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'.
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.
Good advice, simply explained for anyone building a rear or side extension and, in some circumstances, new build too.
Building works and developments on or near a boundary between properties in differing ownerships provide an open invitation to numerous and much reported
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.
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...
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.
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
Many thanks to Nick Isaac for publishing this County Court judgement on the Tanfield Chambers website.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
We are seeking views on proposals to increase housing supply in London by building upwards while protecting open spaces and the green belt.
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.
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.
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
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 Party Wall Act protects you and your neighbours during any home improvements. Failure to follow the rules could halt building work before it starts.
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.
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…
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.
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...
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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