Party Wall Surveyors Sevenoaks
Party walls are a tricky thing to deal with for anyone in Sevenoaks looking to renovate their current property or add extensions. There are a lot of rules that need to be followed when dealing with these types of walls, and ignoring them can cause delays and even land you in hot water. At Copeland Yussuf, we have a team of fantastic party wall surveyors who can help you manage these unique structures.
For help with Party Wall in Sevenoaks, please email or call our team.
Whether you’re the one planning work on a party wall or are the adjourning neighbour, we can provide the necessary support and guidance to ensure that all rules are adhered to and that any disputes surrounding a party wall are settled fairly. We’re one of Sevenoaks’ leading party wall surveyors, focusing on providing a swift, fair, and detailed experience.
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Party Wall Services in Sevenoaks
As one of the leading Chartered Surveyors in southeast England, we offer many fantastic services to help clients with their property management, with our scope far exceeding party walls.
That said, we’re proud to be specialists in party wall issues and focus on solving any disputes and issuing Party Wall Awards so that building and regenerative work can be done on a plethora of properties. We go the extra mile and offer services that can aid you in all phases of the party wall process. Some of the areas we can help you with include:
As unbiased and impartial party wall surveyors in Sevenoaks, we can be hired by both parties involved in a dispute, being shared to reach an agreement. If either neighbour would prefer to have their own surveyor work exclusively for them, we can collaborate with external surveyors to get a fair and well-considered conclusion.
Party wall surveyors strictly follow the guidance within The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and work hard to ensure that the legislation is followed accurately. As a result, our duty lies in serving the act, helping us remain unbiased and fair for all.
Who are we?
Copeland Yussuf has been Chartered Surveyors for over a decade and are specialist party wall surveyors in Sevenoaks who have served the community for various years. We’ve issued various Party Wall Notices and awards, helping thousands through the process to get a fair and unbiased resolution to any party wall disputes.
We’ve partnered with various high-profile clients in the area, including building groups and councils, to provide all their surveying needs. We have a very high standard of work, only employing the best party wall surveyors in Sevenoaks to support our team. Committed to the finer detail, we know the housing and property market in Sevenoaks very well and are well-versed in dealing with many of the common problems and issues the area springs up.
Copeland Yussuf is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This ensures that we also follow the highest industry standards and set the benchmark for what effective property surveying should be.
What is a party wall?
Party walls are complicated structures to understand, so getting a party wall surveyor to identify one and its characteristics can be helpful. Simply put, a party wall is a boundary wall this overlaps across a boundary line, meaning that two or more property owners share it.
A typical example of a party wall is a wall used to divide a semi-detached home, where the wall straddles the line that divides both properties’ land. Party walls can also be known as Party Fence Walls. These specific types aren’t connected to a larger structure and are typically garden walls that divide outdoor spaces. For a wall to be a party fence wall, it must be a permanent structure, so wooden or plastic fences do not count.
The issue with party walls is that they have multiple types, each with specific rules. These are defined clearly in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. What you are allowed to do with one kind of party wall differs from another. Knowing the type that you have is difficult to determine on your own, making party wall surveyors useful. Knowing the kind of wall you have can make the process easier to follow.
As more than one person owns party walls, you need to get permission to work on it. To obtain this permission, you need to send a Party Wall Notice.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an extensive document that details all the rules and regulations surrounding party walls. Our party wall surveyors deeply understand the act, know what rules to enact, and can use this knowledge to help guide you through the party wall process.
Included in the act are things you’re not allowed to do to a party wall without getting permission from your neighbour. If you want to do any of the following, you’ll have to follow the details included in the act closely:
- 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
Fully understanding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can be complex, especially if this is the first time you’ve encountered a party wall. Thanks to our extensive knowledge, we can help you make better sense of your responsibilities and guide you through the process while settling any party wall disputes that may have arisen.
Step-by-Step Party Wall Procedure
If you want to complete work on a party wall, there’s a clear process and order of events that you need to follow to ensure that everything is above board. These steps are detailed in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, although your specific experience may differ depending on certain factors. Our party wall surveyors in Sevenoaks can assist no matter what stage of the process you’re in.
Individuals planning a party wall must notify their neighbours to start the process. This document lets your neighbour know what kind of work you have planned and lets them know your estimated timeframe as well as other details.
The more informative and accurate your Party Wall Notice, the better, as it allows your neighbour to get a clear picture of what to expect. We can help you draft the best party Wall Notice possible, ensuring it has all the required detail. This can make the notice more likely to be accepted, ensuring no delays to your work.
In addition, you can send many kinds of Party Wall Notices, and the type needed depends on the type of wall you have and what kind of work you’re looking to do. Getting in a party wall surveyor can ensure you pick the right one, helping prevent future problems.
Once a notice has been sent, it needs to be replied to. Once received, the work detailed in the notice can be accepted, amended by the neighbour, or declined entirely.
Work can commence on the wall without needing a surveyor or a Party Wall Award if accepted. If declined, a dispute will be started, and a surveyor will be required to evaluate the property and wall to determine what kind of work can be done, depending on the circumstances.
Understanding and responding to a Party Wall Notice correctly can be hard, so our party wall surveyors in Sevenoaks can help you better understand your rights and guide you towards the perfect response, helping you choose the most appropriate option.
If there’s a dispute, the only way to settle it is for a surveyor to issue a Party Wall Award. This document is a final ruling of what kind of work can happen. It’s influenced by many factors, including the surveyor’s findings when completing a property inspection and the guidance in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
A surveyor must be allocated to both parties when drafting and issuing an Award. A single surveyor can be shared between all individuals, or each can be elected to have their own surveyor if preferred.
The Party Wall Award is typically final and must be followed when received. That said, both property owners have an opportunity to reject this ruling. If either does, the case goes to court, where a county judge will rule over the final decision.
You should try to avoid this, as going to court can increase costs and delays, and it is only recommended if you’ve received assurances that the ruling will be in your favour.
Party Wall Surveyor Sevenoaks FAQs
When should I send a Party Wall Notice?
It would be best if you aimed to send a Party Wall Notice as early as possible. This is because it gives you enough time to get a response and deal with any disputes if one arises. You should send a Party Wall Notice at least a month before you plan the work, with more significant and sizeable projects needing more time.
Should I talk to my neighbour before sending a Party Wall Notice?
Try to talk to your neighbour about any planned work on a party wall before you send them an official notice. This stops them from feeling like they've gotten the notice out of the blue, and ensures that they're clued into the plans. Not having any communication before a notice can blindside them, making them feel like they are on the back foot, which could lead to a rejection being more likely.
How long do you have to respond to a Party Wall Notice?
When you receive a Party Wall Notice, you only have 14 days to respond. If you don't reply to a notice, it will automatically dissent, starting a party wall dispute, even if you didn't want one. This is why you should act fast if you ever receive one.
How do you pay for a party wall surveyor?
A party wall surveyor is paid at the end of the process when a Party Wall Award is issued. Usually, the individual who wants to complete work on the wall pays all the fees, as they benefit from the work.
The only exception is if the work has been required due to negligence from the neighbour. In this case, the surveyor will decide how much each person should pay.
What if an adjourning neighbour doesn't select a party wall surveyor?
You can select a surveyor on behalf of your neighbour if they don't select one themselves. You can issue them the same surveyor you use to keep prices low.
When won't I need a party wall surveyor?
You can complete work on your party wall without getting a surveyor to issue an award if your neighbour agrees to the work. Plus, if you're completing work that isn't covered in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, such as decoration work, you don't need a surveyor.
How much is a Sevenoaks party wall surveyor?
Many factors determine how much a Sevenoaks party wall surveyor costs. The time it takes to issue an award and the required work size play a role, as well as if your neighbour requests their own surveyor.
What are Schedules of Condition?
A Chartered Surveyor may complete a Schedule of Conditions when inspecting a home while issuing an award. This is where the condition of a structure is documented through detailed photographs, allowing you to keep a record of any damage or defects.
When did the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 start?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 started in 1666 after the Great Fire of London. It was first drafted to help stop the spread of fire between connected buildings but has now morphed into the legislation it is today.
The last time it was amended was in 1996 and implemented in 1997 when the definitions of a party wall and the required process were added.
What areas in Sevenoaks does the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 cover?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers all of England and Wales, meaning that no matter where you are in Sevenoaks, you have to adhere to the act.
Why choose our Party Wall surveyors in Sevenoaks?
We have unrivalled experience in party wall disputes in Sevenoaks, using the last decade and beyond to improve our skills and build a reputation as one of the best Chartered Surveyors in the area.
We have many fantastic reviews from our past clients and continue to have excellent relationships with various housing agencies and building groups in the area, demonstrating our quality and trustworthiness.
We can help you no matter where you are in the party wall process and provide swift, compassionate, and detailed service to ensure you have the best experience possible. Governed by RICS, we follow the best practices and can help you resolve any party wall issues fairly.