Our building Surveyors can provide initial advice and Party Wall services to both Building Owners and Adjoining Owners

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 "the Act" regulates the relationship between neighbouring owners in the context of specific construction work on, or close to, a boundary between adjoining properties. It is a legal requirement to inform neighbouring property owners of such construction works.

The Act is an enabling and pro-development piece of legislation.  That the Act may need to be administered should not necessarily be frowned upon.  It provides legal rights to undertake certain building work that do not exist at Common Law.

Party Wall Surveying

It regulates a wide range of building work at or close to the boundary with other neighbouring land / structures.  It imports statutory rights and obligations in relation to work to party or shared structures, the construction of new walls at the boundary where walls do not already exist ("Line of Junction"), and excavations within 6m of any neighbouring structure, dependent upon the depth of excavation intended.

The Act imports a number of ancillary obligations which includes making good damage caused following certain works to which the Act relates, access to adjacent land, the provision of security and the payment of compensation for loss and damage.

It also grants the right to project un-reinforced foundations over the boundary line in the building of a wall on your own land and the right to underpin, strengthen or safeguard a neighbouring structure to facilitate the undertaking of the notifiable excavations.

Our Building Surveyors are very experienced in managing both the technical and inter-relationship issues that arise in all neighbourly matters.  Initial advice provides clarity regarding the applicable process that must be followed by the Building and Adjoining Owners.  Application of Party Wall processes allows the Building Owner to progress lawful development.  Whilst at the same time offering the statutory protections the Act affords to the Adjoining Owner.

The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyor process flow charts provide an excellent single page explanation of the key statutory roles and responsibilities:

  • Building Owner
  • Building Owner's Surveyor
  • Adjoining Owner's Surveyor

Boundary Disputes - one of the most common conflicts between neighbours is a dispute over the location of a boundary.  This is often a very emotive issue where parties assume entrenched positions.  This can lead to expensive legal proceedings.  Our surveyors are experienced in collecting evidence to locate the boundary between two properties and can provide pragmatic solutions to resolve the disputes and avoid litigation.  If required, we can also provide expert evidence in such matters as joint expert or nominated by one of the parties.

Scaffold Access/Crane oversail agreements - your development proposals may impact on land or property owned by neighbouring parties.  Alternatively, you may own land which you feel is being used without your permission.  We can advise and provide practical solutions to resolve, defend or prevent any actions for trespass.  This is a specialist legal matter in the context of significant development works.  Our expert Surveyors will work with the Development Project team to review the practical access implications which can be taken forward in conjunction with your legal advisers in a formal Crane Oversailing Agreement and/or specific access requirements.

I would recommend Gateley Vinden to any organisation or individual looking for advice or assistance

Helena Partnerships - Development Manager (Programme Delivery)

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