Party Wall Surveyors

In instances of construction work taking place on, or adjacent to, a party wall, TCL’s Party Wall Surveyors can be appointed to impartially administer the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

Either the building owner or the adjoining owner can enlist TCL’s services, and, if both parties approve, we can even act as Agreed Surveyor to administer the act for both parties, which can potentially reduce costs.

Our Services

TCL is qualified to carry out a number of surveying services in relation to Party Wall. We ensure that both the interests of the building owner, and the adjoining owner, are sufficiently protected. We can assist with:

  • Serving of Notices.
  • Preparation of Awards and Schedules of Condition.
  • Negotiation and Publication of Awards.

Party Structure Notices must be served a minimum of 2 months before work can commence where Adjacent Excavation and Line of Junction Notices need serving 1 month prior to work commencing.

The Party Wall Act etc 1996

When undertaking works to your property that will impact your neighbour (Adjoining Owner (s) / AO) for example if you are building a side extension etc you will be required to serve Notice (s) of your intentions under the Party Wall Act etc 1996. Below you will find a description of each of the three Notices that you can serve under the Act to your Adjoining Owner (s) and the options the Adjoining Owner (s) can select from. If you are unsure of what Notice you are required to serve feel free to contact us and we can help guide you.

The Party Wall Act etc 1996 is an Act that prevents works being undertaken by a neighbour that will undermine the structure of shared walls or neighbouring properties. As a Building Owner of a property where notifiable works are scheduled to take place, you are legally obligated to conform to the requirements of the Act and have a responsibility to notify the AO’s of the specific works that may affect their land.

Terminology

Some of the most common terminology that you will come across are listed for ease below:

  • BO – Building Owner (The person carrying out the works).
  • BOS – Building Owner’s Surveyor (The Surveyor who is acting on behalf of the Building Owner).
  • AO – Adjoining Owner (The affected neighbour).
  • AOS – Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor (The affected neighbour’s appointed Surveyor).
  • SoC – Schedule of Condition (A report that details and records the condition of the Adjoining Owner (s) property prior to works commencing). Although it is not a legal requirement to conduct a SoC of an AO’s property under the Act, it is almost always recommended, even when an AO consents to the work, meaning a formal Party Wall Award (PWA) is not required. This is generally paid for by the Building Owner. See below.

Notices that can be served

Party Structure Notice (PSN) – Under Section 2(2)

This notice is served when alterations are being made to a party or party fence wall (separating wall shared with the Adjoining Owner (s)) or to a party structure (which can be a separating floor between two flats). Examples of these works can include cutting into a party wall / party fence wall and / or party structure to insert beams, padstones, flashings etc., or to remove / cut away chimney breasts, corbelled foundations or other projections, or to raise the height of (upwards or downwards in the case of basement extensions) a party wall

With this notice you have to allow for a 2 month time period before any notifiable work can commence.

Adjacent Excavation (AEN) – Under Section 6(1) or 6(2)

This notice is served when you are planning on excavating new foundations for an extension or reducing ground levels for basement conversions, etc. Notice under section 6(1) is served where excavations are within 3m of an AO’s property and that the proposed excavations will be deeper than the bottom of the AO’s existing foundations. Notice under section 6(2) is served where excavations are within 6m of an AO’s property and that the proposed excavations will extend beyond a plane drawn downwards in the direction of the excavation at an angle of 45 degrees, from the bottom of the AO’s existing foundations (Are you able to insert the attached here, but just the diagram page? When I scan things in I can’t edit them for some reason on my pc).

With this notice you have to allow a 1 month time period before any notifiable work can commence.

3 metre notice diagram
6 metre notice diagram

Line of Junction (LoJ) – Under Section 1 (2) / (5) / (6) or Section 7 (4)

This notice is served when intending to build on land that adjoins with the neighbouring property or to build alongside the junction of the boundary line. For example; to build a new independent or party fence wall either up to or astride the boundary, which may involve projecting footings on to an AO’s land.

With this notice you have to allow a 1 month time period before any work can commence.

Options that the Adjoining Owner (s) can select from

The Adjoining Owner (s) has / have three options to choose from when responding to any Notice served to them. See below:

  1. Consent to the proposals (This will mean no formal PWA will need to be produced, although it is generally advised you still offer a SoC.
  2. Dissent from the works and, a dispute having arisen, concur in the appointment of Mr Desmond Kelly BSc (Hons) MRICS as the Agreed Surveyor  (This is where the neighbour / AO would like a formal PWA to be in place although are happy to agree to a shared surveyor and save incurring additional fees).
  3. Dissent from the above works and, a dispute having arisen, appoint a surveyor of their choice: (This is where the neighbour / AO would like a formal PWA to be in place although would like an independent surveyor, who would be appointed as the AOS. Note the BO will in most cases be responsible for payment of an AOS’s fees.