtain agreements from adjoining owners before a construction project begins. The Agreement or Award establishes both the rights and responsibilities of each owner, outlining matters like maintenance, repairs, alterations and any other issues that might arise.

Sometimes, owners only become aware they need a Party Wall Agreement (Award) after completing all the party wall works, but there are no provisions for this. The Party Wall Act cannot be applied retrospectively, so if the works are already complete, then it’s too late.

As the Act is there to protect both owners, and there has been no damage as a result of the works, then there is often little reason for concern. But suppose you believe the damage has occurred due to the works.

In that case, it’s best to engage a surveyor to carry out a report on the damage to identify if it was caused by the works, which can then be used to prompt neighbours to make good on the damage or, if necessary, as evidence in court.

You will be required to serve Party Wall Notices when you intend to carry out works that fall under:

  • Constructing walls along the boundary line shared with another property.
  • Excavating close to an adjoining structure: Works directly to a shared party wall or structure, such as inserting steel beams or removing a chimney breast:
  • Digging near a neighbouring structure.
  • Performing alterations directly to a common party wall or structure, like installing steel beams or eliminating a chimney breast.

In most cases, the fees for a party wall surveyor are paid by the owner who plans to undertake the works, which will include the fees of any surveyor appointed by their neighbours. This is because you, as the owner, stand to benefit from the works, so you would cover the fees just like you would for other consultants like architects, engineers or planners. The Party Wall Agreement can determine the apportionment of the party wall surveyors’ fees.

If the Act is not followed, it will be on you to prove the damage you did not cause, which can sometimes be costly.

Regarding party wall matters, it’s best to have a Schedule of Conditions on the adjoining owner’s property before works begin to protect you both and resolve any claims.

Arrange a Free Consultation

It’s 100% recommended to serve a Party Wall Notice. Consult with our qualified surveyors and 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.

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Service Type
Types of Work
Name
Contact Details
Chris Thoume
Chris Thoume
2023-03-16
Great experience working with Simon: he took me through the process in simple terms and was always willing to provide considered pragmatic advice.
Jessica Sanzone
Jessica Sanzone
2022-11-03
Would highly recommend using Westville Associates. Appointed Brett to act for us in regards to some party wall matters. We found him to be polite and professional with a wealth of knowledge in this field. Great communication throughout the process. Great service from start to finish.
Kate Rennie
Kate Rennie
2022-11-01
I was recommended to use Westville Associates through a colleague to carry out a survey of a house we were looking to purchase. I couldn’t have been happier with the whole process. From start to finish, Simon was professional, punctual, through and gave good advice with issues that arose from the survey. I have and will continue to recommend Westville Associates to anyone wishing to carry out any surveys.
Niki Yazdanian
Niki Yazdanian
2022-10-28
Simon carried out a full building survey for us on a property in Oxted. We found him to be prompt, professional, very knowledgeable, a great service all round. We would have no hesitation in recommending him and using him again.
Sophie Beed
Sophie Beed
2022-10-28
Really recommend Westville, great communication and advice. Clear, concise and quick report and more than happy to discuss any points to help us understand our purchase better.
Sara Mahdavian
Sara Mahdavian
2021-10-21
We used Wesville Associates for a full Building Survey for our property in Claygate after a recommendation from a friend. Simon was very personable, knowledgable and professional, and was able to work around our tight timeframe. We felt in good hands from the start!
WashPod
WashPod
2021-10-19
“Westville Associates undertook a homebuyers report for us prior to the purchase of our flat in Wandsworth. The service from start to finish was exemplary. Simon booked us in, undertook the inspection and presented the report to us all within 7 working days which was appreciated as time was against us somewhat. The after sales care was also great as we had several questions about the property that were dealt with over the phone. Friendly, professional and prompt service. Would definitely recommend. Rob.”
Craig C
Craig C
2021-09-29
I have worked in Surbiton and the surrounding areas as an agent for over 10 years and could not recommend Simon highly enough. He has a wealth of knowledge and goes above and beyond to ensure his clients fully understand the fantastic reports he creates, unlike many other surveyors who just send a confusing report without further explanation of key points. I am so pleased Simon has set up his solo venture - Westville Associates and will be recommending him to all of my clients.
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When you’ll need to involve a Party Wall Surveyor

The three types of work covered by the Party Wall Act:

  • Works to a party structure: Works directly to a party wall or structure, like cutting into a party wall to insert a beam or flashing, underpinning a shared wall or removing a chimney breast.
  • Building new walls on the line of junction: If you’re building a new wall up to or on the boundary line, where a wall does not already exist.
  • Excavation within 3-6m: If you’re planning to excavate within 3m of an adjoining property and to a deeper depth than the foundation, you’ll have to serve all affected neighbours with a valid Party Wall Notice.

Your neighbour can either consent to your Party Wall Notice or dissent.

In the event of a dissent, a Party Wall Dispute will arise, which must be resolved by the process outlined in the Party Wall Act, where you’ll have to appoint surveyors who will make agreements leading to a Party Wall Award or Party Wall Agreement.

The award will set out the timings and the manner of the work taking place, considering any notable compensation in the event of damage and right of access to neighbouring land.

The party wall process & how long it takes

The processes, framework and timescales for dealing with party wall matters.

Time required: 1 - 2 Days
Service of Notices

The Act requires that the Building Owner serve a compliant Party Wall Notice to the affected Adjoining Owners. Party wall surveyors will prepare and serve the notices, where the notice period is typically 2 months for the party structure works and 1 month for a line of the junction and adjacent excavation works.

Time required: 14 - 24 Days
Response to Notice

Once the neighbour/adjoining owner receives the notice they have 14 days to respond. The three options to respond are:

  • Consent: Works proceed and another further is required. Although a Schedule of Condition is still recommended to avoid problems in the future.
  • Dissent: In this instance, the adjoining owner often appoints their own surveyor, and we will both act together to agree on a Party Wall Award. Both surveyors acting impartially, will work together to serve the award so notifiable works can begin. In other instances, the adjoining owner can dissent but agree to share a single surveyor, where the 'Agreed Surveyor' again acts impartially on behalf of both owners to prepare the Party Wall Award (which is more common in relatively simple works).

If the adjoining owner does not respond after 14 days, they have been deemed to automatically dissent. This means a letter will be sent, giving them 10 days to appoint a surveyor before you appoint one on their behalf. 

Time required: 5 - 10 days following notice response
Schedule of Condition

Once all surveyors have been appointed, we will undertake a Schedule of Condition of the adjoining property, which will record the property's condition before works start and protect you in the event of any damage occurring. Clear written and photographic records are taken.

Time required: Typically 3 - 6 weeks
Party Wall Award

Appointed surveyors will prepare a Party Wall Award, stipulating the timings and manner in which the notifiable works must take place.

Once the content of the award has been agreed upon, the surveyor(s) will sign it and serve it to both owners. If there are any problems with the content, it can be appealed to the County Court within 14 days, after which the award becomes legally binding for both parties.

Subject to no contests, the building owner can start works covered in the award.

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Party Wall Notices

Schedule of Condition

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Party Wall Awards