In this blog post, I will answer a common query that we at PWG receive from Adjoining Owners on almost a weekly basis and that is to do with how they can protect themselves from works taking place nearby or next to their property.
Party Wall Act procedures…
Right, let’s assume that you as the Adjoining Owner (the person affected by the works) have been served a Notice by your neighbour and you would like a Surveyor involved to safeguard your property from the works. The first port of call for your Surveyor prior to making any engagements with the other party is to receive a signed Letter of Appointment from yourselves authorising them to act on your behalf. Essentially, the signed Letter of Appointment enables them to take the matter and stress off your hands and engage in the process of protecting your property by following the procedures which I will describe shortly.
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Once your Surveyor has received your signed Letter of Appointment, they will thoroughly investigate the documentation that has so far been produced by the Building Owner’s Surveyor to enable the Act. For example, the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor will review all the technical drawings from the architects and structural drawings from the appointed Structural Engineers and cross check them against the Notices to ensure it meets the legal requirements of the Act.
Once the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor has satisfied all legality has been met, the next port of call is to book a joint inspection for your property to carry out a Schedule of Condition report. This is a key piece of document and we at Party Wall Guru cannot emphasise the importance of this report. This is because prior to the notifiable works commencing, the Schedule of Condition report will be produced by the Surveyors to record a thorough written and photographic record of the condition of your property. This document forms part of the final Party Wall Agreement (Award) and is then crosschecked once the works are complete to identify any damage to your property. As I said earlier, it is vital this step in the process is not missed! You can call us via our website, email or telephone to discuss this in more detail.
Finally, once the Schedule of Condition is produced then your chosen Surveyor will proceed towards producing a Party Wall Agreement (Award) with the Building Owner’s Surveyor. The two Surveyors will deliberate with each other and agree the Award. This Award is a crucial document produced at the end of the process which provides strict requirements to follow to ensure your property is at a minimum level of risk from damage.
At Party Wall Guru, our team of Surveyors will always be happy to advise you if you are unsure, contact one of our friendly team members via our website or contact details.