5 Important Party Wall Tips from Expert Party Wall Surveyors

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We all know that Party Wall Procedures may be confusing in some certain circumstances, it may happen that the non-professionals may face ambiguity in making decisions.

So, here we go…

We will be looking at 5 most useful Party Wall Tips for an adjoining owner to follow before, during and after the Party Wall Procedures.

Hopefully, these Party Wall Tips will help you avoid some of the common and reoccurring mistakes that we often see during the Party Wall process and ensure that you can minimise the issues associated with construction work.

Party Wall Tip (1):

“Speak to your Party Wall Surveyor as soon as you find out that your neighbour is planning on undertaking Party Wall works.”

Elaboration:

This will not only ensure that you understand how the Party Wall etc Act 1996 applies to your neighbour’s works but will also dispel any myths or misunderstandings that you may have about the Party Wall Act.

More often than not confusions about the Part Wall Act result from owners reading the information that is outdated or interpreted incorrectly.

An experienced Party Wall Surveyor should be able to clarify any confusions you have.

Party Wall Tip (2):

“Get a second opinion”

Elaboration:

It is always a good idea to get a second opinion, the Party Wall etc Act 1996 like many Acts is subject to interpretation and case law.

This can often be interpreted in different ways by different surveyors, getting a second opinion will ensure that you are fully informed of all the facts.

Party Wall Tip (3):

“Don’t assume the Building Owner will serve the Party Wall Notice!”

Elaboration:

This is one of the most common reoccurring problems we see, although the service of a Party Wall Notice is a legal requirement, more often than not the building owner starts works without having followed the correct Party Wall procedures.

Unfortunately, this leaves the adjoining owner short of options, but more importantly, means their property could be at risk of damage.

If you know your neighbour is planning to undertake construction work to their property, you should speak to them, or a party wall surveyor at the first instance to ensure they are well aware of their Party Wall responsibilities.

Party Wall Tip (4):

“Discuss the building owner’s proposed work with the building owner in advance of the works commencing”

Elaboration:

This will ensure that the adjoining owner is fully informed of the works.

Discussing the work can also lead to revised plans that are of mutual benefit, for example, we had a job recently whereby the building owner was planning to build a single-storey rear extension with the flank wall being wholly on his land.

After the adjoining owner and he discussed the work, it was agreed that the wall would be built astride the line of junction, thereby being a Party Wall.

This revision meant that in the future the adjoining owner could enclose upon the wall in order to construct their own extension, this meant that the costs of the wall were not only shared but also meant that both owners would have larger extensions.

Party Wall Tip (5):

“Get in touch with the Party Wall Surveyor as soon as there is an issue on site”

Elaboration:

If you notice an issue with the building owner’s Party Wall works during the course of the construction, get in touch with the Party Wall Surveyor at the first instance.

Party Wall Surveyors are on board to deal with all issues from minor to major, irrespective of how small the issue seems it could have larger consequences as the Party Wall Works progress.

Being a Party Wall Surveyors, they encourage property owners to get in touch with them and ensure that there are no unnecessary surprises further down the line and can often also avoid a dispute between the owners.

If you are planning on undertaking Party Wall works, or have a neighbour that is planning on undertaking construction work get in touch with Party Wall Experts who will be happy to discuss the Party Wall etc Act 1996 as well as the requirements.

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