As a proud member of The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors (FWPS), Robert Martell and Partners can provide expert party wall advice for all party wall matters. We have experience and expertise in a diverse range of party wall issues and can help you in connection with a diverse range of projects, from domestic extensions, to large commercial developments.
What is a Party Wall?
A party wall is a wall that stands directly on the boundary of land between two (and sometimes more) different owners. For example - the shared wall in a semi-detached house or a terraced row of house.You can also have a ‘party structure’. This could be a floor or other structure that separates buildings or parts of buildings with different owners. For example - flats.And a party fence wall is a wall that stands on the boundary, but has no buildings attached to it, for example, a garden wall. Please note that wooden fences are not party fence walls.
Do I need a Party Wall Surveyor?
If your neighbour gives you written permission regards to your notice, then building works can begin and there is no need to appoint a surveyor.You will however be responsible for ensuring any damage caused during the works is repaired, so it is advised to inspect the wall with your neighbour before any work commences and also take photos of the wall to avoid any potential disputes later on. Some people may consider asking an expert surveyor to carry out a condition survey at this stage, to help minimise any risk of disputes.If your neighbour does not give written permission, then you will need a Party Wall Award and, therefore will require a party wall surveyor. It is advised that both you and your neighbour use the same surveyor, as it will mean only one set of fees.
Fees vary, but on average, a Party Wall Award costs around £1,000 in total.
What will the surveyor do?
The surveyor will prepare a party wall award which:· Sets out the work that will be carried out.· State when and how the work will be carried out (for example, not at weekends if the buildings are domestic properties) · Specifies any additional work required (for example necessary protection to prevent damage) · Make 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 rectified. · Allows access for the surveyor(s) to inspect the works while they attend the property.If you fail to comply with the Party Wall Act 1996, then you will be denied of the Act's protection, and any damage or loss sustained by an adjoining owner would be actionable in private nuisance and trespass. And if you do not serve a notice under the act then you may also be found in breach of statutory duty.
You can find more information on Party Walls here.
If you require a party wall surveyor or need some expert advice, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Robert Martell and Partners team here.