PARTY WALL PROCESS
Three main stages of Party Wall process.
1. Notices:Written Notices are to be sent to the all the affected neighbours in order to notify them of the building works which are being proposed. It is a legal responsibility of the Building Owner who will be carrying out the building works.
Once Notices has been served by the Building Owners onto the affected neighbours, the Adjoining Owners then have two choices.
The Adjoining Owners can simply consent to the Notices, which means they have no objections or disagreements and work can simply commence. If this option is selected, nothing needs to be done by either party. They, the neighbours will still be protected against any damages which may be caused by the building works.
Adjoining Owners can dissent to the Notices. Which simply means that they do not agree with Option 1. If they dissent, a dispute is in place, which can only be resolved by party wall surveyor or surveyors.
a) The neighbours can agree to appoint an Agreed Surveyor. A single Surveyor appointed by both neighbours. This surveyor will then carry out the necessary works under the Act.
This option is the most cost-effective and saves times too.
b) The neighbours also have the right to choose a surveyor, which may not be the same as your chosen surveyor. Typically the neighbours' surveyor’s fees are paid by the person carrying out the building works, as they are the ones benefitting from it the most.
Where no response is received from the Adjoining Owners within 14 days of Notices served, an automatic dispute is then in place, which simply means both parties are to concur in appointing one or two surveyors.
2. Pre-Condition Survey:The survey takes place where the condition of the neighbouring property is noted before the building works commence.
Although not part of the Act, it is a general and best practice to get the surveys conducted before the building works start. This way both neighbours are protected, Building Owners against any false claims or Adjoining Owners against any damages that may be caused by the building works.
3. An Award:
This is a legal document which:
- sets out the work that will be carried out
- says when the timings and how the work is to be carried out (for example to limit continuous periods of time when excessively noisy work can be carried out);
- specifies any additional work required (for example necessary protection to prevent damage);
- often contains a record of the condition of the adjoining property before the work begins (so that any damage to the adjoining land or buildings can be properly attributed and made good);
- allows access for the surveyor(s) to inspect the works while they're going on as may be necessary (to see that they are in accordance with the award).