Party wall issues? Here are several tips: What is covered by the Act? There are certain items of work that you can only be done after notifying the adjoining owners and either receiving written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s. Notifiable works include (but are not limited to): cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion, inserting a damp proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall, raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any objects preventing this from happening, demolishing and rebuilding a party wall, underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall, weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building, excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations, excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45° from the bottom of its foundations.
In order to ascertain whether any damage to your neighbour’s property has been caused by the execution of the works, a ‘Schedule of Condition’ is normally prepared by the party wall surveyor(s) prior to the works, which can then be referred to following completion. The building owner undertaking the works will be liable for any damage caused. For this reason and to avoid false claims, even in the event your neighbour agrees to the works and accepts the notice it is strongly advisable to prepare a Schedule of Condition of their property in the areas which may potentially be affected.
The Party Wall Act requires you to serve notice on any neighbours that may be affected by your planned works either 1 or 2 months in advance depending upon which type of notice it is. The first decision you have to make to be made is whether to serve the notice yourself or get a Party Wall Surveyor to do it for you. There are no prescribed forms for the notice so there is no reason why you should not do it yourself (there are some sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet) although if you are going to be appointing a surveyor later it would be better to get them to serve the notice as well.
These types of work all require notices to be served as required by the act, once notice has been served, if there is dissent then it is deemed there is a dispute and the Act allows for this, this would be the dispute or resolution stage. Most disputes arrives when the Adjoining Owner has worries or concerns with the proposed work or simply fails to respond in the statutory time to the building owner, for which there could be many reasons. Where a dispute arises either due to non-consent or no response then the Act lays down the steps required to resolve the dispute this is where the Building Owner and the Adjoining Owner will each appoint there Surveyor this could be one each or even the same surveyor with agreement for all parties working as the Agreed Surveyor. See more info at https://www.partywall.pro/.