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Latest blog posts

In All Normal Circumstances …

Sunday, 28th April 2019 | by: Justin Burns

It’s the phrase that party wall surveyors rely on to reassure adjoining owners that they will not incur costs as a result of their neighbours’ works i.e. “In all normal circumstances, the fees of all/any appointed surveyors will be paid by the building owner”. The inquisitive adjoining owner will ask for clarification of what ‘normal ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls

11 Ways to Keep the Cost of Party Wall Procedures Down

Thursday, 7th February 2019 | by: Justin Burns

If badly handled, party wall procedures can add many thousands of pounds to the costs of your building project but there are plenty of things you (and your surveyor) can do to keep costs to a minimum.   Speak to your neighbours before serving notice This isn't always possible, if the property is let or the adjoining freeholder is a ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls

Preparing Party Wall Notices for a Rear Extension

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019 | by: Peter Barry

As a recent graduate and Assistant Surveyor, a large part of my training was party wall related. As part of that training I spent time assisting the team that deal with new enquiries in sending fee proposals and liaising with owners. I thought it might be helpful to work through an example relating to a rear extension. When preparing a fee ... Read more >>

Categories: Case Studies, Party Walls

Serving Party Wall Notices

Sunday, 20th May 2018 | by: Justin Burns

Being legal documents, party wall notices must be ‘served’ and the acceptable methods of service are set out is section 15 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Service by Hand Sometimes our clients prefer to hand deliver their party wall notices as it gives them an opportunity to add a personal touch to the legal process. However, the Act ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls

Party Wall Procedures – Alternatives to Injunctions

Sunday, 11th February 2018 | by: Justin Burns

I have previously written about the option of an adjoining owner applying for an injunction where their neighbour has commenced work covered by the Party Wall Act without serving notice. However, the costs of obtaining an injunction can be significant, may not be recoverable in full and such would only be justified where there is a real danger to ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls

Why You Can’t Say “You’re Fired!” to a Party Wall Surveyor

Thursday, 2nd November 2017 | by: Justin Burns

Imagine having a job from which you cannot be dismissed - that must be the dream of many people. Well, that is exactly the position that appointed party wall surveyors find themselves in. Section 10(2) of the Act confirms that 'All appointments and selections made under this section shall be in writing and shall not be rescinded by either party". ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Walls

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: Peter Barry

The purpose of this post is not to explain the Act but rather to examine how the Act can influence the design of some aspects of the work. To illustrate the point let’s consider a single storey rear extension to a mid-terraced property where the properties to either side have not yet been extended. There are 3 options available in respect of ... Read more >>

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 >>

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