People often find that implementing the Party Wall Act can be frustrating and expensive. It is not unusual for a building project to be delayed by a couple of months and surveyor’s fees to run to a couple of thousand pounds just for the Party Wall aspect on what might be considered to be a fairly straightforward alteration to a domestic property. To help you navigate your way through the Act we will take a look at the most common problems from the point of view of the party planning the works.
Party wall disputes? Here are several tips: Party walls usually separate buildings belonging to different owners but could include garden walls built astride a boundary – known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size buildings often only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands. The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included because the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls. Section 20 of the Act defines each: “party fence wall” means a wall (not being part of a building) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjoining lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which projects into the land of another owner; “party structure” means a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached solely by separate staircases or separate entrances;
It might seem obvious, but it’s important that you carry out a thorough clean and tidy of your entire home before the surveyor arrives. Tidying up also gives you the opportunity to rearrange your home so that the significant selling points are exposed for when your potential buyers arrive for the first time. Overall, tidying makes it easier for the surveyor to do their work.
It may be that you have been living in the house for a while and the property has become subject to general wear and tear. Instead of fixing up the property, you have decided to move on. This may decrease the value of your home as many buyers will look at the property as how ‘liveable’ it will be upon buying. If changes need to be made before a potential buyer can properly live in a property, this will make them less likely to buy it.
Our Director Nathan Foley is a degree qualified building surveyor with over 20 years of construction experience starting out as a plumbing and heating engineer and then moving on to construction and building surveying. Having worked within the construction industry covering a number of different disciplines including project management and contract management, this wealth of experience working at all levels of the construction industry is backed up by educational standards including a BSc (Hons) in Building Surveying and NCRQ health and Saftey Diploma in addition he has also achieved the following technical levels of recognition. See more details on Party Wall Surveyor Canterbury.
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.
The Party Wall Process: This process is all based around the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. The main purpose of the Act is to provide a framework for amicably preventing and resolving disputes between neighbours in relation to Party Walls, boundary Walls and Excavations near neighbouring buildings. Building owners are given statutory rights that did not exist in existing common law when undertaking certain types of construction as defined by the Act. A HomeBuyer Report with survey: Includes all the features of the RICS Condition Report and advice on defects that may affect the property. A HomeBuyer Report with survey and valuation: Includes all the features of the RICS Condition Report, plus a market valuation and insurance rebuild costs. As one of the most comprehensive surveys available, more often than not a building survey will be requested by potential buyers of your property. It is a wide range inspection of the entirety of a property done in more specific depth than a Homebuyers Report or a Mortgage Valuation. A Building Survey’s purpose is to give a detailed report of the condition of the property in question.
Home and building survey tips and tricks : Watch out for Vegetation, It may be lovely to have wisteria or ivy growing up your home, but beware that vegetation can cause damp in your walls as it retains water and some, like ivy can get in between the mortar joints and cause further damp areas. Electrical and Gas Safety, I don’t know why, but every home I’ve ever bought has had a really useless boiler! As a result I’ve had to fork out between 1,000 to 2,000 to get a new one fitted. So, after having this happen twice, I now make sure I ask the surveyor to have a quick look and then I get a Gas Safety Registered plumber to check it out – albeit at an extra cost of up to 75. However, this has saved me over 10,000 due to the number of properties I’ve bought over the years! See more details at https://www.home-heroes.co.uk/.