Protect your home & avoid disagreements.

schedule of condition tape measure notebook and phone

We help you protect your home and minimise disagreements through unbiased, well-structured administration of the Party Wall Act.

How it works.

We make complying with the Party Wall Act simple.

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Start with free advice.

Received notice? Not sure how to proceed?  Get in touch for free initial advice.

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Appoint us as surveyor.

If you’re happy with your advice the next step is to appoint us as Party Wall Surveyor.

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Sit back and relax.

Once appointed we take care of everything.  From notices to awards, we’re with you all the way.

number 1 in circle

Start with free advice.

Received notice? Not sure how to proceed?  Get in touch for free initial advice.

number 2 in circle

Appoint us as surveyor.

If you’re happy with your advice the next step is to appoint us as Party Wall Surveyor.

number 3 in circle

Sit back and relax.

Once appointed we take care of everything.  From notices to awards, we’re with you all the way.

Neighbour planning Party Wall works?

Party Wall Notice

Quite often your first encounter with Party Walls is receiving unsolicited “ambulance chasing” letters from Party Wall Surveyors or a surprise notice from your neighbour.

Knowing your rights and finding clear information can be difficult and time confusing.  You want to protect yourself, but also want to maintain neighbourly relations.

What is the right thing to do?

We’re here to help.

Approached correctly, the Party Wall Act offers a straightforward way to protect you.

checking neighbours party wall plans

We give frank, impartial information to help you make an informed decision, and encourage both parties to act with mutual respect.

It means you can make fair decisions to protect your home, and neighbours know they are being treated reasonably from the outset.

By being well informed and amicable, you are in the best position for us to fairly enforce your rights while maintaining neighbourly relations.

 “Most building owners don’t want to create problems for neighbours and are happy to ensure you’re protected if things go wrong.”

Sam Baker

Founder, WellStructured Party Wall Surveyors

“Most building owners don’t want to create problems for neighbours and are happy to ensure you’re protected if things go wrong.”

Sam Baker

Founder, WellStructured Party Wall Surveyors

The best outcome for everyone.

Sensible administration of the Party Wall Act helps you to be protected and your neighbour to safely build.

party wall condition inspection

Agreement Is Easier

A position of mutual respect combined with sensible administration of the party wall act helps bring everyone on board.

protect your home

Your Home Is Protected

You get reassured and protected against damage and your neighbours get the right to safely build – all without an expensive legal process.

agreement

Everyone Wins

The Party Wall Act is there to enable & protect. If approached correctly everyone wins. We simply help both parties understand this.

party wall condition inspection

Agreement Is Easier

A position of mutual respect combined with sensible administration of the party wall act helps bring everyone on board.

protect your home

Your Home Is Protected

You get reassured and protected against damage and your neighbours get the right to safely build – all without an expensive legal process.

agreement

Everyone Wins

The Party Wall Act is there to enable & protect. If approached correctly everyone wins. We simply help both parties understand this.

Frequently Asked Questions: Adjoining Owners

FAQ : Adjoining Owners

What is a Party Wall and the Party Wall Act?

Put simply, a party wall is a wall shared between two owners.

The Party Wall 1996 etc. Act is legislation designed to enable work to be done on, and close to, party walls while keeping adjoining owners protected. It sets out what happens when your neighbours’ proposed works may have an effect on your property.

Works covered by the act include:

  • Building on a boundary that is not built on (e.g a new wall for a rear extension etc)
  • Works to shared walls and structures (e.g. inserting steel beams, removing chimney breasts etc)
  • Excavations close to a neighbour’s property (e.g foundations, basements etc).

My neighbour is doing Party Wall work, do they need to use the Act?

Yes – The Party Wall Act is separate from planning permission or building regulations.

If their proposed works come under the Party Wall etc. 1996 Act they are legally required to use it. Failure to do so can mean an injunction, delays and expensive legal costs!

The Act is invoked by your neighbour serving you ‘notice’ of their intended works.

What is a Party Wall Notice?

Before they can start work The Act requires that you your neighbour requests your consent by serving you ‘notice’ of their intended works.

This should contain information about the proposed works and the date when your neighbour would like to start.  There are timescales that both you and your neighbour must to stick to.  

The act only comes into effect when notice has been served.  Without notice the act has not been invoked, so it is essential you receive one before work starts.

If you have not received notice we can help by contacting your neighbour on your behalf requesting they serve one. We offer a fair and impartial service so most building owners see that you are not trying to be difficult and end up appointing us as a single agreed party wall surveyor.

I have received a Notice, what should I do?

Firstly DO NOT IGNORE IT.

If you do not respond within a set time period your neighbour can appoint a party wall surveyor on your behalf.

You can either:

  • Consent to the notice (it is possible for you to consent to a notice and still have all the protection that the Act provides available).
  • Dissent to the notice and you both appoint one agreed surveyor (If you decide to use one agreed surveyor it does not have to be the one your neighbour suggested, you are free to propose your own).
  • Dissent to the notice and you each appoint your own surveyor (usually only if you have more serious concerns about the adjoining owners works and contractor, most small projects like extensions and loft conversions can go down the consent or agreed surveyor route).

If you have received notice please contact us.  We will be happy to look over it for you and discuss your options.

When does a Party Wall Surveyor get involved?

Legally a Party Wall Surveyor only needs to be appointed if a ‘dispute’ arises (e.g if you do not consent to your neighbours works or do not respond to their notice). 

If you do not consent it does not stop your your neighbours works proceeding (the Act is not intended to stop your neighbour from doing works). Instead Party Wall Surveyor(s) need to be appointed to resolve things by drawing up a party wall agreement (called an ‘Award’). 

This takes into account your rights, alongside conditions that enable your neighbours works to proceed. It would usually include a clause to ensure you are compensated for damage to your property caused by the notifiable works.

Both parties either agree to appoint a single joint surveyor (which can be quicker and cost less), or you each appoint your own surveyor.

Who pays for the Party Wall Surveyor?

Generally as your neighbour is the one doing the work they pay all the costs for the Party Wall Surveyor(s).

Choose carefully as this only covers reasonable fees, so if your appointed surveyor is requesting unnecessary works or overcharging you could be liable for that part of their costs.

We don’t believe in stringing out jobs to maximise our costs.  We help by being a trusted, independent authority; we advise you on the best way to approach matters and answer any concerns you or your neighbour may have.

If both parties are reasonable most simple projects like loft conversions or rear extensions can be dealt with by consent or a single agreed surveyor at no cost to you.

How should I approach my neighbours?

We believe most building owners don’t want to cause problems for their neighbours, they just want to be able to safely build.  However, they should also understand that you want to be inconvenienced as little as possible and protected if things go wrong.

If you are honest and reasonable most neighbours will see this and respond positively.

The same can be said for the surveyor you appoint.  The way your surveyor acts and presents themselves can be the deciding factor of the if the outcome is amicable or not.

By working with these principles you have much better chance of getting the protection you want with minimum disagreements.

Is there anything to look out for when appointing a surveyor?

Choose carefully, once appointed a party wall surveyor can’t be dismissed.

One group to avoid are “ambulance chasers”.  They trawl planning applications, sending unsolicited letters designed to scare you into appointing them.  They then charge extortionate hourly rates, saying that your neighbour will be paying their fees. Be careful, as the building owner usually only pays for reasonable fees – you could be expected to pick up the tab! 

Keep an eye out for exceptionally high fees, do you really think party wall costs for a simple loft conversion are worth an hourly rate of £250 + ?  This is another surefire way to get off on a wrong footing with your neighbour.

The same applies for low fixed fees, you may find the level of interest in your case rapidly diminishes if it takes anymore than the minimum amount of time.  

It was direct experience of these problems that led to WellStructured Party Wall Surveyors being founded.  We want to give you your best chance of being able to protect your home with minimal disagreements and fuss.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help please drop us a line.

Take your next step.

Is your neighbour is proposing Party Wall works?  Contact us for FREE initial advice.

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WellStructured Party Wall Surveyors
52 Victoria Road
London
N4 3SL

 

0208 064 1959

team@wellstructured.co.uk

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Our Party Wall Surveyors follow the FPWS Code of Conduct.

© 2019 WellStructured Party Wall Surveyors | All rights reserved.