Party Wall Surveyors Brighton

As a city comprising various townhouses and terraced buildings, Brighton is full of properties with party walls. These are unique types of building structures with unique rules and regulations. These rules can make any construction or renovation work on them tricky, as you’ll need to follow a potentially complicated process. 

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Dealing with a party wall can be a significant problem without the right support or guidance. At Copeland Yussuf, we have a team of dedicated party wall surveyors and specialists in Brighton to help you with everything related to party walls. 

Our Chartered Surveyors know the regulations and due process surrounding party walls like clockwork and can ensure that you reach the right conclusion when attempting to work on a party wall. We’re Brighton’s leading party wall surveyors, offering our clients a swift, fair, and detailed experience. 

Party Wall Surveyors Brighton
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Our Brighton Party Wall Services

We offer many different services to help our clients in all aspects of property management, with our capabilities far exceeding party wall issues. 

Saying that, with many surveyors specialising in party walls in our books, we’re one of the best-equipped Chartered Surveyors to aid with party walls. Our main function is to help settle any party wall disputes; however, we also offer more bespoke services and can help at any stage of the party wall process. Our complete list of party wall services includes:

When enlisting us for any of the above services, we can provide a bespoke service to a single client or be hired to serve all involved in a party wall dispute. Each party member needs to be represented by a surveyor when going through the party wall process. Although all involved can use the same surveyor, you also have the option to select a separate provider. We can work with any external business to collaborate on our findings and award a detailed and well-considered final agreement. 

When working, our party wall surveyors in Brighton strictly adhere to the rules within The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, ensuring that it’s followed. This dedication to the act ensures that we’re always unbiased, allowing us to provide a fair service.

Who are we?

Copeland Yussuf has been a firm of Chartered Surveyors for over a decade and has served the Brighton community for years. Throughout our history, we’ve issued various Party Wall Notices and awards, supporting many people and businesses through the entire party wall process from start to finish.

We’ve worked with many clients in the Brighton and Hove area, aiding housing groups and even local councils with all their surveying requirements. Our past success in Brighton demonstrates our trustworthiness and quality, as we ensure that every client receives our trademark high standards. We have unmatched knowledge of the area and are equipped to deal with all the common surveying issues the city is known for. 

Copeland Yussuf is proudly regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This ensures we always follow the best industry standards and shows customers we’re a well-trusted, responsible brand.

What is a party wall?

Party walls are complex structures to understand, bringing them some challenges. In simple terms, a party wall is a boundary wall that goes over the boundary line into two or more plots of land. This means that the boundary wall is shared and belongs to both landowners. 

A typical example of a party wall in Brighton is a wall that divides properties in a row of terraced townhouses, where this wall straddles the boundary line that defines who’s land is who’s. Party Walls can also be isolated structures not connected to a building, such as walls that divide outdoor spaces. These are known as Party Fence Walls and must be permanent structures to be one. 

What makes party walls so complicated is that there are multiple types, and each kind has its own distinct rules, meaning that you have to deal with particular walls in different ways. Knowing the kind of party wall you have and the desired process surrounding it can be challenging, and getting it wrong can land you in trouble. That’s why it’s a good idea to use a party wall surveyor in Brighton to help you identify party walls and guide you through what needs to be done. 

As party walls are shared between two or more property owners, if you want to complete work on one, you need to obtain permission. This is done via sending a Party Wall Notice, the first step that kicks off the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a piece of crucial legislation that contains all the rules, procedures, and regulations surrounding party walls. It has all the definitions of party walls and is something that our party wall surveyors in Brighton deeply understand, using that knowledge to guide you through the process. 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 also includes all the possible actions and work you can do to a party wall where you need permission from your neighbour first. If you want to do any of the following to your party wall, you must adhere to the rules 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 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

Getting to grips with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can be complex as it contains many specialist terms that can be hard to understand for a layperson. As experienced Chartered Surveyors, we can use our extensive knowledge of the act to help you through the process, ensuring that you don’t put a step wrong while also reaching resolutions for any disputes.

Step-by-step Party Wall Process

To legally work on a party wall, there’s a specific process you need to follow. These steps are made clear in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, although depending on your situation, you may have a slightly different experience through these steps. Either way, our party wall surveyors in Brighton can assist no matter what stage of the process you’re in.

Step 1. Party Wall Notice

You must send your neighbour a Party Wall Notice to begin the party wall process. This document alerts your neighbour that you plan to complete work on the wall and includes details of the kind of work you want to do, as well as timescales. 

Ensuring that your Party Wall Notice is informative and accurate is vital. A better party Wall Notice will ensure your neighbour understands your proposal, making them more likely to accept the work. 

More importantly, an accurate Party Wall Notice prevents any future issues. You can send many types of Party Wall Notices, dictated by the type of work you want to do. You need to send the right kind for your situation; otherwise, it won’t be valid, jeopardising your work. To avoid any mistakes, party wall surveyors can help you draft a perfect Party Wall Notice and promptly deliver it to your neighbour.

Step 2. The Response

Once a Party Wall Notice has been sent, the recipient must respond before any work can begin. You can reply to a Party Wall Notice in three ways: either accept the work, propose some amendments and changes to the work, or flat-out refuse it. 

If a Party Wall Notice has been agreed to, work can begin on the wall with no delay as long as the work doesn’t go beyond the details included in the notice. If amendments have been suggested, the person who first sent the notice must decide if they want to do it. As they do the work to the party wall, they’ll have to pay for these amendments and extra work themselves. 

Of course, if a Party Wall Notice has been rejected, then work can’t commence. Instead, a dispute will start, where a surveyor must come to the property and award a Party Wall Award or agreement.

Step 3. Party Wall Award

To settle a dispute, a party wall surveyor must inspect and view the property, using their findings to draft and then issue a Party Wall Award. This document details what is allowed to be done to the party wall if anything at all. 

It can take a surveyor a few weeks to issue a Party Wall Award, and they may need access to both properties for their inspection. When giving an award, the surveyor will use the rules detailed in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to ensure a fair conclusion is reached. 

Each individual involved in a dispute can use the same surveyor or can elect to have their own bespoke one working for them. Whatever the choice, the individual proposing the party wall work usually pays all the surveying fees.

Step 4. Respond to the award

When a Party Wall Award or agreement is issued, it’s usually final and can’t be changed. That said, if either party feels it’s unjust or wrong, it can be rejected. This will take the party wall issues to county court, where a judge will decide on the right outcome. 

Going to court can be very expensive and cause delays to the building work, so only pursue this option if you’re confident you’ll win. 

Brighton Party Wall Surveyors FAQs

For a wall to be a party wall, it must be a permanent structure. This means that things like wooden or plastic fences cannot be a party walls even if they cross the boundary line. 

There's no such thing as a party wall within a block of flats. Instead, any structure such as a wall, floor or ceiling that divides different units within a block of flats is known as a party structure.

You should aim to send a party wall as soon as possible. This is to give you enough time to get a response from your neighbour and ensure that there's enough time to settle a dispute if one arises. It's best to send a notice a month before you plan to do the work, although you may want an even larger timeframe for bigger projects. 

You only have 14 days to respond to a Party Wall Notice. If you don't, the notice is automatically dissented, which starts the party wall dispute process. This short timeframe makes it very important to act quickly once you get a party wall notice. 

An adjourning neighbour has the right to choose their own party wall surveyor that the owner proposing work pays for. However, if they take too long to select their surveyor, the surveyor used for them can be chosen on their behalf. 

You don't need to get a party wall surveyor if your notice has been agreed to. In addition, if you're doing cosmetic or any other kind of work to a party wall that isn't covered by the act, you don't need to send a Party Wall Notice or even inform your neighbour.

The costs of a party wall surveyor will differ and depend on many factors, such as the scale of the surveying work and how long everything takes. Plus, if your neighbour has chosen to have their bespoke surveyor, then things can be even more expensive.

Schedules of Conditions are where a surveyor comes to your property to take photographs of any damage or issues with a specific structure. These photographs can then be used as evidence or support that work must be done to a party wall, helping with disputes.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has its origins just after the Great Fire of London, where it was created to help regulate and stop the spread of fire from connecting properties. 

The modern iteration of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 was created in 1996 and implemented in 1997, and this is where the definitions and rules around party walls were introduced.

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers all of England and Wales, meaning that no matter where your property is in Brighton, you must adhere to the act with no excuses.

Why choose our Brighton Party Wall Surveyors?

Copeland Yussuf is the premier Party Wall Surveyor in Brighton, offering the most experienced service in the area. We’ve honed our skills over the last decade and have years of past success to draw from to ensure we provide the best quality service possible. 

We’ve obtained a large selection of fantastic reviews from various clients, including individual property owners and larger organisations, showing that we can help in any situation and scope. 

We’re trustworthy and can help no matter what stage of the party wall process you’re in. We’re always sympathetic and compassionate to your situation, yet we use impartial and transparent guidance to help you know where you stand regarding your party wall issue.