Party Wall Act - Surveying Duties & Services
The Party Wall 1996 Act covers both single occupancy and multi-occupancy situations.
With single occupancy situations it is mainly confined to semi-detached houses, semi-detached commercial buildings and boundary wall disputes. Clients undertaking structural works within their properties should be aware that if they are to affect in anyway whatsoever the dividing party wall, the Party Wall 1996 Act is applicable and has to be addressed. This could be simply a simple steel, timber or concrete beam bearing onto the party wall. Photographic records or/and a dilapidations schedule has to be undertaken so that both client and neighbour are covered. A good relation with ones neighbour is paramount in many respects when party wall matters arise.
It is imperative that a party wall surveyor be appointed at a very early stage and before the workd commences on site. !
These party wall surveying duties can become highly complex, but were usually a single party wall surveyor is agreed between all party surveyors, to undertake the schedule of condition (SofC). Once undertaken the draft SofC is agreed and modified accordingly with all party wall surveyors involved.
Photographic logs and condition schedule text notes are all important, as these are referred to once the buildings works are fully complete and final inspection is undertaken. Therefore the party wall surveyor undertaking the SofC has to have a 'keen' eye, for if anything is missed, it cannot be compensated for further down the line. It is imperative that a party wall surveyor be appointed at a very early stage and before the work commences on site. Indeed, at least 3 months is appropriate where multi-occupancy situations are the case. This cannot be emphasised more !
Party wall surveying duties under the Act also cover adjacent building extensions, where they are within 6 metres of an adjacent property and sited at a higher level. Other issues are where link-detached properties are extended. Therefore clients should be aware that they have to comply with the Act, where appropriate, for any building extension that they undertake.
Party Wall Surveying Costs
Costs vary, but where indicative costs are,
· Single party wall issue - £250 > £400
· Multi-party wall issues (several clients) - £250 > £300
per building owner
Services Offered by this 'Practice'
This 'Practice' acts as party wall surveyors for one party or for both or for multi-ownership clients where the party wall bounds several property owners. It has to be noted that who ever benefits from the building works, has to pay all fees or in the case of a multi-owner situation where several clients may benefit, a shared fee. It has to be noted here that although the benefiting property owner has to pay for the fees of the party wall surveyor(s), the surveyor is an unbiased and independent person, similar to that of an expert witness for the Courts. Adding to this it has also to be noted that The Party Wall etc 1996 Act being an Act of Parliament, has all the force and power behind it as all other Acts of Parliament and is on the same legal status and enforcement as for instance the Building Act 1984 with Amendments. Therefore clients have to be aware that they have to comply fully with the Act or they could find themselves having their workforce on site stopped or find themselves in the Courts. Indeed, in one case that this 'Practice has undertaken over recent years, a developer had the threat of stoppage on site for over 350 building operatives. If this had happened, the costs to the developer would have been substantial and would have cost several hundred thousand pounds in standing costs and loss of earnings. Consequently the Act is something that all clients have to take seriously and they do so at their peril.
Office Contact - 01484.461193
Direct Contact - 07880661574
Office: 48 Market Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, HD3 4HY