Party Wall Surveyors Bromley

When completing building work on a property in Bromley, coming across a party wall can lead to a few snags and slow down the process. This is because party walls are unique structures surrounded by many rules and legislation you must follow.

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If this is your first time encountering a party wall, you may need help managing all these rules around it. This is why getting a party wall surveyor to help can be useful, as they can guide you through the process and lead you to a good outcome. 

At Copeland Yussuf, we’ve experienced Chartered Surveyors in Bromley that has vast experience helping all types of clients manage party walls and the process surrounding them. Whether you’re an adjourning neighbour of a party wall or the driving force behind the proposed work, we can help and use our knowledge of both Bromley and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to guide you through the process. 

In this guide

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Our Party Wall Survey Services in Bromley

As Chartered Surveyors in Bromley, we offer a broad spectrum of services to help your property management, and party wall surveying is only a small fraction of what we can do. 

However, as specialist party wall surveyors in the area, we’re one of the best options for all things party wall related. We can help you with any part of the process, with our leading service focusing on resolving party wall disputes and issuing Party Wall Awards. Our complete list of party wall services includes:

Our services can be hired by any individual involved in a party wall dispute. We can either serve as a dedicated party wall surveyor for both parties simultaneously or help one owner and work alongside another surveyor selected by the adjourning neighbour. 

When hired, our priority is to follow The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, using the rules and guidance in that legislation to guide our decisions. This means we’re unbiased and balanced in our approach and final ruling.

Who are we?

Copeland Yussuf is a leading Chartered Surveyor in Bromley and has served the local area for years. We’ve spent the last decade issuing Party Wall Awards and Notices, helping property owners manage disputes and ensuring they can complete the work they require on a party wall. 

We’ve partnered with various high-profile businesses and housing groups in the Bromley area, being chosen as their dedicated chartered and party wall surveyors. This showcases our quality, trustworthiness and dedication to reaching the best possible outcome for all involved in the party wall process. 

All our surveyors and team members have an unrivalled knowledge of the Bromley property market and know the party wall process extensively, meaning that we can offer an excellent service to you. We work fast and ensure all our created documents and legislation are of the highest quality, minimising the risk of delays for your building project. 

Copeland Yussuf is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). This means that we strictly follow the best practices and industry standards, so all our clients can fully trust and get behind our process. 

What is a party wall?

A party wall is a boundary wall that two or more owners share. Unlike regular boundary walls, party walls cross over the boundary line dividing properties, meaning that they’re owned by both owners collectively. An excellent example of where a boundary wall can appear is in terraced houses, which could be the walls that divide each property. 

In addition to that, you can also get Party Fence Walls. These walls are not connected to a building and are usually garden walls segregating outdoor spaces. These have to be permanent structures; wooden fences do not count. 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 clearly defines a party wall and details the various types. These different types and classifications have different rules and things you can do to the wall, and it can be hard to know what kind of party wall you have. This is where our party wall surveyors in Bromley come in, as we can identify the specifics of your party wall and guide you on what you’re eligible to do. 

As two or more people own party walls, you must obtain permission from the other owner(s) before you can do any work on them. To get this permission, you need to send a Party Wall Notice to which they can respond. This rule is included in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and begins the process. 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 dictates what owners can do to a party wall and is legislation that we follow closely at Copeland Yussuf. Last amended in 1997, all the rules and processes that must be followed are included in the act, as well as all the building work that is governed by the act. 

Our party wall surveyors in Bromley have an innate understanding of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and utilise their extensive knowledge to offer unparalleled guidance for your party wall dispute.

If you want to do any of the following to a party wall, you need to adhere to the rules detailed in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996: 

  • The destruction or removal, even partial, of a party wall 
  • Repairing or rebuilding a party wall 
  • The addition of ant extensions or buildings atop or using the party wall
  • Changes to the thickness of the party wall 
  • Reinforcement of the  foundations of the party wall, also called underpinning
  • Excavation or foundation work on or near the party wall 
  • Adding damp-proofing to the party wall 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can be a rigid document to understand fully. We use our knowledge of the act to help you deal with the legislation and its repercussions so that you don’t have to.

Step-by-Step Party Wall Procedure

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 contains precise instructions for the steps you need to follow to complete the covered work on a party wall. Your bespoke experience with the process may differ depending on your specific type of party wall and how your neighbour responds to your Party Wall Notice. 

Our party wall surveyors in Bromley can assist at any point in this process or guide you from step one to the conclusion.

Step 1. Create and send a Party Wall Notice

To start, the individual planning to work on a party wall must send a Party Wall Notice to their neighbour. This document contains all the details about what you want to do, the proposed timescale, and any other vital information, allowing your neighbour to assess the work to be done properly. 

You can send different kinds of notices, each for a specific situation, so you must choose the right one. If you get it wrong or create a notice that isn’t detailed enough, it may not be valid. 

Sending a well-structured and detailed notice increases the likelihood of it getting accepted. We understand that here at Copeland Yussuf, so we can help you create and send the best notice possible.

Step 2. The Party Wall Notice response

Once delivered, the notice needs to be responded to. If you’ve received a notice, you have three options: accept the work, send back a revised counter notice, or disagree with the work. 

Interpreting a Party Wall Notice can be challenging, and knowing the ideal response for your situation and wants can be tricky. Party wall surveyors like us can help you better understand the notice, ensuring you choose the right response. 

Work can start on the wall if a Party Wall Notice is accepted. If not, a surveyor must issue a Party Wall Award. 

Step 3. Party Wall Award

When there’s a dispute, a party wall surveyor will assess the property and wall, conducting a thorough inspection to help them determine the best and fair outcome per the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. 

Once all the information is gathered, a Party Wall Award can be issued. This document gives strict permission on what kind of work is allowed, if any, and is a final blueprint that needs to be followed. A single party wall surveyor can act for both parties when evaluating the party wall, or each owner can have a unique surveyor who colludes their findings to end up with a final result. 

Step 4. Respond to the Award

When a Party Wall Award is issued, both parties can dispute it. This takes the entire party wall disagreement to county court, where a judge will give a final ruling. It’s best to avoid a party wall dispute escalating to this stage, as it can be expensive and cause a long delay. 

Party Wall Surveyor Bromley FAQs

When sending a Party Wall Notice, there are three main types that you can send, all depending on the kind of wall you have and what you want to do to it. 

The first is a line of junction notice. This is sent when there are no buildings on the property yet and is used to determine where a boundary or party wall will be placed. Another type of notice is a party structure notice. This is sent when you want to change an existing party wall. 

The final type of notice is an adjacent excavation notice. This is sent if excavation is being done on or near the party line.

Everyone who receives a Party Wall Notice has 14 days to respond. After this time, if no response is given, the notice is automatically dissented, causing a dispute that a party wall surveyor needs to resolve. If you've received a party wall notice, don't delay. 

Usually, the individual wanting to work on the party wall pays the party wall surveyor fees. This is because they're the person set to benefit from the work. The only exception is if the wall needs work done to it because of negligence by the adjourning neighbour. In this case, they will also have to contribute to the payment, with the surveyor dictating how much. 

If your work doesn't interfere with the party wall, you're free to complete building work without needing to send a notice. However, if you're completing excavation or foundational work within three meters of the party wall, you must send a notice and get permission to complete work in this area. 

Property owners don't need to have their own surveyor acting on their behalf. Instead, a party wall surveyor can be shared between all involved. This is a good option as the party wall surveyor is impartial and won't act with any bias, as their primary function is ensuring the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is followed.

You don't need to get a party wall surveyor to settle a dispute if your adjourning neighbour has agreed to your Party Wall Notice. In this situation, you can start work if it follows what was included in the notice. 

The amount a Bromley party wall surveyor costs will differ depending on the situation. It will cost more if the dispute takes a long time to settle, and you may have to pay more if multiple surveyors are used instead of one. Another thing to consider is legal fees if the dispute get's taken to court, which can be expensive. 

To aid with drafting a Party Wall Award, a surveyor can create a Schedule of Conditions. This includes photographic evidence of a property's current condition and looks at things like walls, floors and ceilings, detailing any damage or defects. 

This can also be used before you send a Party Wall Notice to justify to your neighbour why the work needs to be done. 

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 dates back to 1666, just after the Great Fire of London. It was put in place to limit the future spread of fire between connected properties. 

The current legislation was introduced in 1996, and it is this version where all the guidance and definitions come from.  

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers all of Bromley and the areas near it. The legislation spans all of England and Wales, so those in Bromley must adhere to it, no matter the situation. 

Why choose Copeland Yussuf in Bromley?

Based in Bromley, our dedicated party wall surveyors know the area well and have extensive experience helping past clients settle party wall disputes and reach fair conclusions. 

We’re trusted by many local housing groups and even councils within Bromley and the surrounding area, demonstrating our quality and commitment to accurate and detailed surveying. 

Copeland Yussuf has spent the last decade and more honing our craft, using only the best surveyors to ensure all involved in the party wall process have a good experience and reach a conclusion that suits everyone.