The Party Wall Consultancy provides expert professional assistance in the full range of services associated with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and neighbourly disputes.
We provide initial pre-notification advice to Building Owners by reviewing their proposals and identifying the type of notices that need to be served and the parties that need to be notified.
When appointed to prepare and serve notices, we obtain ownership information from Land Registry to ensure the correct Adjoining Owners are properly notified in accordance with section 20 of the Act.
We issue all notices with an explanatory covering letter so that the Adjoining Owner is made aware of the fact that they have received a statutory notice and there may be implications if ignored.
Where notice has been issued in accordance with sections 3 and 6 of the Act, and the Adjoining Owner does not respond within 14 days, a 'deemed dispute' will then arise. At this juncture we will write to the Adjoining Owner advising them that a dispute has arisen under the Act and requesting that they appoint a surveyor within 10 days. If the Adjoining Owner fails to appoint a surveyor, or provide consent to the notice, we will seek the Building Owner's instructions to appoint a surveyor on the Adjoining Owner's behalf in accordance with section 10(4) of the Act so that the process may continue.
We act for Building Owners and Adjoining Owners in accordance with section 10(1) of the Act once a dispute has arisen following service of notice. This will either be in the capacity of a jointly-appointed 'Agreed Surveyor' pursuant to section 10(1)(a) of the Act, or as a party-appointed surveyor, either as the 'Building Owner's Appointed Surveyor', or the 'Adjoining Owner's Appointed Surveyor', pursuant to section 10(1)(b) of the Act.
Our role as an appointed party wall surveyor will encompass the full due diligence process necessary to determine the dispute. This includes recording a Schedule of Condition to record the pre-existing condition of the Adjoining Owner's property, reviewing the lawfulness of the Building Owner's proposals and ultimately drafting and serving an Award to determine the dispute. The Award will enable the Building Owner to legally proceed with the notified works, but also protect the Adjoining Owner's position in the event of damage or loss. The Award will primarily deal with the time and manner of undertaking the works and may also deal with matters of access.
Our principal surveyor, James McAllister, is regularly selected as a Third Surveyor in accordance with section 10(1)(b) of the Act.
Our principal surveyor, James McAllister, regularly accepts appointments to act as an Expert Witness in party wall matters. This is most commonly in situations where a party wall Award is being appealed pursuant to section 10(17) of the Act, or where the parties have agreed to a stay in the appeal proceedings to seek to resolve the grounds of appeal through Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR").
The appointment as Expert Witness may be as a single-joint expert or as a party-appointed expert acting in compliance with Part 35 of the Civil Procedure Rules. In criminal matters, James McAllister will act as an Expert Witness in compliance with Part 19 of the Criminal Procedure Rules.
Mediation & Arbitration
Please see the dedicated page for our Mediation & Arbitration service in respect of Party Wall Award appeals.