I have received a Party Wall Notice what should I do next?
Please get in contact in the next 7 days so we can discuss how to respond and any issues you have with your neighbours works, in most cases there will be no charge to you if we need to act on your behalf.
If you dissent the notice, you are legally obliged to appoint a surveyor. You only have a short timescale to respond otherwise the building owner may appoint a surveyor for you. Please contact us as soon as you receive notice from your neighbour.
Who do you work for?
We work for both the building owner or the adjoining owner as their appointed surveyor. This could be home owners, business owners, developers, architects, planners or surveyors. We offer advice for small sites that are having extensions up to multi million pound sites that involve multiple neighbouring parties, Our previous clients include various local solicitors, small and large construction firms and developers such as Emerys of South Gloucestershire, PG Group and Construction Total Solutions. Our expert knowledge and competitive fee structure makes us the perfect solution for all types of client and project.
We also provide advice for designers and architects. If deemed suitable we can act as an agreed surveyor, acting impartially between neighbouring parties.
What is the Party Wall Act and does it apply to my work?
The Party Wall etc. Act.1996 came into force in 1997, it is the legal framework for dealing with construction that is carried on or near boundaries including shared walls or floors. This can also include works that are up to 6m from the boundary.
Why employ a party wall surveyor?
Although legally you can serve your own notices often people that do misinterpret the requirements of the Act and the legal notices are not worth the paper they are written on, invalidating any work carried out under them. It is also very difficult to get it right as most party wall surveyors require an in depth knowledge of case law and practice, as the Act in many ways leaves several areas open to interpretation.
When do I legally need a surveyor?
If your neighbour dissents a notice or you dissent a neighbours notice legally surveyors need to be appointed to deal with the dispute.
When should I appoint my surveyor?
You should consider getting advice from a party wall surveyor before planning permission is sought, although not a legal requirement the advice they can give regarding the complexities of access and construction near the boundary can result in alterations to the final planning design, which many architects might overlook. The actual appointment would happen should a dispute occur.
How can WBC Help?
We can offer technical design advice to help reduce the impact on your neighbour and reduce any risks associated with the works. WBC will review your project plans with a site visit if needed and give give general advice about the best strategy to use. We can serve party wall notices ensuring the required notices are in the right format and legally correct. We can draw up schedules of condition to ensure that any existing damage to your neighbour’s property is fully recorded, reducing your future liability.
What is a Party Wall Award?
An award is a legally binding agreement that two surveyors draw up facilitating the notifiable works and providing a number of conditions that the person carrying out the work must adhere to. We will liaise with other Party Wall Surveyors to agree and serve a Party Wall Award when a matter for dispute arises.
If I have received a notice do I pay anything for my surveyor?
As an adjoining owner we can review the notice and supporting documentation and act on your behalf, commonly the costs involved with this service are paid for by the person carrying out the work unless the works relate to a repair of a shared wall etc.
Why should I use Western Building Consultants?
We are qualified construction professionals, all of our party wall surveyors carry out other construction functions such as building surveyors or architectural technology and therefore they provide an intrinsic value to their work. Often our competitors that have little construction background will end up costing you more money through additional surveyors fees due to their poor construction knowledge and subsequently poor advice.
To help ensure certainty of costs we aim to provide fixed price fees where possible. Our hourly rate for dealing with party wall matters is very competitively priced compared to many other local surveyors.
Our members include The Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, The Chartered Institute of Building Engineers and the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.
Can we talk about the process before moving forward with an appointment?
Sure we can, just phone 01225 789307 we offer a telephone-based no-obligation consultation before being formally instructed to act as your surveyor.
To obtain a quotation or to simply ask some advice, please contact us.
I have planning permission and Building Regulations consent, do I still need to go through the party wall process?
Quite simply yes, if your project is notifiable having planning permission will not grant you permission to construct your building under the Party Wall Etc. Act. Most projects require a party wall notice if they are carrying out even internal works on the party wall or if you are installing foundations within 3 metres of the neighbouring property. The Party Wall Act is not affected by any requirement for Planning Permission or Building Regulation Approval. Similarly, having Planning Permission for Building Regulation Approval does not negate the need for compliance under the Party Wall Act. Even if your property has benefitted from Permitted Development Rights it will usually still require a party wall notice. If you proceed without one you can get yourself into legal hot water, risk receiving claims of damage and potentially holding up your works through injunctions.
What issues can hold up party wall agreements?
Know Your limits – Knowing where the boundary lies between properties is very important, if you are unsure of the boundary condition we would recommend that this is established prior to gaining planning by a boundary dispute expert.
Be a good neighbour – Good relations with your neighbours is important, you can foster this by keeping in contact with your neighbour and consulting them on your plans, although your neighbour may feel that they need the protection of an award or schedule of condition and therefore good relations is not always a guarantee that they will not dissent a notice.
Plan before planning– Plan your project timescales and cycle to allow for the party wall process to take place once your detailed drawings have been drawn up.
Test it – It really helps if the foundation construction and depth are known before notices are served. This can often be carried out with a simple test pit and may result in you not having to serve notice at all.
We are happy to discuss any project at the planning stage and to comment on the legalities of the boundary condition. Our customers benefit from our unique approach and expert construction knowledge. Please call 01225 789307 or email [email protected]
I have enjoyed working with Western Building Consultants on a complicated project for about 4 years now. During that time they have without fail given me a high level of customer service, being welcoming, responsive and competent.
As a customer I particularly appreciate that WBC are value for money. They also stick to their quotes and don’t add a lot of extras. Help and advice is always forthcoming generally at no extra charge.
Thank you so much for all your advice today. That was so very helpful, not only with the structure of the property but especially with your comments about the whole set up. I can see that we were within a gnat’s whisker of entering a complete can of worms… Thank you so much for saving us from making a stupid mistake.
Thanks to you both your help in this matter – you were both extremely efficient and accommodating (more than I can say about other companies I contacted).
Your professionalism has been invaluable, thank you.
Thank you for your extremely comprehensive report. It will be of immense help when deciding on the works we would like to carry out on the property. We have decided to take your advice and move into the property and live in it for a while to assess our requirements.
Thank you for your prompt service, could not have asked or expected more. I note your comments and in an ideal world everything would have been 1.
Will not hesitate to recommend you, and will make a point of letting the estate agent know this too.
I just wanted to say thank you very much for your thorough and clear report. It is written in an informative and jargon free way which has made a pretty hefty document ultimately digestible and easy to understand.
Hello Kerry, Many thanks for the report and invoice receipt.
Please pass on my thanks to Paul for the survey. In my working life, I read many stock survey reports – I work with social housing providers to set up their asset management strategies – and this was one of the clearest and most comprehensive I’ve seen.
Dear Paul, Thank you so much for your fast response and the detail in your report is very very good and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your efforts.
Many thanks for your swift and thorough return of this report, we so appreciate you getting this back to us on such a tight turn around this week, and on the first read it seems extremely clear and comprehensive.
Hi Kerry / Paul, Thanks for sending the survey across.
I’d also like to thank you for your excellent service and professionalism. I considered many surveyors before choosing to proceed with you and it’s clear that I made the right choice. I won’t hesitate to recommend you to family, friends and colleagues in the future.
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I never expected so much detail, the report was really great and there were things I never even considered, even being in the construction trade
The report was brilliant and went into so much detail, having had reports from other surveyors in the past this report was far superior
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We were really happy with them, they came highly recommended by several people”
“Excellent service and help from the initial design/planning stage through to the end of all works”
“I can recommend Western Building Consultants. They are great on structural calculations, advice and technical drawings to whatever extent you want. We used them for advice and calcs for taking out our main load bearing wall downstairs. They were recommended several times over when we started looking.”
“Superb, professional, efficient, friendly, positive”