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Latest blog posts

The Role of the Agreed Surveyor

Wednesday, 26th February 2020 | by: Justin Burns

Where an adjoining owner dissents to a party wall notice they have two choices; appoint a surveyor of their choice or concur with the building owner in the appointment of a single Agreed Surveyor. In terms of cost, the appointment of an agreed surveyor will generally be cheaper than having two separate surveyors (I say ‘generally’ as the ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

The Appointment of Separate Party Wall Surveyors

Tuesday, 18th February 2020 | by: Justin Burns

It’s the response that most worries owners notifying their neighbours of works falling under the Party Wall Act - not only a dissent but the appointment of a separate surveyor. I know of a couple of examples where a building owner has simply cancelled their works as a result, which seems extreme, but the loss of control really does seem to ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

Why so Few Neighbours Consent to Party Wall Notices

Monday, 27th January 2020 | by: Justin Burns

The desired outcome for any owner serving party wall notices is a consent - it allows them to take advantage of the benefits of the Act, such as the right of access, without having to stump up for surveyors’ fees. However, adjoining owners consenting to party wall notices is still a relatively rare thing, I’ve not run the numbers but my sense ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

When Party Wall Notices are Not Responded To

Thursday, 9th January 2020 | by: Justin Burns

There are many reasons why neighbours do not respond to party wall notices - they may have moved out of the property and not updated the Title Register, they may be on a long holiday or they may just be the type of person that doesn’t do paperwork (more than you might think). Whatever the reason, I would estimate that between 10 and 20% of party ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

Party Wall Notices and Response Times

Sunday, 29th December 2019 | by: Justin Burns

It’s essential that the time periods relating to party wall procedures are followed to the letter as they are taken directly from the Act and many of those time periods relate to the service of and response to notices. The first point to clarify is when the time periods run from as it’s not obvious. Regardless of the date that is entered on ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

Serving Party Wall Notices

Sunday, 1st December 2019 | by: Justin Burns

Having drafted your party wall notices the next step is to serve them – we say ‘serve’ rather that ‘deliver’ or ‘post’ as they are legal documents and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 includes strict rules on how adjoining owners must be notified. The first task is to try and establish the name(s) of the adjoining owner(s). The most ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

Drafting Party Wall Notices

Tuesday, 19th November 2019 | by: Justin Burns

The next decision once you’ve confirmed the requirement to serve party wall notices is whether to employ the services of a surveyor or do it yourself. I am of course a surveyor that offers the service but I will attempt to provide an impartial view. There are various templates available online (including this one that I helped to design and ... Read more >>

Categories: Party Wall

Identifying Adjoining Owners in a Party Wall Matter

Thursday, 10th October 2019 | by: Justin Burns

Once you’ve established that your works are covered by the Act the next step is to identify who the affected adjoining owners are. An ‘owner’ is defined in section 20 of the Act as ‘a person in possession of land, otherwise than as a mortgagee or as a tenant from year to year or for a lesser term or as a tenant at will’ or, in other ... Read more >>

Are My Works Covered by the Party Wall Act?

Tuesday, 17th September 2019 | by: Justin Burns

The very first step in the process is to establish whether your proposed works fall within the scope of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and, if so, which adjoining owners are affected. Sections 1, 2 & 6 of the Act set out an owner’s rights but those rights are only exercisable if the necessary notices are served, let’s look at each of them ... Read more >>

Can my neighbour build on my land?

Tuesday, 30th October 2018 | by: Justin Burns

In general, your neighbour only has the right to build up to the boundary line (line of junction) between the two properties but there are circumstances when they can legitimately build on your land. Ground Floor Extension You can give consent for them to build a new party wall and foundations on your land. An existing boundary wall built ... Read more >>