Interested in our services?

REQUEST A QUOTE

or call 020 7183 2578

Adjoining Owners

Often an adjoining owner only becomes aware of their neighbour’s proposed works when a party wall notice lands on their door mat. An adjoining owner has the option to either consent or dissent to the notice – if no response is made within 14 days the adjoining owner is deemed to have dissented and the parties are ‘in dispute’ under the Act. Where a dispute arises each owner must appoint a surveyor so that a party wall award can be agreed and served.
Once appointed, the two surveyors select a Third Surveyor who may be called upon to settle any issue that they cannot agree. Referrals to the Third Surveyor are rare.

A party wall award is a legally binding document that sets out who the parties are, includes details of the proposed work and what safeguards have been agreed to ensure that those works are undertaken with the minimum of risk and without causing unnecessary inconvenience to the adjoining occupiers.

These are some typical examples of issues that might be addressed in a party wall award:

  • Working hours
  • The control of dust and excessive noise
  • Measures to limit vibration
  • Access to the adjoining owner’s land
  • Security

The party wall award will also include a schedule of condition covering the parts of the adjoining owner’s property that are considered to be at risk from the works and copies of all relevant drawings and method statements. At the end of the works the surveyor acting for the adjoining owner will generally make a further visit to re-check the schedule of condition and hopefully confirm that no damage has been caused.

The surveyors do not have any control over planning issues such as the size and appearance of a proposed extension or potential loss of light; these must all be addressed through the planning process.

In all normal circumstances the building owner (the party undertaking the works) will be responsible for the fees of both their own and the adjoining owner’s surveyor. I say ‘in all normal circumstances’ because this is not specifically stated in the Act and is therefore more of a ‘rule of thumb’ applied by party wall surveyors. The surveyor acting for the adjoining owner keeps a record of their time and when all other matters have been resolved puts their fee forward to the building owner’s surveyor for agreement. If the two surveyors fail to agree upon what constitutes a reasonable fee they can refer the matter to the Third Surveyor who will have the final say.

The Act allows for the same surveyor to be appointed by both the building owner and the adjoining owner (known as the ‘agreed surveyor’) but often adjoining owners will prefer to appoint a surveyor that they have chosen.

If you’ve received a notice and would like some advice on how you can best protect your property, please do not hesitate to contact us today.

 

Sample Documents

To help you decide which type of report best suits your needs you can browse through these case studies.

RELATED BLOG POSTS

Valuing Vault Spaces

With London being London, seemingly any space that can be developed is being developed. The more typical schemes are loft conversions, rear extensions and everyone’s favorite, the basement dig. Another which has become increasingly popular is the extension of one’s demise into vault spaces, which are typically located ... Read More >>

Party Walls – An Architectural View

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 ... Read More >>

A leaseholder’s wish list

The leasehold valuation team here at Peter Barry recently attended the annual Leasehold Advisory conference that brings together tenants, managing agents, solicitors, valuers and all other people/bodies that have a interest in the current leasehold sector. The conference was celebrating its 15th year and whilst a lot has ... Read More >>

read more posts