Oakfield Building Chartered Surveyors

What is a party wall surveyor London?

Many of us live in homes that share walls with neighbouring properties. If you own a terraced or semi-detached house or an apartment, you may need to seek advice from a party wall surveyor at some point. Party wall surveyors provide services for clients who are looking to modify their homes, as well as homeowners who are involved in disputes with their neighbours as a result of party wall issues. Working with a party wall surveyor can help to speed up the process of making structural changes to properties and take the stress out of liaising with a building owner or an adjoining owner. 

If you are thinking about making changes to your property and there is a party wall, or your neighbour or the building owner of an adjacent property has contacted you about building works, it’s important to be aware of the Party Wall Act. The Party Wall Act 1996 defines the individual who wants to undertake work on the property as the building owner and the individual who receives the notification of planned works as the adjoining owner. 

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Party Wall New Build London

Understanding the Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act was introduced in 1996 to simplify and streamline the processes of managing works that involve a party wall and resolving disputes between neighbours or property owners. 

There are two types of party walls:

  1. Type A

A Type A party wall spans the boundary, which separates two properties or buildings that belong to different people. This type of party wall is either part of the property, for example, in a terraced house, or a divide between two or more properties. Type A party walls that are used to divide land rather than properties are known as party fence walls. 

  1. Type B

A Type B party wall is located on one property, rather than spanning both sides of a boundary. The wall stands on a single owner’s land, but it is used to separate two or more properties. 

Party Walls Surveyor London

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveys.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

What is a party wall agreement?

A party wall agreement is a document, which contains written consent for work to progress when a party wall is involved. If you notify your neighbour of plans to undertake work that will impact a shared wall, they will need to confirm that they are happy for you to go ahead and start the work in writing. 

What is a party wall notice?

If you plan to modify your home or make changes to or close to a party wall, you will need to notify the owner of the adjacent building or buildings. A party wall notice is a document, which provides detailed information about the proposals for your neighbour or neighbours to view before they provide consent. You will not need a party wall notice for minor modifications, such as hanging shelves on your side of the party wall. 

If you are unsure whether or not you need to serve a party wall notice, it’s beneficial to speak to a party wall surveyor. A building surveyor will be able to advise you about party wall notices and agreements and they can also help you if your neighbour doesn’t respond or they object to the proposal. 

What happens once a party wall notice is served?

Once you have served a party wall notice, the recipients of the document have 14 days to reply. If the adjoining owner or owners don’t respond before the deadline, this is classified as an objection. From here a party wall surveyor would have to be appointed to act on their behalf If your neighbour agrees to the plans, you can go ahead with their consent, which is outlined within the party wall agreement. If the adjoining owner doesn’t respond, or they refuse to give consent, you will need to contact a party wall surveyor to proceed with your plans. 

Why would I need a party wall surveyor?

Party walls come into focus when a property owner wants to modify or renovate their home. If you own a property that shares a wall with one or more properties, you will need to ensure that you have the relevant permissions to proceed with work. Examples of adjustments and building work that may require a party wall agreement include:

  • Adding an extension to the property
  • Converting a loft or attic
  • Damp proofing
  • Laying new foundations
  • Modifying a party wall
  • Fitting cavity wall insulation
  • Carrying out renovation work close to a retaining wall
  • Undertaking work on external walls that span property boundaries

In many cases, property owners can proceed with planned works with the consent of their neighbour or the owner of an adjacent house or apartment. In some cases, however, there may be a dispute, which means that the owner doesn’t have consent to start work. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t approve of your neighbour’s plans, or you are a building owner and wish to carry out work and your neighbours will not provide consent, it’s wise to seek advice from experienced party wall surveyors. 

Seeking advice if your neighbours object or fail to reply to a party wall notice

If you don’t receive a response to your party wall notice within 14 days, or your neighbours refuse to sign a party wall agreement, the next step is to speak to an expert party wall surveyor. Party wall surveyors are appointed to carry out inspections and compile a survey or structural report to assess the viability of the plans and determine whether there is reasonable ground for adjusting or changing the building owner’s proposals. An impartial surveyor must be appointed to handle the case. The owners can appoint one surveyor between them or the adjoining owner can appoint their own surveyor. If this is the case, the building owner will cover the cost of the neighbour’s surveyor. If the project gets the go-ahead, the surveyor will then draft a party wall award. 

Do I have to pay for a party wall surveyor?

If you are the building owner and you hire a party wall surveyor, you will need to pay for the services the surveyor provides. If you own the adjacent property and your neighbour wishes to make changes that will affect the party wall, the building owner is usually responsible for costs. 

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London Party Walls

We are one of the leading Chartered Surveyors covering London, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire and regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality building surveying.
Contact us to discuss your requirements further.

How much does a party wall surveyor cost in the UK?

The cost of hiring a party wall surveyor will depend on the services you require and the fees charged by the individual surveyor or firm. Charges vary according to which company or surveyor you choose. Typically, you can expect to pay between £100 and £450 per hour for a party wall surveyor.

How much does a party wall agreement cost?

The average cost of a party wall agreement is around £1,100. Costs vary according to which surveying services are required. Costs will be significantly lower if the adjoining owner consents to the project without the need for additional services. 

Tips for preparing for renovation work when you share a party wall

If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, or you own an apartment, it’s wise to try and minimise stress and hassle and prepare in advance if you plan to undertake work. Here are some tips if you share a party wall:

  1. Speak to your neighbour or neighbours: talk to your neighbour or neighbours about the work you plan to undertake. It’s best to try to have an informal conversation about what you propose to do to the property to increase the chances of gaining their approval. By chatting before you serve a notice, you can answer questions, provide detailed information and allay any concerns they may have about the project. You can explain what will happen and how it will impact your neighbours while maintaining a positive relationship with them. 
  2. Include all the relevant information: if you are contacting your neighbours to get their consent to proceed with work, it’s crucial to include all the relevant information about the modifications or renovations. This will speed up the process and ensure that they know exactly what you want to do to the wall. If you miss out key details, they may have queries or objections, which could result in delays or a dispute.
  3. Seek expert advice: if things don’t go to plan and you don’t get the green light from the adjoining owner, seek expert advice as soon as possible. Working with a reputable, reliable and experienced party wall surveyor will minimise stress and accelerate the process of getting the permission you need to start work. 

Finding a party wall surveyor in London

Are you on the hunt for a party wall surveyor in London? If you have queries about serving a party wall notice, or you need advice about a party wall dispute, our expert team is on hand to help. At Oakfield Chartered Surveyors, we have extensive experience in advising and supporting clients with party wall issues. Our experienced, professional, helpful London party wall surveyors go above and beyond to minimise stress and achieve the desired outcome for building owners and adjoining owners. 

To find out more about how we could help you, don’t hesitate to contact us today

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