A party wall refers to a boundary separating you and your neighbour. These are common in semi-detached or terraced houses. Garden walls can also be party walls when they are built over a boundary line.
How do I know if I need a Party Wall Surveyor?
This depends on the complexity of your proposed project with regard to the party wall and your neighbours’ compliance. In some cases, you may not require a surveyor. To help you answer this question, we will outline some considerations when gaining party wall consent.
Advantages of Involving a Surveyor
- Ensures legal compliance
- Expert knowledge and experience
- Impartial mediation
- Expert assessment and documentation
Gaining Consent from your Neighbour
The initial step is to serve notice to your neighbour. Typically, this is done via a letter or email. It is recommended to have a conversation with your neighbours first before a formal notice so they are not surprised. Your neighbour will then have 2 weeks to respond. This reply will then influence your next steps.
If your neighbour gives written permission for building work to start or if the project is small/simple then it is often necessary to hire a surveyor. However, you will still be required to repair any damages if they do occur during the project. It is recommended to take photos and written notes on the condition before work is started. This will help resolve any potential future issues. Surveyor can also be appointed for peace of mind.
On the other hand, if your neighbour does not reply within 2 weeks or does not give permission, a party wall surveyor is necessary.
To find out what a party wall survey includes, check out our article on this.
Process of Gaining a Party Wall Assessment
- Initial Assessment
- Preparing the Party Wall Agreement
- Site Inspections
- Schedule of Condition Report
- Negotiating Resolutions
- Finalising the Party Wall Agreement
Hiring a surveyor for a party wall agreement is not always necessary but their involvement has many advantages and ensures a much smoother process. Their expert knowledge and experience are important in safeguarding your rights and interests as well as your neighbours. A surveyor makes working out the complexities of party wall matters easy, giving you confidence and ensuring a successful construction project whilst maintaining a positive relationship with your neighbour.