Party Wall Surveyor Orpington

Party walls are a tricky and unique kind of building structure to come across. Make sure you don’t have to deal with them alone by using a trusted party wall surveyor.

For help with Party Wall in Orpington, please email or call our team.

With many rules and regulations you must follow when working on a party wall, it can be easy to get things wrong, leading to dire consequences. At Copeland Yussuf, we have a team of specialist party wall surveyors in Orpington to help guide you through the party wall process. 

Whether you’re the individual planning work on a party wall or the adjourning neighbour to the property, we have different kinds of services to ensure you have the required support at any stage of the party wall process. We’re the leading Chartered Surveyors in Orpington, building on our experience and expertise to provide a robust and unmatched experience.

Party Wall Surveyor Orpington
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Our Orpington Party Wall Services

As Chartered Surveyors, we can do more than just party wall issues and help in all property management areas. That said, we are specialists in party walls and are proud of our bespoke and quality services. 

Our main priority is to help settle disputes, serving Party Wall Awards to help you crack on with the building work you want to do. However, we go beyond this and offer a full suite of services that can be useful at any stage of the party wall process. Our full list of services includes:

Our Orpington party wall surveyors are dedicated to serving The Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This legislation dictates our decisions, ensuring we can provide an impartial and fair service. This strict adherence to the act allows us to simultaneously offer our surveying services to all involved in a party wall dispute. 

That said, you can choose to elect your own bespoke surveyor each, and we’ll be able to work with external companies to collaborate on our findings and issue a fair and well-considered party wall agreement.

Who are we?

Copeland Yussuf is a team of quality Chartered Surveyors who have been serving the Orpington area for over a decade. While aiding the community for various years, we’ve served countless Party Wall Notices and awards, helping to settle disputes while guiding our clients through the process. 

We’ve assisted many types of clients in the area, including building groups and councils, providing all their property surveying needs. Our continued relationship with these brands shows our dedication and quality and clarifies that we’re a team of surveyors you can trust. We know the Orpington area well and what to expect in this exciting area. 

Copeland Yussuf is regulated by RICS, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. This distinction ensures that we maintain the highest industry standards and set the benchmark for what quality surveyors should be.

What is a party wall?

Party walls are often complicated to understand structures with many regulations around them. In essence, party walls are boundary walls overlapping with more than one property, meaning that two or more owners share them. 

For example, common party walls in Orpington are walls that divide semi-detached houses, with the walls straddling the boundary line of the properties, meaning that it intrudes into both plots of land. 

As well as this, you can also get a Party Fence Wall, which is a boundary wall that overlaps the boundary line that isn’t connected to a larger structure. These are typically garden walls used to divide outdoor spaces. 

As well as these two generic types of party walls, they also have more specific subsections and other classes, all with their own unique rules and regulations. This can make it tough to know exactly what type of party wall you have and thus know what you’re allowed to do. A party wall surveyor can help you identify any party walls and offer support on what you can do to it. Misidentifying a party wall can lead to massive issues if you start building work on it, so it’s worth using a party wall surveyor in Orpington to get things right. 

As a party wall is shared with your neighbour, you need to get permission from them if you wish to work on a party wall. You do this by sending a Party Wall Notice, as detailed by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a piece of government legislation that includes all the rules and requirements when working a party will. Within it are all the definitions of a party wall and all the actions you can do to a party wall covered by the act. 

Our Orpington surveyors know the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 well and use it to help inform their inspections and final Party Wall Awards. If you’re thinking about doing any of the following to your party wall, you need to follow the rules laid out in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996: 

  • Destroying or removing a party wall 
  • Making repairs to a party wall or rebuilding it 
  • Adding extensions or any kind of building work atop the wall 
  • Altering the thickness of the wall
  • Underpinning the current foundations of the party wall 
  • Excavating under or near the party wall 
  • Completing any damp-proofing to the party wall

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can sometimes be confusing, especially for non-specialists. Using a party wall surveyor can help guide you through the process detailed in the act, ensuring that you get everything right while giving you a better sense of your responsibilities.

Step-by-step Party Wall Process

To complete work on a party wall, you must follow a specific process in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Following this process ensures that you avoid any issues and that your work on your wall is allowed and legal. Your specific route through this process may differ based on the size of the work and how your neighbour reacts to it, but whatever happens, our party wall surveyors in Orpington can assist no matter what.

Step 1. Sending a Party Wall Notice

If you plan to complete work on a party wall, you must send a Party Wall Notice before you do anything. This document not only informs your neighbour that you plan to do work o the wall, but it should also include the timescales of the work and detail of what you want to do. 

A good Party Wall Notice that is accurate and well-detailed is more likely to be accepted by your neighbour, so it’s essential to use a party wall surveyor to help you draft the best one possible. In addition to that, there are many different notices that you can send, so it can be hard to send the right one. A Party Wall surveyor can guide you through this drafting process, ensuring the notice is accurate, quality, and right for your situation. 

Step 2. The Response

Once sent, a Party Wall Notice needs to be responded to. Once received, a notice can either be agreed to or sent back to the sender with adjustments and additional proposed work or it can also be rejected flat out. 

If accepted, work can commence on the party wall without any issues or the need for a surveyor. However, if rejected, it becomes a party wall dispute that can only be resolved after a Party Wall Award or agreement has been issued.

Understanding a Party Wall Notice can be difficult. A party wall surveyor can help you process the proposed work while also guiding you on the best response for your situation.

Step 3. Resolve the dispute

If a notice has been refused, then the dispute needs to be settled by a Party Wall Award. This is a piece of documentation that includes details of what kind of work is permitted to happen to the party wall. It’s created by a party wall surveyor, who first inspects the property and the wall, using their findings to help them reach their fair and unbiased conclusion. 

It can take a few weeks for a party wall surveyor to issue a Party Wall Award, as they need to make a detailed assessment while using the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to influence their decision. 

Both property owners need a surveyor to represent them when settling a dispute. This can be the same surveyor, although you also have the right to ask for your bespoke surveyor. 

Step 4. Respond to the award

Getting a Party Wall Award usually ends the process and is the final ruling that dictates what can happen. That said, both parties have the opportunity to dispute the award if they disagree with it. 

When this happens, the issue will go to county court, where a judge will decide what is allowed to happen to a party wall. Going to court can be expensive and increase delays, so it’s only worth doing if you’re confident you’ll get a favourable outcome. 

Orpington Party Wall Surveyor FAQs

Aim to send a Party Wall Notice at least one month before you plan to build work. This is to allow enough time for your neighbour to reply to the notice and give time for a surveyor to issue an award if there's been a dispute.

Talking to your neighbour before sending a Party Wall Notice is a good idea. This stops the notice from being a big surprise, and chatting beforehand can help you understand each other's worries and concerns, leading to a more productive process. 

A notice without warning can blindside the neighbour, making them feel ignored and even more likely to refuse the proposed work.

You must respond to a Party Wall Notice within 14 days once it's been sent. If you fail to reply in this timeframe, you'll automatically dissent, starting a dispute. You should act fast when you get a notice to avoid unwanted issues.

If you've spoken to your neighbour before sending a notice and they agree to the work, you still need to send a notice. This is because this is official evidence and ensures you're protected and have gained legal consent to the work. 

Without a Party Wall Notice, your neighbour can accuse you of causing damage; if this happens, you will be unable to defend yourself. 

You can elect a party wall surveyor on behalf of your neighbour if they fail to choose one within an appropriate period. 

If you're completing work to a party wall that isn't included in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, such as making cosmetic changes, you don't need a party wall surveyor. In addition, if your neighbour agrees to your Party Wall Notice, you don't need a surveyor to settle a dispute.

A party wall surveyor will cost you different amounts depending on many factors. The biggest influences are the size and time it takes to create a Party Wall Award, and you'll have to pay more if you use a surveyor to help you draft or respond to a Party Wall Notice. 

You may also have to pay more if, instead of sharing a single party wall surveyor, you have one each. 

When inspecting your property to issue a Party Wall Award, a surveyor may find it appropriate to complete a Schedules of Condition. This photographic evidence documents any issues and faults with certain parts of your property, showcasing what it was like at a certain period. This is used as evidence or support for a particular Party Wall Award ruling.

The Party Wall Act we use today was drawn up in 1996, and this document contains all the definitions and details about what a party wall is and what we can do with one. 

That said, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 was created in 1666, just after the Great Fire of London and was used to help prevent the future spread of fire across joining properties.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers the entire area of Orpington, and all properties in this location need to follow these rules. The act covers all of England and Wales, so there are no excuses for not following the guidance in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 when in Orpington. 

Why choose our Orpington Party Wall Surveyors?

Our Chartered Surveyors are some of the best in the Orpington area and collectively have vast experience and the skill to assist in all kinds of party wall issues. We’ve proudly served the area for over a decade and have helped clients of multiple sizes. 

We have garnered a fantastic reputation in the area and have obtained many positive reviews that speak volumes of our success, quality and trustworthiness. We are compassionate and dedicated to our work, ensuring all our clients get the best experience possible. 

Our party wall surveyors in Orpington can assist you no matter what stage of the party wall process you’re in and can also guide you from the start to the end. We offer a swift yet detailed serving, helping all our clients reach a quick resolution for their party wall dispute so that they can complete their planned building work.