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Obtain a Party Wall Agreement with minimal fuss

The General Process for Obtaining a Party Wall Agreement

Wishing to begin construction, renovation or maintenance work that might affect the structural integrity of a shared wall or boundary? 

Then, you’ll need a Party Wall Agreement. It’s essential to familiarise yourself with the regulations outlined in the Party Wall Act 1996, which outlines procedures to follow when carrying out any construction near a Party Wall. Serving a Party Wall Notice or obtaining an Agreement is relatively simple, especially when you involve professionals like us at Westville Associates, who specialise in Party Wall Matters that authorise works covered under the Act.

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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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When Adjoining Owners Agree

Party Wall & Neighbourly Matters

If you’re an owner who intends to carry out works affecting a party wall like an extension, structural alterations or digging foundations, for example, you’ll legally be required to notify your neighbour(s) in advance. The notification is provided through a Party Wall Notice, and depending on the type of work, various notice periods are recommended. Usually between 1-3 months.

The adjoining owner receives the Party Wall Notice from the building owner proposing the work, outlining the nature of the proposed work, the potential impact on the party wall and the anticipated start date. Upon receiving the notice, the adjoining owners can either consent to the proposed works or dissent. If the adjoining owner agrees to the work without obligations, they will provide written consent, acknowledging their acceptance of the proposed work and waiving further requirements or disputes.

Both parties are recommended to keep a record of the agreement, with the building owner retaining a copy of the party wall notice and the adjoining owner’s written consent for their own records. 

The building owner can proceed with their proposed works as outlined in the Party Wall Notice, ensuring they adhere to any conditions or timelines specified in the consent.

After the work has been completed, the property owner should inform the adjoining owner, and depending on the nature of the work or agreements made, the adjoining owner may request an inspection or condition report to ensure the work has been carried out under the agreed-upon terms.

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We are members of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

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When Adjoining Owners Don’t Agree - what happens next?

When the adjoining owner(s) dissent, a Party Wall Agreement must be drawn up. 

The agreement will outline the details of the proposed works and include how they will be carried out, the impact on the party wall and any necessary measures to protect the interests of both parties. 

The process will differ slightly when neighbours do not agree to work, which might require the involvement of a Party Wall Surveyor to mitigate the dispute.

Surveyors, in this case, might be appointed to each party, or a single agreed surveyor can be appointed to act impartially on behalf of both parties. When there’s a dispute, the surveyor will conduct a survey and draft a Party Wall Award, which will outline the rights and responsibilities of each party.

Once the surveyors have helped to reach an agreement, they will issue a Party Wall Award, which is a document that will detail the agreed-upon work, necessary safeguards, compensation for any damage, procedures for resolving disputes after the construction process and the rights and obligations of both parties.

Once the terms of the agreement are finalised and agreed upon, the Award becomes legally binding.

The Party Wall Agreement serves to protect the interest of both property owners and ensures the works carried out near the shared boundary are conducted in a manner that minimises disruption and maintains the structural integrity of the party wall. 

Both parties must retain documentation related to the Party Wall Notice and Consent provided, which will serve as proof of the agreement reached and can be referenced if needed.

The building owner is free to commence work once all agreements are in place and any required notices or consents have been obtained.

Once the work has been finalised, an inspection is often conducted to ensure compliance with the Party Wall Award and ensure no damage has arisen due to the construction. Often, a pre-work Building Survey is recommended to take note of the condition of the adjoining owner’s property to serve as proof and settle any disputes following the completion of works.