Property and facility managers are most often affected by the provisions of the Party Wall Act in the context of the repair, maintenance or refurbishment of buildings where some of the work affects an existing boundary structure (section 2).
Section 2 (2) of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 authorises a variety of different categories of building operation to existing boundary structures, of which a party wall is only one. Nine other structure types i.e. party fence wall, party structure, external wall, boundary wall, etc. are referred to in this section.
For property managers the task of identifying structure type will not always be straightforward. Also, once the status of the boundary structure has been established, the next task will be to address the precise nature of the work itself to determine whether a particular situation requires a party structure notice to be served. This often involves pressing certain members of the design team for greater detail than they are used to providing at an early stage.
The task for the property manager is further complicated in that different rights are granted in respect of the different structure types referred to in section 2 (2).
An incorrect analysis of a particular situation will have serious consequences. A failure to serve notice, where required, will result in the commission of a trespass against an adjoining owner, whilst an unnecessary service will result in increased costs to the property owner and avoidable delays to the progress of the work. The service of an incorrect notice will have similar results.
To minimise these risks we would recommend early expert Party Wall advice every time.
Party Wall Surveyor Services
- Scott Surveying provides a thorough assessment of the status of the boundary structure affected by the proposed work and evaluates the need for the service of party structure notices on adjoining owners.
- We regularly work with project managers and/or their design team to address the party wall issues that have been identified, helping to produce the most appropriate design and construction method.
- Where building works are proposed which fall within the scope of the Act, we can institute the formal procedures of the Act by serving all relevant Party Wall notices.
- We can then continue to act for the building owner as his/her ‘appointed’ surveyor, steering you through the intricacies of the Act to ensure that your works are commenced as quickly as possible and with all necessary provisions in place. This can include preparing schedules of condition and agreeing awards.
- Although our core business is party wall and boundary matters we have a good general knowledge of architecture, interior space planning, engineering, building surveying and construction processes.