If you live in a semi-detached or terrace house, you share a wall or walls with your neighbour.
The Act becomes applicable when there is planned alterations that could affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall. This could include load bearing steels inserted into a shared wall or the construction of new walls on the boundary or works that require an excavation within 1 metre of a neighbouring property (such as underpinning & basement work).
The Act is designed to enforce a common sense process that avoids or minimises disputes by making sure
• property owners notify their neighbours in advance of proposed works affecting them.
• Adjoining owners have access to expert advice and the right to influence the way in which those works is carried out - at the expense of the one doing the building works.
The building owner carrying out the works has to notify the adjoining property owner about the planned works at least 2 months before starting the works.
The adjoining owner has 14 days to give written consent or request that an impartial Party Wall Surveyor be appointed for the purposes of drawing up a document called an ‘Award’ which outlines all conditions and commitments relating to the works and the way in which they will be carried out.
Whether you are the one carrying out the building works or you’re the adjoining owner, it’s a good idea to take advice from a chartered surveyor and party wall expert.
Most often we act as impartial surveyors for both parties ensuring correct calculations of load bearings, pre-work conditions surveys and a common sense agreement for to how the works are to be carried out so as to avoid damage and unreasonable disruption while maintaining security and privacy for the adjoining owner during the project.
Initial advice about how the Act applies to your project is always FREE
Thereafter, the pricing can be a fixed fee or an hourly rate depending on whether it is simply a case of facilitating the award
or a more involved role in the project on behalf of the adjoining owner. In all cases it is the building owner carrying out the work who pays the fees.
Fixed price from £499 + vat
Fixed fee from £699
Your neighbour has the right to appoint their own preferred party wall expert. In most cases this expense is covered by the person doing the build project. For that reason it makes good sense to try and appoint a joint surveyor.
Agreed Fixed fee
or hourly rate
In the majority of cases, the adjoining owner surveyor fees are paid for by the the one carrying out the building works.