Finding the right team of party wall agreement surveyors online can take time. In fact, sifting through all the information on party wall agreements can be tricky. However, undertaking a project with limited knowledge of the rules and regulations is also a huge risk. To help you understand party walls and their limitations a little better, our experts have summarised the key points to remember below:
What is a party wall agreement?
In their simplest form, party walls are the boundaries that separate two (or more) properties. They may form part of a building, for example, the wall between two semi-detached homes. Additionally, structures like garden walls (not wooden fences or hedges) are also included.
What work must I tell my neighbour about?
If you live within England or Wales, you must inform your neighbours before carrying out work on or near a party wall. This is because the structure is considered to be owned by both parties. Examples of where you will need permission include:
- Building on or near a party wall
- Digging below or near a party wall
- Cutting into a party wall
- Making a party wall taller or shorter
- Knocking down and rebuilding a party wall
You don’t need to tell your neighbours about minor work, however, so don’t worry if you’re planning on doing a bit of plastering, hanging a new photo frame, or rewiring a plug socket anytime soon.
Reaching an agreement
As specialist party wall agreement surveyors, we recommend providing a minimum of 2 months notice before you intend for work to take place. Ideally you would notify your neighbours of proposed modifications up to a year before, however this isn’t always possible.
You should notify your neighbours in writing and ask for a written response. This way, you will have a paper trail of the agreement should problems arise in future. You can find letter templates on the Government website by clicking here.
Your neighbours have the right to refuse or approve work and request additional work to be taken place at the same time. If this benefits them directly, however, they are liable to pay for this (providing you consent.) The involved parties must respond within 14 days. If they deny the work or do not respond, the dispute resolution process will start.
What are party wall agreement surveyors?
Unfortunately, not everyone gets on with their neighbours. Should they refuse for your proposed work to go ahead, this is when it’s time to bring specialist party wall agreement surveyors. You must each appoint a surveyor or do this together. It is then the specialist’s job to agree on a ‘party wall award’ which is a document that details the proposed work, timescales, method for carrying out the work, and who must pay for it. If your neighbour refuses to appoint party wall agreement surveyors, you must do this for them. You can also appeal against any decisions within 14 days.
Here at Munday + Cramer, it’s our job to resolve disputes that have arisen due to the rejection of work on a party wall. We work fairly to fully understand the issues at hand and why you have requested the work is done, fighting your case every step of the way.
Need some advice on the Party Wall Act 1996? Looking for credible party wall agreement surveyors? Get the ball rolling today by giving us a call on 01245 326 200 or click here for more ways to get in touch.