Why Appoint A Party Wall Surveyor?


Party wall issues can cause some of the most unwanted disputes between neighbours, which can be so bitter and impossible to settle that they can result in considerable costs, broken alliances and cause harm to the property, and not to mention inhabitants’ health and well-being beyond repair. But what is a Party Wall?

The term “party wall” includes the following:

  • a wall that stands on the land of two (or more) owners and forms part of a building – this wall can be part of one building only or separate buildings belonging to different owners
  • a wall that stands on the land of two owners but does not form part of a building, such as garden wall (but not including timber fences)
  • a wall that is on one person’s land but is used by two (or more) owners of separate properties.

The Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall Act 1996 was passed to discourage such conflicts. It points out a procedure by which a building owner planning to conduct construction on a party wall must notify the adjacent landowner by presenting a written warning two months before beginning work (‘junction line’ and excavation works only require a one-month notice period).
Any structural work that impacts the roof, floor or party walls will require direct consent from someone who lives above, below and/or adjacent to you. The easiest way is to speak in person to your neighbour and explain the job you plan to do to address any concerns in advance. That way, you can probably get the written agreement you need to commence. And, even if the work desperately needs to be undertaken for safety purposes, you cannot compel a property owner to give their signed consent.

(Don’t) Do It Yourself

So, if you can do it yourself, why have Party Wall Surveyors serve these Notices?
Party Wall Surveyors specialise in solving problems that exist under the Party Wall, 1996 Statute. They are well versed in complex pieces of law and have the ability to resolve these issues amicably to reach an agreement. Further, Party Wall Surveyors will inevitably become involved, since a building owner may not act as their own surveyor.

In addition, notices which are inaccurately served by owners have to be re-served correctly by an appointed Party Wall Surveyor, adding to confusion, delays and increasing costs.

Therefore, Party Wall Surveyors have a duty of care for both parties and must act independently under the Act. The surveyors are there to apply the terms of the Act by the rights of the owners. They may not diverge from the content within the Act and must guarantee that everyone is treated fairly.

In summary

Party Wall Notices are simple to those who serve them every day and very confusing to those who are unfamiliar with them. We would advise that you always appoint a surveyor to serve a Party Wall Notice as they are specialists in Party Wall matters, and will ensure each party has a clear structure in which to obtain permission and resolve disputes, swiftly and cost-effectively.

Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

Parallel Consultancy have extensive professional experience of all party wall related matters in London, Surrey, Essex and surrounding areas. Contact us to discuss your building plans and how best to navigate the legislation so that your interests, as well as those of your adjoining neighbours, are properly protected.

Our Party Wall Surveyors always aim to remain impartial. See what our Party Wall Service entails.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you

E: [email protected]
T: 0207 127 6834

Looking for a Building Surveyor?

Parallel Consultancy are a CIOB regulated company offering the highest standard of professionalism in all property related matters

0207 127 6834

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Checking Everything From The Ground Up

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