Party Wall Surveyors in Notting Hill
Notting Hill, a district west of London, houses some of the most iconic landmarks in the British Capital. The area is renowned for its grand Victorian-era homes and vibrant street markets, but party wall disputes may arise like in any other neighbourhood.
Our experienced Party Wall surveyors in Notting Hill proactively manage potential conflicts, assess the risks and costs of any works and provide practical advice on the Party Wall Act.
Understanding the Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 provides a framework to resolve disputes between neighbours who share or build on party walls and boundary lines. The Act applies to any works that involve:
- Party Walls
- Cavity Walls
- Underpinning Rooflights
The Act also covers other works involving shared walls, such as installing fireplaces and flues or simply cutting into the walls to examine them. Before such works are carried out, both parties must be informed of the proposed changes.
Additionally, a Party Wall Award must be drawn up by an impartial surveyor.
What is Considered a Party Wall?
A party wall is any wall that separates two properties and stands on the boundary line between them. The Act also applies to shared walls, such as cavity and outer walls, that are common between two or more properties.
Wooden partitions, garden walls and other free-standing structures are not considered party walls and, therefore, not covered by the Act.
When Is a Party Wall Notice Necessary?
A party wall notice must be issued to inform the neighbours of the proposed works. You must notify them at least two months before the renovation begins. If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties involved, then a party wall surveyor is nominated.
Below are the types of notice that can be issued:
- Line of Junction Notice – concerned with excavations near the boundary line
- Party Structure Notice – includes alterations to a shared wall
- Adjacent Excavation Notice – covers excavations within 3 or 6 metres of the neighbouring property
What Is an Award?
When an agreement cannot be reached between two parties, an impartial surveyor is appointed by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to draw up a binding contract known as a Party Wall Award. This helps prevent disputes from escalating and ensures that the works are done per the Act.
How Can Neighbours Respond to a Party Wall Notice?
Once the notice is issued, the affected neighbour has 14 days to respond. There are three ways to go about this:
A Party Wall Award is unnecessary if a neighbour consents to the proposed works. However, a Schedule of Condition must be set to record the existing state of the party wall before any work begins.
Disagree and Ask for a Party Wall Surveyor
If a neighbour disagrees with the proposed works, they can appoint a surveyor separately or jointly. Either way, this person will draw up a Party Wall Award and ensure the Act is followed.
Ignore the Notice
If a neighbour does not respond to the notice within 14 days, the Act dictates that they be given an additional 10 days to confirm. If they fail to do so, the building owner’s surveyor may appoint a qualified surveyor on their behalf.
Both surveyors will negotiate an Award outlining the terms and conditions of the works.
No matter the outcome, all expenses related to the works must be shouldered by the initiating party. Seek reliable legal advice and assistance from our Notting Hill party wall surveyors.
Who We Serve
In party wall matters, building owners are responsible for following the Act and adhering to its guidelines. We offer legal advice and represent the building owner in negotiations with their neighbours.
Our Notting Hill Party Wall Surveyors specialise in:
- Party Wall Notices
- Boundary Advice
- Giving technical advice on design matters
- Neighbour liaison
- Schedule of Condition
- Party Wall Awards
Our surveyors also offer advice and assistance to adjoining owners. We help them understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act and how they can protect their property from damage caused by the building works.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not compulsory to appoint a surveyor, but we highly recommend considering their expertise. This eliminates the possibility of disputes and ensures all the correct procedures are followed.
A party wall surveyor prepares and serves notices, negotiates Awards with their counterpart and mediates between both parties. They also inspect and survey the property to ensure all works are up to code.
Yes, you can object to a party wall notice. You must do this within 14 days of receiving the notice and explain why you disagree with the proposed works. If no agreement is reached, then a surveyor must be appointed to negotiate an Award.
It’s not necessary to have a lawyer involved in party wall disputes. Hiring a surveyor ensures that the Act is followed and that both parties reach an agreement. However, a solicitor might be necessary if legal matters are involved or the dispute escalates.
Hamilton Darcey LLP provides a comprehensive party wall service tailored to your needs. We thoroughly assess, review and negotiate all party wall matters in Notting Hill on behalf of building owners and neighbours. Contact us today for free advice and an obligation-free quotation.