The Party Wall Act Etc. 1996 pertains to any work to be carried out to (or near) party structures between properties - such as walls, intermediate floors or other boundaries.
If you are building owner who wants to carry out work to a party structure on your property, or are an adjoining owner who has been served a notice that your neighbour wants to carry out such works, you will need the services of a Party Wall Surveyor.
The Act specifies strict timescales and a code of practice; works cannot begin until the Party Wall Award– the document detailing the works to be carried out - has been agreed and served upon both parties.
The Act protects the rights of both the building owner and the affected adjoining owner, and the parties may choose to jointly instruct one Party Wall Surveyor to act for both sides.
It is also the right of the adjoining owner to appoint their own Party Wall Surveyor to act for them and ordinarily this cost is payable by the building owner.
In either case the Party Wall Surveyor's role is to ensure that the rights of their instructing party (or parties where instructed jointly) are being upheld in accordance with the law, and as such their role is neutral.
The Party Wall Surveyor will:
- advise the parties of their rights and duties under the Act including notices they must serve/respond to and timescales associated therewith;
- work in tandem with the Party Wall Surveyor acting for the other side, if appointed;
- serve, contribute to or request relevant documentation in order to produce the Party Wall Award.
If you want to carry out works or have already been made aware that your neighbour intends to do so, please contact us to discuss your current status. We will be happy to advise of the next steps and assist you and/or your neighbour in producing an Award.