WHO IS A BUILDING OWNER?
What should Building Owners do when planning notifiable works?
- Informing Neighbors: We advise Building Owners to inform neighbors about proposed works before issuing formal Party Wall Notices to reduce the likelihood of immediate dissent.
- Statutory Timeframe: The Party Wall Act allows Adjoining Owners 14 days to respond after formal notice is served.
- Agreed Surveyor Option: Adjoining Owners can appoint an ‘Agreed Surveyor’ who impartially regulates matters affecting both owners, reducing costs and ensuring a timely process.
- Serving Party Wall Notices: The Act requires notices to be served on all affected Adjoining Owners that can be considered as legal entities and Adjoining Occupiers with an interest of over 12 months.
- Managing the Process: Our surveyors ensure compliance with the Act, securing legally binding Party Wall Agreements (Awards) within project timelines.
- Surveyor’s Fees: Building Owners are responsible for their surveyor’s fees and usually the reasonable fees of any appointed Independent Surveyor chosen by the Adjoining Owner.
- Third Surveyor: The Act provides a mechanism through the Third Surveyor to settle disputes between the appointed surveyors, if both appointed surveyors are unable to reach agreement.
- Schedule of Condition: We recommend having a Schedule of Condition to document the condition of areas at risk from the works, aiding in pre- and post-work assessments. Find out more here- hyperlink to our SOC article.
Free Initial Advice: Our friendly staff offer 20 minutes of free initial advice to discuss your project. For a formal free quote, please contact us with your drawings outlining the proposed works.
When notice is formally served, the Act provides a statutory timeframe of 14 days to respond. The Act allows Adjoining Owners to appoint what is known as an ‘Agreed Surveyor’. In this scenario, the same surveyor will be appointed to impartially regulate matters affecting both owners. This option of having an ‘Agreed Surveyor’ also helps to keep costs of surveyors fees down as well as allowing the process to be completed in a timely manner.
The Act requires notice(s) to be served upon all Adjoining Owners affected who have an interest of greater than 12 months. In most circumstances, where there is only one freeholder next door then only that Freeholder would require a notice. However, where there are leaseholders as well as freeholders, for example flats in the adjoining property, then notice must be served upon the affected leaseholders and freeholders too. In such cases our surveyors ensure to carefully manage the process in line with the Act, to secure legally binding agreements (Awards) in accordance with project timelines.
The Building Owner is responsible for their own surveyor’s fees as well as the reasonable fees of any surveyors appointed in the event the Adjoining Owner chooses to appoint an Independent Surveyor. At the end of the process the two surveyors agree to the Adjoining Owner Surveyor’s fees within the Award. These fees must be reasonable and reflect the extent of the works in line with the Act. The Act provides a mechanism through the Third Surveyor to settle a final verdict should the two surveyors not be able to agree matters between themselves.
We recommend Building Owners to have a Schedule of Condition recording all relevant parts of the adjoining property that are at risk from the notifiable works even if the Adjoining Owners consent. Schedule of Conditions aid both parties in determining the condition of the area’s most at risk before and after the notifiable works are carried out. Once works commence, neighbours will often look more closely for cracks and may mistakenly believe existing cracks are new cracks caused by the notifiable works.
Our friendly staff are available on call to offer 20 minutes free initial advice to discuss your project with you. If however you would prefer a formal fee proposal, please do not hesitate to get in touch by attaching your drawings outlining the proposed works.
In-depth knowledge and experience
To integrate expertise, ease and efficiency in the Party Wall industry and to provide our customers with value through the legal Party Wall process.
To be the leading firm of choice within London and East of England for all Party Wall matters. To be a leading source of information and advice for Building Owners and Adjoining Owners.
Our founders worked under leading technicians in the industry and set up The Party Wall Guru to remove the inefficiencies and unnecessary costly delays to Building Owners. To maintain a hassle free process for Adjoining Owners in the event damage occurs due to neighbouring notifiable works.