Whether your property is commercial or residential, large or small, industrial or office, retail or institutional, if it is joined to another there will be a Party Wall which separates the two.
If you need to repair this wall, to alter it because you want to extend your property or to excavate for new foundations near it then there are strict legal procedures which you must follow.
The law gives you rights so that you are able to undertake the work which you require provided that you follow the correct procedures.
In summary, having defined the work to be done you must serve Notice on your neighbour at least two months before you want to carry out the work which gives him the opportunity to either agree or object. If he objects then a procedure is initiated which requires both owners to appoint a surveyor and those two surveyors between them impartially negotiate the conditions under which the work will proceed in order to protect the interests of both parties. It is not the case that a surveyor is employed to prevent the work going ahead.
To attempt to negotiate the legal procedures yourself in all but the very simplest of cases would be most unwise. Many building owners appoint a Chartered Building Surveyor who is experienced in these matters and who can advise on the necessary formalities and follow them through in the most expedient manner.
The important thing if you are planning work near or to a dividing wall is that you contact a Party Wall surveyor as soon as possible. If you choose to ignore Party Wall procedures you run the risk of legal action by your neighbour.
If you receive a Notice from your neighbour then contact a Party Wall surveyor immediately as you only have 14 days to react to the Notice as the Adjoining Owner.
At Metcalfe Briggs Chartered Building Surveyors we are regularly instructed by Building Owners and Adjoining Owners to conduct their Party Wall formalities for them. We are always happy to receive preliminary enquiries at a stage when works are first being planned.
See a few examples of Party Wall work we have undertaken for clients.
Apart from our work as party wall surveyors, we have a wide portfolio of surveying services that we provide for clients throughout London, Kent & Essex.
If you would like to speak to us regarding a Party Wall matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.