Common Questions Regarding Party Walls

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What is a Party Wall?

Party Walls are walls positioned on the owner of the land (building owner) but are shared by two or more other owners (adjoining owners). The walls are designed to separate their buildings and can form part of a building or separate several buildings. If you are unsure about whether you are renovating on or near a Party Wall, then we strongly recommend getting advice from a Party Wall expert in North London

What work is covered by the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act will include work that involves excavations which are taking place near an adjoining owner’s property which can consist of walls and outhouses. It can also include any work that directly affects a Party Wall and any new walls that are being built up to or along the boundary between two properties.

Examples of notifiable works include: 

  • Excavation within 3 or 6 meters of your property
  • Cutting into the shared Party Wall
  • Removal of a chimney breast
  • Increase/decrease the height of a Party Wall

What are my rights under the Party Wall Act?

The act is in place to protect property owners and those who share a Party Wall. However, the act clearly states that the building owner must not cause any inconveniences when the work is carried out. Furthermore, if a Party Wall notice for your North London property is not issued, then you have the right to challenge any work. You can also reject a notice; although this can be challenged, this is where a Chartered Party Wall Surveyor in Barnet might be required.

Can you start building work without Party Wall agreement?

No, you should not start any building work without a Party Wall Agreement. This is an essential part of the legislation which protects all parties involved.

If you have started work without realising it, then it is recommended that you stop immediately and seek expert advice.

You can find out more in our blog about what happens if you build without a Party Wall agreement.

What do you do when you get served with a Party Wall notice?

When you get served with a Party Wall notice, you have 14 days to respond to it. If you do not consent, your neighbour might need to speak with an RICS surveyor in North London.

What happens if there’s no response to Party Wall notice?

Your neighbour will have 14 days to respond to your Party Wall notice. If they do not respond to the notice, you will need to write to them to explain that they are deemed to have dissented; as a result, they will have to use the services of a surveyor to act on their behalf within ten days. If there is still no response, you can hire a Party Wall surveyor on their behalf, but you must have given them enough warning and waited 24 hours before doing so.

How do you resolve a Party Wall dispute?

The best thing to do is discuss the work with your neighbour before serving notice. This has to be done in writing, and if they are unwilling to agree, you might ask them if they want to jointly appoint an agreed surveyor to draw up a Party Wall Award.

Who can I appoint as a Party Wall surveyor?

If you and your neighbour cannot agree on the works, you must appoint a surveyor. Appointing a surveyor can be done together or separately. The surveyors will then decide on a ‘Party Wall award’.

When looking for a surveyor, we recommend appointing a Chartered surveyor, like ourselves, who will be accredited and regulated by RICS.

What does a Party Wall surveyor do?

The surveyor will consider the work you plan to undertake and inspect your neighbour’s house before preparing an award. A Party Wall award is a legally binding document that covers what work will take place, when it can take place and will record the condition of the property next door before work begins.

Why Choose an RICS Surveyor

An RICS Surveyor is fully RICS accredited, and they are experts when it comes to Party Walls. They will be able to provide their expert advice and guidance while also helping to put a Party Wall agreement in place.

Let’s Talk About Your Party Wall Matters

Here at Hudson Party Wall Surveyors in Barnet, we are fully RICS accredited and are experts in all things relating to Party Walls. Contact our team today to find out how we can help.

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