The Party Wall Act, in short, lays out legal requirements that you must stick to if you want to carry out any building work on or near your shared property boundary. In this blog we’re going to answer the main questions our clients often have when coming into contact with this law.
Can the Party Wall Act stop my project in its tracks?
In short: no. A Party Wall Award will not mean that you are left unable to complete your project. It means you will have to observe certain rules and communicate well with your neighbours, but as long as you keep within the legal guidelines your project will eventually be completed. The Party Wall process is likely to add cost to your project, but we can advise on Party Wall matters from early on in the design stage, and will be designing to avoid complications and unforeseen costs where possible as well as deliver your dream home.
Do I need to engage another professional?
At lapd Architects our directors are both qualified and legally allowed to do this work, which means you would not have to go to another professional to deal with your Party Wall notice issue or Award. Appointing someone else can add monetary and time costs to your project. We keep it in house so that the process runs as smoothly as possible. It’s always better when you and your neighbour can agree on the terms from the outset, we can take care of the notice issue and always work to avoid any misunderstanding and make the process as smooth and amicable as possible. If one director is overseeing a job, we make sure that it is the other director that deals with the Party Wall Award to ensure as neutral a process as possible. If a Party Wall Award is needed, we are experienced in providing the appropriate legal paperwork in a timely fashion working as an Agreed surveyor or working with your neighbour’s appointed surveyor. We walk side by side with you throughout the whole process.
Do I need a Conditions Survey?
A conditions survey is a document that contains a visual photographic record of the neighbouring property along the Party Wall before any construction work is undertaken. If during the construction work any unintentional damage occurs it can be put back to its original state (as the survey images) and paid for by the Building Owner carrying out the work. There is no ambiguity about what it was like before. It protects both parties. You do not necessarily need one in all circumstances, but we often think it is a great way to put your neighbour’s mind at rest.
If you would like to read more about Party Walls please click here. If you are looking for someone to manage your Party Wall process or would like to find out more about how we can help you to realise your dream home project then don’t hesitate to get in touch. Find out more here.