We are asked many questions about The Party Wall Act and how that affects various aspects of property. If you have a question that isn't answered by our website, please contact and we'll be able to help. Below are some of the most frequently asked party wall questions
In simple terms, a wall that divides two properties in separate ownership. A Party Wall may be built astride the boundary, and therefore in the joint ownership of two or more neighbours, this includes horizontal and vertical boundaries within multiple occupancy structures (Type 'A'); or it may be built solely on the land of one owner but provides a boundary between them (Type 'B'). It is worthy of note that the ‘etc’ element of the Act deals with structures in close proximity to each other which are not specifically party walls. This means that certain works, which are considered likely to affect the neighbouring structure, are deemed to be 'notifiable' under the Act and the Building Owner is required to serve notice upon the adjoining owner(s) prior to commencing works on site. The Act details the specific notice periods applicable in each situation. If a dispute under the Act arises the parties must either each appoint their own Surveyor, or concur in the appointment of an Agreed Surveyor in accordance with Section 10 of the Act. The purpose of this appointment is the resolution of the dispute by way of a Party Wall Award.
A Party Wall Award, (sometimes incorrectly called a Party Wall Agreement), is a legally binding document drafted and served by the appointed Surveyors, or Agreed Surveyor, to resolve the dispute that has arisen between the parties so as to enable the works to proceed. An Award will set out the nature of the proposed works and the methods in which the works are to be carried out, it will further detail who is responsible for the cost of the works and associated fees, which in normal circumstances will be the Building Owner. In most circumstances the Award will include a schedule of condition in order to safeguard the interests of both parties and to provide a record of the condition so as to make it easier to determine if damage has been caused by the works and the extend of the damage caused.
Party Wall Services provides expertise in this complex area of law in both residential and commercial property. For more information about Party Wall Services or if you have any queries relating to the Act please contact us.
A Schedule of Condition is a report recording the current condition of a property. The Schedule of Condition will often include a photographs record. We will encourage the building owners to have a Schedule of Condition of the adjoining owners property undertake prior to the commencement of works in order to ensure that the condition of the property is agreed. This will thereby safeguard the interests of both parties.
A schedule of condition can be referred to should damage later occur as a direct result of the works. The Schedule of Condition, if undertaken will become a part of the Award and therefore a legal record of the condition for later referral and can aid both parties in resolving any dispute.