Party Wall and Neighbourly Matters

Party Walls

Robson Walsh is retained by a number of Registered Social Landlords, and has been appointed by a wide range of developers, architects, structural engineers and private individuals in respect of Party Wall and other Neighbourly matters.

We bring wide construction experience to the fore; to ensure that proposed works by the Building Owners are carried out safely, and there are proper provisions in place to protect the Adjoining Owners property and interests.

We regularly agree scaffold and access licences between various parties, as well as carrying out formal Boundary Dispute Surveys and negotiating settlements.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall Act covers three main areas of work; alteration to a shared (Party) wall, construction of a new wall on the boundary, and excavation close to an adjoining property.

Where the work falls within the scope of the Act, a Building Owner must serve notice on all Adjoining Owners affected by the works.

Adjoining Owners

An Adjoining Owner has the option to either consent or dissent to a notice. Where an Adjoining owner dissents, the parties are deemed to be ‘in dispute’ under the Act and surveyors must be appointed so that the dispute can be resolved by way of a Party Wall Agreement, known as an Award.

Under most circumstances appointed surveyors reasonable fees must be paid by the Owner undertaking the works.

Building Owner

An Owner planning to undertake works that fall within the scope of the Act should start planning early; notice periods are either 1 and 2 months depending upon the type of work.

It is always recommended that a Building Owner speaks to their neighbours before serving the formal notice.

The Act allows for the same surveyor to be appointed by each of the Owners; in this scenario the surveyor will act as ‘Agreed’ and impartially regulate matters affecting both owners. By having a surveyor draft the notice, a Building Owner can increase their chances of having that surveyor adopted as ‘Agreed’ which will help to keep the costs down on small projects.

Access to Neighbouring Land, Scaffold and Crane Licences

Disputes can arise when you require access to an adjoining owners land to undertake repairs to your property. Likewise, if an adjoining owner wishes to gain access to your land, then your interests need to be protected.

There are circumstances where the Access to Neighbouring Land Act applies and you are ‘entitled’ to access to complete works, but this is dependent on the type and extent of work being completed. Under the Act, you are allowed access to maintain and otherwise repair your property, but NOT to develop or carry out improvements. You will need to issue a Notice to your neighbour within pre scripted timescales, preferably setting out what you intend to do, for how long and how this will affect your neighbour.

If you need access, and your neighbour is willing, you can arrange for a Licence to be agreed between the Owners of the lands in question. This Licence sets out the particulars of access, timescales, limitations and compensation.

We have the resources to prepare and negotiate access, scaffold and crane licenses on behalf of those undertaking works and for those who’s land is to be accessed or over sailed.

Boundary Disputes

Robson Walsh Chartered Surveyors is regularly instructed to advise upon boundary issues and disputes, and we are able to offer inspection and reports; including preliminary reports and expert witness reports for property owners, occupiers and instructing solicitors. We are also increasingly required to advise, and if necessary, report formally on behalf of both parties to a boundary dispute on a joint-instruction basis, in order to resolve the dispute at minimal cost.

For Further information please see RICS Guides on Party Wall and Boundary Disputes

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Party Wall and
Neighbourly Matters

Party Wall Etc. Act 1996
Access to Neighbouring Land
Scaffold and Crane Licences
Boundary Disputes