Party Wall for Adjoining Owner

As the Adjoining Owner(s) your neighbour(s) must notify you when they intend to carry out building works to the Party Wall or Party structure, works on or astride the boundary line or when excavating within 3 or 6 metres of Party Wall or Party structure (e.g. when piling foundation works are proposed).

The Adjoining Owner has the following rights:

  • Receive a valid Notice when the Building Owner is carrying out notifiable works under the Act
  • Appoint a Surveyor to represent them when a dispute arises or to appoint the Building Owner’s Surveyor as the “Agreed Surveyor”
  • Not to be unnecessary inconvenienced
  • Have the right to a Party Wall Award
  • Reasonable measures to be undertaken to protect their interest from foreseeable damage
  • Be compensated for any loss or damage caused by the building works
  • Request expense security, before the commencement of building works, to protect against the risk of being left in an unreasonably position, if works halt at an inconvenient stage.

In most cases a Schedule of Condition will also be prepared by your Surveyor, to help determine if any alleged damage has been the caused by the notifiable works carried out by the Building Owner. Although, a Schedule of Condition is not a requirement under the Act, it is a recommended exercise to protect the Adjoining Owners position.

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I have received a Party Wall Notice

The only reason a Building Owner would serve an Adjoining Owner with a Notice is to notify the intention to carry out building works under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Adjoining Owners can appoint the Building Owner’s Surveyor as the Agreed Surveyor; alternatively, they have a right to appoint their own Surveyor. Based on numerous years of experience, it is our understanding that where the Adjoining Owners Surveyor is appointed by the Building Owner (as the Agreed Surveyor), the necessary checks on their design and business protocols aren’t as rigorous as if an independent Surveyor was appointed acting wholly on the behalf of the Adjoining Owners.

Foundation Surveyors have extensive experience in acting on the behalf of Adjoining Owners and have successfully concluded countless Party Wall Awards. We will always strive to ensure that the position of our appointing owner is never compromised when acting on behalf of the Adjoining Owner. We are diligent in our approach to all Party Wall matters and carry out thorough fact checks throughout the process. We guarantee requests for reasonable information are always made well in advance, to ensure that any voids in design and protocol are complete. Talk to one of our Surveyors today to see how we can help you to protect your interest.

 

My neighbour intends or has started building work, but I have not received a Notice.

If your neighbour starts or intends to commence notifiable work under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, without serving you with a Party Wall Notice, they have truly not observed their legal obligation under the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Although Party Wall Surveyors do not have the power to police or enforce the notifiable works, they can advise you on various counteractive measures, which include the option of obtaining an injunction against the Building Owner.

Foundation Surveyors can help by writing letters to the Building Owner, reminding them of their legal obligation. If this does not prove to be effective, then Foundation Surveyors can provide guidance on how to obtain an injunction. This would then obligate the Building Owner to cease building works until a Party Wall Award is agreed and served on all affected Adjoining Owners.

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I want to appoint my own Surveyor

Foundation Surveyors have extensive experience in acting on behalf of Adjoining Owner(s). Once appointed solely on the behalf of the Adjoining Owner, we will thoroughly check the quality of the design and request any voids in design e.g. method statements and section details be provided, so that we can ensure that any parts of the notifiable works that affect your building are appended in the Award. We can guarantee Adjoining Owner(s) that the Building Owner’s design has been proficiently scrutinised to confirm the structural integrity of the neighbouring building.

Will I be obliged to pay the Surveyor(s) fees?

The Building Owner usually pays all Adjoining Owner Surveyor fees. However, if the building works benefit the Adjoining Owner(s), then the Building Owner can request costs for these works and Surveyor fees.

Examples include:

  • Where the Building Owner wants to carry out works to a Party structure due to defect or repair liability, which has been caused by the Adjoining Owner(s) or both parties.
  • Where the Adjoining Owner wishes to derive benefit from building works carried out by the Building Owner.
  • Where the Adjoining Owner requests the Building Owner to carry out building work for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner.
  • Where a new party fence (wall) is built, then the costs are shared equally between the Owners.
  • If the Adjoining Owner has already raised the Party Wall and the Building Owner now wishes to enclose on it, he must pay the Adjoining Owner a proportion of the present cost of building the wall.
  • Where a party structure has to be rebuilt because of a lack of maintenance, the costs are usually shared equally.

Please note that the above examples are uncommon, and in the majority of cases the Building Owner will cover the cost of the Surveyor(s) fees.