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Latest blog posts

Proposed Amendments to the Party Wall Act

Thursday, 22nd June 2017 | by: Justin Burns

After 20 years, the Party Wall Act was amended in 2016 to allow for the electronic service of documents. Those of you that are familiar with the Act will know that it has more grey areas than a herd of elephants but that was the one amendment that was made. A year later I think I’ve met 2 other surveyors that have embraced this revolution. It ... Read more >>

Categories: No Listing, Party Walls

The Party Wall Act & Injunctions

Thursday, 22nd June 2017 | by: Justin Burns

As a company that undertakes a high volume of party wall work we regularly take calls from owners whose neighbours have commenced work falling under the Act without serving notice. They’ve normally called us having been told by the Local Authority that they cannot help so are disappointed to be told that we have no powers of enforcement either. ... Read more >>

Categories: No Listing, Party Walls

Party Walls – An Architectural View

Thursday, 23rd March 2017 | by: Cameron Weights

Working as an Architectural Technologist for one of London’s busiest firms of Chartered Surveyors gives me the unique advantage of being surrounded by party wall specialists every day.  More importantly, it has allowed me to gain a good understanding of party wall procedures and factor them in to my design projects at an early stage. As a ... Read more >>

Timing Your Building Projects

Wednesday, 18th January 2017 | by: Cameron Weights

I recently took an enquiry from a client who was looking to have some building work completed; specifically, they were looking to have a rear extension built. As I personally believe that the needs of the project should dictate the design of the works I enquired into what the new space would be used for. My client informed me that they wanted a ... Read more >>

Categories: Architecture, Party Walls

Repairing or Removing Shared Chimney Stacks

Friday, 25th November 2016 | by: Justin Burns

We looked at typical defects to chimney stacks on the blog a few years ago so today I wanted to cover a related topic – what the legal responsibilities of the owners are when it is a shared chimney stack that has been affected. Chimneys tend to be more exposed to the weather than other parts of a property and therefore prone to defects such ... Read more >>

Writing as the owner of a surveying practice that undertakes a large volume of party wall work I have to say I’m happy that not all party wall notices are consented to but it does concern me how poorly the Act is understood by the general public and how many unnecessary party wall disputes arise as a result of that poor understanding. If you ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls, Surveying

Schedules of Condition

Thursday, 2nd June 2016 | by: Justin Burns

Accurately recording the condition of adjoining properties is an important part of the process of producing a party wall award (many owners think it’s the only part!) so I thought it was worthy of a blog post in its own right. When our trainees start working on party wall files the skills involved in preparing schedules is the first thing ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls, Surveying

Basements and the Party Wall Act

Tuesday, 26th April 2016 | by: Justin Burns

I thought it might be helpful to owners planning a basement extension, and indeed to those living next door to a proposed basement extension, to provide an overview of party wall procedures with the emphasis on the special characteristics of this type of work. This article could have been two or three times longer but to prevent it from ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls, Surveying

The Story of the Collapsing House in Finchley

Sunday, 19th April 2015 | by: William Weaver

Every now and then there is a catastrophic incident involving the construction industry somewhere in the UK. When a house collapses it gets reported in the national press and sometimes on radio and TV. It’s a dramatic event but fortunately it doesn’t happen that often. A recently reported case involved an ordinary medium sized, Victorian, ... Read more >>

When Should Party Wall Notices be Served?

Saturday, 28th March 2015 | by: Justin Burns

Completing the party wall awards is often the last part of the jigsaw required to allow work to commence on site and the process which leads up to that point can be delayed for any number of reasons; from technical queries relating to the proposed works to the appointed surveyors’ holiday arrangements. It’s therefore advisable to get started ... Read more >>