The 6 Stages
The Party Wall Process can be broken down into 6 stages.
On this page we go over the stages and include a rough estimate of the costs incurred at each stage.
Stage One: Confirm Facts
It’s vital that key facts are confirmed before issuing notices. I will:
1. Consult any required planning permissions, building control reports and your architectural, design, structural engineers and any building contractors on the plans.
2. Undertake searches to confirm and discover neighbouring owners who are engaged by The Act (known in law as “Adjoining Owners”), including freeholders, relevant leaseholders and those holding other qualifying interests.
3. Review and confirm facts with you, and provide any reviewed estimate of the likely costs of proceeding toissue notices.
NB: If you do not wish to proceed with the works at this stage, you can request for me to resign from this process.
Stage 2: Serve Notices and Receive Replies
The exact number of notices and letters will not be confirmed until after Stage 1.
1. Draft and serve all required notices on Adjoining Owners. This information will state:
i. that you intend to appoint Neighbourly Walls as a party wall surveyor should an adjoining owner dissent to the works
ii. their various options, including to:
- consent to the works
- appoint Neighbourly Walls as mediator and/or Agreed Surveyor
- search and appoint their own choice of surveyor
- instruct Neighbourly Walls to conduct a Schedule of Condition.
2. If any of the Adjoining Owners do not reply to the first set of notices within the statutory time frames, they will be served the required formal requests for them to appoint a surveyor within 10 days.
3. Receive and review of all replies to notices, including any consents to works, appointments as mediator and/or Agreed Surveyor or instructionsto provide a Schedule of Condition and draft a report back to you.
Stage 3: Appointment of Surveyors
1. Unless all of the Adjoining Owners provide written consent to the works, the Building Owner will be required by law to appoint a surveyor. Neighbourly Walls may be now be appointed as a party wall surveyor in accordance with Neighbourly Walls’ Letter of Engagement, the Notices and Section 10(1) of the Act.
NB: Once appointed Section 10(2) of the Party Wall Act does not allow appointment as Party Wall Surveyor to be rescinded by any party and Neighbourly Walls can only withdraw in very limited and specific circumstances.
2. The Adjoining Owners may agree that Neighbourly Walls can act as Agreed Surveyor for this process.
This generally reduces total costs, as there is no need to pay for the services of the additional surveyors, and it will not be necessary to appoint a Third Surveyor under The Act.
Appointing Neighbourly Walls as evaluative mediators as part of the process can give neighbours and building owners greater control over the process and their relationship.
3. If any of the Adjoining Owners appoint another surveyor, Neighbourly Walls will work collaboratively with them to appoint a Third Surveyor as required by The Act, gain access to conduct any Schedule of Condition, draft and agree the award with other Appointed Surveyors and deal with any other matters arising with regard to The Act.
Please appreciate that the more surveyors appointed to the process, the more delay and costs are likely to result.
Stage 4: Schedule of Condition (Optional)
1. A Schedule of Condition is a report of Adjoining Owner’s buildings and structures.
This is not mandated by The Act, but it is standard practise and strongly advisable whether Adjoining Owners consent to the works or not.
It may even take place before Stage 3.
Such reports can be determinative regarding any accusations that any works have caused damage to Adjoining Owners’ property and identify any idiosyncrasies which should be considered in the conduct of the works.
2. Subject to Adjoining Owners’ consents, when preparing a Schedule of Condition Neighbourly Walls will:
i. request consent to enter to Adjoining Owners’ properties
ii. attend the sites
iii. inspect internal (with permission) and external party walls engaged by the works and The Act
iv. record high definition video and still photographs of relevant parts of Adjoining Owners’ structures
v. note any defects and the general condition of relevant parts of Adjoining Owners’ structures
vi. draft a report
vii. submit the report to both parties.
Stage 5: Prepare and Finalise Formal Awards
1. Stage 1, 2 and 4 enable the most efficient drafting and finalising of party wall awards. Neighbourly Walls will draft required awards either as Agreed Surveyor or one of the Appointed Surveyors.
2. Neighbourly Walls will work with any other Appointed Surveyors to finalise awards.
Stage 6: Additional Duties
In rare instances, Agreed or Appointed Surveyors may have further duties after issuing Awards, such as agreeing variations of Awards, interpretation of the Awards for any party involved in the works, giving further detail on the Schedule of Condition and approaching the Third Surveyor.
Neighbourly Walls hourly rate will apply and a time and fee estimate can be provided in response to the circumstances at the time.