One of the core services of the Talus Partnership Ltd is party wall surveying services under the core legislation of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (the Act). This appointment is a personal appointment which the principle has been providing to clients large and small for in excess of 20 years.
Many domestic clients are either unaware that this legislation covers extension building work or loft conversion works, but the practice is able to help owners negotiate their way through this approval process in as quick a timescale as possible and in the most cost effective way.
As Party Wall specialists we have managed party wall appointments on extremely large construction projects, requiring multiple notices and multiple awards linked to demolition, sub-structure and superstructure phases; with some construction projects in excess of 100+ notices.
Scrutiny of proposals to assess implications in relation to the Party Wall etc. Act, 1996, ascertainment of the number of adjoining owners as defined by the Act, service of the necessary notices, preparation of schedules of condition, schedules of record photographs and award documentation, agreement of the award with the adjoining owner’s surveyor(s), construction stage monitoring of works, post completion signing off works and assessment of damage claims.
Scrutiny of party wall notices to assess the scope of the works and validity of the notice, service of counter notices as necessary, agreement of award documentation with appointing owner, construction stage monitoring of works to ensure compliance with the award, post completion signing off negotiations and the presentation of damage claims.
Negotiation of party wall awards on behalf of the main contractor to facilitate a programmed start on site, advice on contractor’s design proposals for design + construct procurement, pre-construction stage schedules of condition, schedules of record photographs, video schedules, construction stage monitoring of works and signing off negotiations.
Assessment of schemes for implications with regard to the Party Wall etc. Act, 1996 and advice on avoiding/limiting those areas of the works which require notice.
Preparation of schedules of condition, schedules of record photographs and/or video schedules to provide pre-construction stage building records.
Assessment of the proposed works to ascertain programme impact for compliance with the Act, advice on the provision and co-ordination of design information and preparation of Microsoft Project programmes as required.
When the intention is to carry out works on a party wall, party floor or party fence wall separating two premises, a notice outlining the works will have to be served. By service of this notice, the building owner has the right to underpin, thicken or raise a party wall, make good, repair, demolish or rebuild a party wall if it becomes necessary due to its condition or because a stronger or higher wall is now required. This type of notice has a two month statutory period, however, in all cases, times can be changed by agreement.
The Act allows a building owner, by the service of a ‘Line of Junction Notice’ to build up to the line of junction (the boundary) and to place projecting footings and foundations as necessary on the adjoining owners’ land. Typically this would otherwise be trespass but the Act provides the statutory authority to undertake such works. However, this is subject to the caveat of ‘special foundations’ that excludes reinforced foundations unless consent in writing is obtained. This type of notice has a one month statutory period unless the adjoining owner agrees in writing.
When it is intended to excavate and build within three metres of an existing building and to a lower level than the base of its foundations, a notice of intended works will have to be served called a ‘Three Metre Notice’.
The adjoining owner must consent to the works set out within the three metre notice and the party structure notice within 14 days, otherwise a ‘dispute’ is deemed to have arisen and the adjoining owner must appoint a surveyor.
When it is intended to excavate and build within six metres of an existing building and the building owners’ new foundations intersect a 45o line emanating from the base of the adjoining owners’ existing foundations, in line with the face of the flank wall, a notice of intended works called a ‘Six Metre Notice’ will have to be served. Like the three metre notice, consent must be received within 14 days, or a dispute is deemed to have arisen.
If the building owner intends to employ piled foundations then the adjoining owner but-one may also require a notice if the 45o line from their foundations is also intersected. Three and six metre notices have a one month statutory period, unless the adjoining owner agrees in writing.
Work to existing party walls, such as demolition, re-building, underpinning, cutting into a party wall to support load bearing beams (for example during a loft conversion), reducing or increasing the height of the wall or inserting a damp proof course, etc.
Work to some boundary walls, known as “party fence walls".
New buildings, the external wall of which is up to or astride the boundary line.
Excavations and foundations within 3 metres of an adjoining structure and to a greater depth than the foundations of structure's property.
Excavating foundations within 6 metres of an adjoining structure and below a 45° line drawn from the base of the foundations in line with the external face of the structure.
We believe that our project management expertise means that we can rationalise the process to the respective milestones of the project programme which brings efficiencies of time. As cost in the surveying sector is a function of time expended, this means we are able to pass on this reduced cost to our clients by lower fees.
Many London party wall surveying practices only provide party wall services in their team and sometimes don’t understand the works themselves, which we consider to be unsatisfactory.
Surveyors who provide the whole gamut of services have perspective on the process which is just one of many of the many approvals that the owner or developer needs.