How does the Party Wall Act affect me?
If you are building into or next to a jointly owned wall or structure you need:
- to feel free to exercise your rights without hindrance.
- to act positively and be able to make clear decisions about party walls and boundaries in the design process.
- to avoid being blamed unfairly by neighbouring owners for damage to their property.
If your neighbour is building into your jointly owned wall or next to your property, you need:
- to have your rights observed.
- to have a schedule of condition written recording your property’s condition before any neighbouring works are begun and to ensure that possible damage will be put right.
- to know that if you wish to build similarly that you can do this and will not be compromised.
Why do you need a party wall surveyor who is also an architect?
Party wall awards are agreed by experts in the building industry, and the generalist ‘hands on’ view of an Architect is best placed to field questions about:
- structural engineering
- building control
- detailed architectural design
- project management considerations
If you are building, you need someone:
- to integrate the party wall process into the design and building processes and enable your rights concerning your property to alter shared walls/structure minimizing risk.
- who understands delay and gets you on site and building your project as soon as reasonably possible.
- to agree party wall awards that are fair in attributing costs and responsibilities for all building processes in a no-nonsense way.
- who is experienced at design and building to figure out how your project interacts with party walls to contain uncertainty and keep your project moving forward positively.
- who will be as courteous as possible to neighbouring owners with their sensitivities.
If a neighbour is building next to your property, you need someone:
- who is versed in construction to ensure that your neighbour’s building works do not damage your property, and if they do, make sure the damage is put right, or you are compensated. Often this is very technical and requires detailed expertise.
- to de-mystify the party wall process and how it affects your building ensuring that your rights are observed and protected.
- to make sure your property is adequately insured for the works proposed with knowledge of possible hidden costs.
- to agree party wall awards that are fair in attributing costs and responsibilities for all building processes in a straightforward way.
- to let you know how intended works will impact your property and how to mitigate those impacts.
- who knows building and can make sure that you can build similarly in future and not be unfairly disadvantaged.