Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law)
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A PARTY FOR SURVEYORS

Some brief but wry observations by Stephen Gold, ex-judge and author of Breaking Law, concluding with a nod to the latest party wall legal judgement which gives some clarification to the meaning of 'unnecessary inconvenience'.
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Why you should build on the line of junction | Dorian Burt Associates Limited

Why you should build on the line of junction | Dorian Burt Associates Limited | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
If you're planning a domestic extension and reviewing the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you might be thinking the best thing you can do is keep your new structure spaced away from the boundary, but it's not necessarily so.
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:
Good advice, simply explained for anyone building a rear or side extension and, in some circumstances, new build too.
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Introduction to party wall issues | Construction Blog

Introduction to party wall issues | Construction Blog | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
Building works and developments on or near a boundary between properties in differing ownerships provide an open invitation to numerous and much reported
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:
A well written article that comprehensively covers the notification of works and appointment of surveyors. Although it would take a party wall surveyor to spot the errors, it misdirects by omission in a few places, leastways, it would the public to whom it appears directed.
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Surveying Property: Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - It's my party and I'll comply if I want too (or so some think!)

Surveying Property: Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - It's my party and I'll comply if I want too (or so some think!) | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

Nothing new but on a domestic level might help put the Act in context for some bewildered home owners.

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What is a Third Surveyor

Are you undertaking Party Wall Works? Have you received a Party Wall Notice? This podcast will address the topic of Third Surveyors and the role they play in...
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

It is not normally our practice to curate content that promotes a particular firm of surveyors but this YouTube podcast is one of very few simple explanations of the role of a third surveyor. Part of a series on party wall matters. In our view the others are somewhat over-technical for anyone not already au fait with the Party Wall etc. Act.

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Gray v Elite Town Management Ltd

Party Wall etc. Act 1996 appeal and Part 7 claim arising from notifiable works. The case deals with: section 7(1); "unnecessary inconvenience"; the meaning of "surveyor"; severability of parts of invalid award; co-existing inconsistent awards

PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

Many thanks to Nick Isaac for publishing this County Court judgement on the Tanfield Chambers website.

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What a swell party? Party walls in practice | Withersworldwide

PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A neat little review of some important aspects of serving notice under the Act. Two slight challenges though.

 

1. The article says that surveyors do not have jurisdiction if notice was served after the works commenced. They do in respect of any uncompleted works notified and, if the adjoining owner chooses, the determination of the liability and quantum of any damage caused by unnotified works.

 

2. An adjoining owner can accept a defective notice as valid if he is so minded (and an appointed surveyor can estop his owner by doing so on his behalf if properly authorised in agency also). There is case law to support this.

 

 A surveyors jurisdiction stems from a dispute not from a notice per se.

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Property Boundaries (Resolution of Disputes) Bill (HL Bill 14)

PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A resurrection of the 2012 Bill which proposes that boundary disputes be determined by surveyors in the same manner as party wall matters. One significant difference however - this Bill seeks to limit surveyors to those who are RICS, RIBA or IStruct E members, most of whom have very little knowledge of boundaries. So, while the Bill is a good idea the restriction on who may deal with boundary matters is short sighted, in our view.

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PartyWallSurveyors.org's curator insight, June 11, 2015 8:52 AM

A resurrection of the 2012 Bill which proposes that boundary disputes be determined by surveyors in the same manner as party wall matters. One significant difference however - this Bill seeks to limit surveyors to those who are RICS, RIBA or IStruct E members, most of whom have very little knowledge of boundaries. So, while the Bill is a good idea the restriction on who may deal with boundary matters is short sighted, in our view.

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The issue of fees for a party wall

The issue of fees for a party wall | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
Sara Burr, Chair of The Pyramus and Thisbe Club warns of the potential under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 of escalating fees should a dispute arise
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A timely warning. Adjoining owners need to be aware that they should seriously consider rejecting any contractual conditions attached to a surveyors appointment that commit them to the payment of more fees than are awarded against the building owner. Beware also unsolicited letters from surveyors offering their services - many of these misrepresent the situation to an extent that is verging on fraudulent.

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PartyWallSurveyors.org's curator insight, May 9, 2015 6:17 AM

It's good to see fees coming under scrutiny as the issues Sara raises need a wider airing. Rapacious surveyors, more often than not acting for adjoining owners, are bringing the Act into disrepute and with no one governing their actions it seems to be spiralling out of control.

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Goldswain & Anor v Beltec Ltd (t/a BCS Consulting) & Anor [2015] EWHC 556 (TCC) (10 March 2015)

Goldswain & Anor v Beltec Ltd (t/a BCS Consulting) & Anor [2015] EWHC 556 (TCC) (10 March 2015) | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

How a fairly simple scheme to deepen the  basement of a semi-detached London house let to its total collapse and left the owners with a £290,000 bill after their insurers refused to accept any liability. All due to the contractor not carrying out the works in the sequence shown on the plans and ignoring the design requirement for temporary support.


The newspaper report below has dramatic photographs of the damage: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2997163/Couple-s-dream-home-collapsed-rubble-botched-basement-dig-sending-eight-months-pregnant-fiancee-early-labour.html

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PartyWallSurveyors.org's curator insight, April 3, 2015 5:30 AM

Thanks to @nickisaac_law  for the 'heads up' on this case and the following comment: "Not strictly a party wall case (at least in the sense that it wasn't the surveyors being criticised or sued), but a good example of the consequences of getting it wrong"

 

And to David Bowden for the following link with dramatic photos: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2997163/Couple-s-dream-home-collapsed-rubble-botched-basement-dig-sending-eight-months-pregnant-fiancee-early-labour.html

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How does the Party Wall Act affect commercial property? - Property News Magazine

How does the Party Wall Act affect commercial property? - Property News Magazine | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
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Over the Garden Fence - A quick look at the Party Wall Act.

Webinar held by CABE on 11 February 2015 providing an introduction to the Party Wall Act.
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A guide to The Party Wall Act - ORJ Solicitors LLP

A guide to The Party Wall Act - ORJ Solicitors LLP | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
Do you know what the Party Wall Act is? If you or your neighbours plan to undertake future building works (including repairs), please proceed with extreme caution!
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:
Not a guide to the Party Wall etc. Act despite the title and not particularly comprehensive but sound advice nonetheless. On a pedantic note, it is suggested you appoint a party wall surveyor before works have commenced. This is not possible as intent to carry out works does not constitute a dispute which is a pre-requisite of appointing a surveyor under the Act. What you can do is seek advice from a surveyor with knowledge of the Act, which is a prudent step, but not quite the same thing. Be aware also that legal advice taken before the relevant works have commenced may not be recoverable from your neighbour.
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The Party Wall etc. Act - Designing Buildings Wiki

The Party Wall etc. Act - Designing Buildings Wiki | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
An article by PartyWallSurveyors.org
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:
A detailed overview of the principle procedures. How the Act works in plain english. 
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Upward extensions in London - Consultations - GOV.UK

Upward extensions in London - Consultations - GOV.UK | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
We are seeking views on proposals to increase housing supply in London by building upwards while protecting open spaces and the green belt.
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

Having stopped (for the moment) trying to introduce planning legislation to restrict basement developments, the Government are looking to encourage adding a storey or two to existing houses - in London at least.

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Property Supply and Development Ltd v Verity

Property Supply and Development Ltd v Verity ,...
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A sorry tale of a problematic dispute over damage caused to an adjoining owner's property, multiple surveyors declaring themselves incapable of acting, and the court finding the subsequent appointment/selection of two surveyors to be invalid. Net result: a£15k award for damage in favour of the adjoining owner held to be null and void, his house remains damaged and he gets landed with a £10k bill for his own legal costs. A pyrrhic victory for the building owner who still has a liability under the Party Wall etc. Act for the damage he caused - a matter that has to be settled by appointed surveyors.

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What is a Party Wall Agreement? - HomeOwners Alliance

What is a Party Wall Agreement? - HomeOwners Alliance | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it

Some building works require a party wall notice or party wall award. All the facts about a party wall agreement and finding a party wall surveyor explained

PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A pretty good overview of the basics and although not 100% accurate in all respects and lacking technical detail, a good starting point for home owners. We'll forgive their use of the term party wall agreement rather than party wall award in the title.

 

The article omits the Pyramus & Thisbe Club's searchable database http://www.partywalls.org.uk/find_a_party_wall_professional from it's list of useful sources for anyone seeking a party wall surveyor.

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Your guide to the Party Wall Act | Property Division

Your guide to the Party Wall Act | Property Division | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
The Party Wall Act protects you and your neighbours during any home improvements. Failure to follow the rules could halt building work before it starts.
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A concise and well written summary of the basic processes but don't be lulled into a false sense of security. The Act is deceptive and its interpretation and application is far from straightforward. Complications can, and do, frequently arise. Be cautious and take professional advice.

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Party time | Lexology

Party time | Lexology | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
The party wall legislation has been with us for some years now. However, with development firmly back on the agenda, Katie Hogan gives us a timely…
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When Should Party Wall Notices be Served? | Peter Barry

When Should Party Wall Notices be Served? | Peter Barry | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
When Should Party Wall Notices be Served? Completing the party wall awards is often the last part of the jigsaw required to allow work to commence on site and the process which ...
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

Such very simple but oh so sound advice. Talk to your neighbours before serving a party wall notice.

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PartyWallSurveyors.org's curator insight, May 15, 2015 4:48 AM

Simple but oh so sound advice - talk to your neighbours before serving party wall notices

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Going underground – the pros and cons of basement conversions | Lexology

Going underground – the pros and cons of basement conversions | Lexology | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
The media has recently been awash with stories of contravertial super-basement conversions - we either love them (if we're the home-owner) or we hate…
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

With a build cost of £3,500 per sq.m. yielding a profit of up to £18,000 per sq.m. why wouldn't an owner go subterranean. 

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Party Walls & Party Wall Agreements, Guide for Property Developers

Party Walls & Party Wall Agreements, Guide for Property Developers | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
Property investment specialists for UK & overseas investment properties. Get expert advice on the best UK & overseas investment property opportunities.
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Duty of care owed to neighbouring landowners after wall collapse - Lexology (registration)

Duty of care owed to neighbouring landowners after wall collapse - Lexology (registration) | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
The Court of Appeal has held that property owners owed each other a duty of care in circumstances where a garden dividing wall had collapsed onto…
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

Strange but true. A garden wall built wholly on the land of one owner and supporting 2.7m of soil to a neighbours property after previous owners had raised the ground level of their garden by 1.5m, collapsed due additional snow load. Although not in shared ownership, and hence not a party fence wall, the the Court found that both neighbours,, had some liability for its reinstatement.

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PartyWallSurveyors.org's curator insight, March 15, 2015 2:42 PM

Strange but true. A garden wall built wholly on the land of one owner but retaining 2.7m of soil to the neighbours land, 1.5m of which had been added by the neighbour's predecessor in title , collapsed due additional snow load. Although not in shared ownership, and hence not a party fence wall, the the Court found that both the wall owner, into whose garden it fell, and the neighbour had joint liability.

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Let's have a Party! (wall agreement)

Let's have a Party! (wall agreement) | Party Walls: The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 - Interpretation & Application (Notices, Disputes, Surveyors and Case Law) | Scoop.it
You have your scheme, you get your planning permission. You specify your structure, stairs, means of escape, spread of flame, conservation of heat and power. You get your building regulations plans...
PartyWallSurveyors.org's insight:

A fairly light hearted,  if not entirely accurate, jog through some of the basics, sensibly advising  owners to seek guidance from someone who knows the Act because it's more complicated than it seems at first sight.

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