Party wall matters occur when building work is carried out on or near to a party wall or property boundary. This work can often be the cause of much dispute, which is why party wall surveyors have an important role to play.
Party Wall Matters
What Is A Party Wall?
A party wall is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the owners of each of the residences. Usually this wall will be constructed over the centre of the property line, so that half of the wall falls on each side.
In England, the term is used in four different legal senses.
- A wall where the adjoining owners are tenants in common
- A wall divided into two strips, one belonging to each of the neighbouring owners
- A dividing wall belonging entirely to one of the adjoining owners
- A wall divided longitudinally into two moieties, each moiety being subject to a cross easement, in favour of the owner of the other moiety
The Role Of Party Wall Surveyors
With the partition being shared by the owners of the two residences, there can often be dispute and argument over how building work on the wall is carried out.
It is imperative that you follow correct procedures when dealing with party wall matters. Failure to follow these procedures can result in liability, avoidable costs and delays.
Specialist party wall surveyors will advise on party wall matters to ensure you follow all the correct legal procedures. They will issue party wall notices and carry out the necessary schedules of condition as appropriate.
Party wall surveyors will prepare a document known as a ‘party wall agreement’. This document will set guidelines as to how work should be carried out on the party wall, such as working hours, contractor’s insurance and surveyor access.
Once a party wall surveyor has been appointed, they have an obligation to be entirely impartial. As well as this, once the party wall surveyor has been appointed, they cannot be changed.