Party Wall Surveyor Tunbridge Wells
Party walls are a unique building structure with specific rules that detail what you can and can’t do with them. As a result of them technically being walls with shared ownership between two or more property owners, it can be tricky to deal with them. Due process needs to be followed, but it can be hard to know where to start if you’ve never encountered them.
For help with Party Wall in Tunbridge Wells, please email or call our team.
At Copeland Yussuf, we can help you deal with all party wall issues. We have a team of fantastic party wall surveyors in Tunbridge Wells, all with the required experience to give you the support you need. As Chartered Surveyors, we can help resolve party wall disputes, issue Party Wall Awards, send Party Wall Notices, and complete property inspections to assist you.
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Our Party Wall Services in Tunbridge Wells
As the most respected Chartered Surveyor in the area, we offer many services to our Tunbridge Wells clientele and can help with far more than just party wall issues. Saying that, we are specialists regarding party walls and are proud to be able to offer a whole suite of services to help you through the party wall process.
As surveyors, our main priority is settling disputes between neighbours about a party wall, and issuing agreements and awards. We also go beyond this and can help in other aspects of the process, regardless of if you’re the driving force behind proposed work to a party wall or the adjourning neighbour. Our services include:
Although we can be hired by both party wall owners or just one, our service is always unbiased and fair. We won’t favour a single individual over the other; instead, our duty as party wall surveyors in Tunbridge Wells is to ensure that the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is followed thoroughly. This allows us to provide quality support for all property owners involved. That said, we can also work alongside other surveyors if either individual elects to have a separate representative.
Either way, we work hard to ensure that all legislation is appropriately adhered to and that everything remains fair according to The Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Who are we?
Copeland Yussuf has been serving the Tunbridge Wells community for over a decade. We are leading Chartered Surveyors equipped to deal with all kinds of property issues, including party walls. We have helped settle thousands of party wall disputes in and around the area, drawing on this experience to ensure we provide the best service possible.
We’ve been the trusted partners of various clients in the area, including housing groups and councils, which showcases our high standard and reputation. We only hire the best party wall surveyors in Tunbridge Wells, and are focused on giving you the finer details to ensure your experience dealing with a party wall is the best it can be.
We’ve long been regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors here at Copeland Yussuf. Being part of RICS means that we follow the best practices in the industry and can be trusted to deliver fantastic surveying work for your property. We set the benchmark in the Tunbridge Wells area.
What is a party wall?
The definition of a party wall is clearly defined in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Generally, a party wall is a specific type of boundary wall that crosses the boundary line into multiple properties. This means that all neighbours where the wall crosses over collectively own the party wall.
An excellent example of a party wall is a semi-detached house with a dividing wall separating two properties. This wall can often straddle the boundary line, making it a party wall.
There are multiple types of party walls, including Party Fence Walls that aren’t attached to a larger structure. These are usually garden walls that divide outdoor spaces but can’t be wooden or plastic fences. Each type of party wall has its own rules about what you can do and the process you need to follow if you want to work on it. Knowing what rules to follow can be tricky without the aid of a surveyor, which is why using Copeland Yussuf is so valuable.
Using a party wall surveyor in Tunbridge Wells to help you identify the specifics of your wall can help lead to a smoother process. Regardless, for you to be able to do construction work on a party wall, you need permission from your neighbour. To do this, you must send a Party Wall Notice, per the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996
As Chartered Surveyors specialising in party walls, we closely follow the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. This is a piece of legislation that includes all the rules you need to adhere to when working on a party wall. It also details what type of work is covered in the act.
Thanks to our experience, our party wall surveyors in Tunbridge Wells know the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 super well, meaning we can help you through the process. The following are some of the things that the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 governs:
- Removing part or all of the party wall
- Repairing a party wall or rebuilding one
- Adding extensions on or that connect to the party wall
- Changing the thickness of the party wall
- Adding underpinning to a party wall
- Excavating near or under the party wall
- Adding any damp-proofing to the party wall
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is filled with all types of jargon, making it hard to understand it. As party wall experts, we can help you decipher the act and use our knowledge to suggest the best steps for you to follow.
The Party Wall Process
When following the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, an overarching process must be followed for things to be done correctly. Although clearly defined, your progress through the process may change depending on certain factors based on the size of the work needed and how your neighbour responds.
If you want to do any work on a party wall, you must first send a Party Wall Notice. Doing so informs your neighbour about what you want to do and should include details such as timescales and other specifics.
Creating and sending the best Party Wall Notice possible is essential, as it increases the likelihood of it getting accepted. There are many types of notices you can send, depending on the wall and the type of work you want to do. A party wall surveyor in Tunbridge Wells can help you send the right notice and guide you in what to include to make it foolproof.
Once you’ve sent a Party Wall Notice, it needs to be responded to by the recipient. If you’ve received a Party Wall Notice, you have 14 days to respond to it, according to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. When replying, you can either agree to the work, suggest amendments and additional work to be done as well as this work, or dissent the notice, which is where you don’t agree to the work.
If a Party Wall Notice has been agreed to, work can start on the wall without any issue, helping you stick to your schedule. If it’s dissented, it starts a party wall dispute that a surveyor must resolve.
Knowing the correct response to a Party Wall Notice can be difficult, and understanding its contents can also be problematic. Using a party wall surveyor in Tunbridge wells can help you better understand the proposed work, and we can also help you make the right choice with your response.
If there’s a dispute, a party wall surveyor will be required to visit potentially both properties to inspect the party wall and analyse the proposal to figure out what can be done to the wall. A surveyor will use the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to help influence their findings. After careful and detailed consideration, the party wall surveyor can issue a Party Wall Award.
This document is a guideline of what work is permitted on the wall and must be followed precisely to ensure no future issues.
To get a Party Wall Award, all disputing property owners must be represented by a surveyor. A single surveyor can represent all owners and be shared between them, or each party can elect to have their bespoke surveyor.
Although the Party Wall Award issued by a surveyor is final, there is a window for it to be disputed if either party disagrees with the result. If fought, the case goes to county court, where a judge will finalise what can be done to the specific party wall.
Try and avoid going to court, as this can be very expensive and time-consuming. You should only consider it if you’re certain you’ll get a favourable ruling.
Party Wall Tunbridge Wells FAQs
What happens if I don't send a Party Wall Notice?
If you fail to send a Party Wall Notice and start working on a party wall, you can get in trouble. Without the document to defend yourself, your neighbour can claim that you have damaged their property, leading to you needing to pay a fair bit of money.
In addition, your neighbour can also take you to court, where you'll likely lose the case and have to pay even more damages.
Should I talk to my neighbour before sending a Party Wall Notice?
A Party Wall Notice should not be the first time your neighbour hears about your proposed work. This is because a notice can be alarming and catch them unaware, making them feel unprepared and panicked, making them more likely to reject the notice.
By talking to your neighbour beforehand, you can ensure they're in the know and get their thoughts about the work, making them feel part of the process.
How long do you have to respond to a Party Wall Notice?
You only have 14 days to reply to a Party Wall Notice from the day it was delivered. This means that you need to act fast to determine your response. If you don't reply in time, you'll automatically dissent from the request, leading to a party wall dispute that can only be resolved with a Party Wall Award.
How do you pay for a party wall surveyor?
Usually, the individual wanting to do the work pays for the party wall surveyor, and payments are made at the end of the process. This is because the person doing the work stands to benefit the most because of it.
Only if the work has been required because of the wall falling into disrepair due to negligence does the neighbour have to contribute. The party wall surveyor will dictate the total amount.
What if an adjourning neighbour doesn't select a party wall surveyor?
Each party member needs to have a party wall surveyor represent them. If an adjourning neighbour fails to appoint one themselves, the other party can choose for them. Usually, they can select the same surveyor they're using or decide to have a different one.
When won't I need a party wall surveyor?
You don't need a party wall surveyor if your Party Wall Notice has been agreed to. If this happens, you can start working immediately, as long as your work is detailed in the notice.
You also don't need a surveyor if you're doing work that's not covered in the Party Wall Notice, such as decoration work.
How much is a party wall surveyor?
The amount you must pay for a party wall surveyor will depend on many factors. For example, the time it takes to reach a Party Wall Agreement can influence the price. If you've used a surveyor to help you draft a Party Wall Notice, you’ll have to pay more too.
What are Schedules of Condition?
A Schedule of Conditions is a service where a Chartered Surveyor will take pictures to document the current condition of a property and its vital parts. This ensures that a record is in place and can help detail any defects or issues that need fixing when working on a party wall.
When did the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 start?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 started in 1666 but was very different from what it is like today. Back then, it was introduced to help stop fires from spreading between connecting properties and was heavily influenced by the Great Fire of London.
Its current iteration was implemented in 1997, where defined processes and rules were introduced to simplify things for shared owners of party walls.
What areas in Tunbridge Wells does the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 cover?
The entire area of Tunbridge Wells, as well as surrounding counties and boroughs, are covered by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. The act is nationwide and covers all of Wales and England. This means no matter where you are in Tunbridge Wells; you must adhere to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Why choose our Party Wall surveyors in Tunbridge Wells?
Our Chartered Surveyors in Tunbridge Wells have extensive experience dealing with party wall issues and, over the last decade, have helped countless clients resolve issues. Over the years, our staff has grown only to include the best party wall surveyors in Tunbridge Wells, ensuring that we’re accurate, compassionate, and helpful in every way.
We have many great reviews from our past clients, with them praising our attention to detail and commitment to every project. We can help you no matter the stage of the party wall process you’re at, working tirelessly to give you the best experience possible.