A party wall separates your home or garden from your neighbours. If you’re planning to undertake construction or renovation work that involves a party wall, it’s essential to understand the concept of party walls and the need for a party wall survey. A party wall survey is a crucial step in ensuring that your construction project complies with relevant legal requirements and respects the rights of both parties involved. This blog will explore what a party wall survey involves, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of its key components.
The party wall survey begins with an initial assessment by a qualified surveyor. They will examine the proposed project, review architectural plans, and assess the impact of the project on the shared wall or boundary. This assessment helps identify the scope and extent of the survey and determines the next steps.
Preparing the Party Wall Agreement
The surveyor’s primary aim is to prepare a legally binding document called the Party Wall Agreement or Party Wall Award. This document outlines the rights, obligations, and responsibilities of all parties involved in the proposed construction project. It typically includes details such as the scope of work, working hours, access requirements, and the resolution of disputes.
The surveyor will conduct site inspections to assess the condition of the party wall and surrounding areas before construction begins. They will document the existing state of the wall using photographs, measurements, and notes. This information serves as a reference point to determine any damage or changes that may occur during the construction process.
Schedule of Condition Report
A Schedule of a Condition report is an integral part of the party wall survey. It provides a detailed record of the condition of the neighbouring property and any relevant areas impacted by the building work. This report serves as evidence, protecting both parties by documenting the pre-existing condition of the property.
In the event any disputes or disagreements between the parties occur, the surveyor acts as a mediator to facilitate negotiations and find amicable solutions. They ensure that the rights and interests of both parties are taken into account and work towards reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.
Finalising the Party Wall Agreement:
Once all parties are happy with the terms and conditions outlined in the Party Wall Agreement, it is signed, and copies are provided to each party. This legally binding document ensures that all parties understand their rights and obligations throughout the construction process and provides a framework for resolving any potential disputes that may occur.
A party wall survey has a vital role in ensuring a smooth and legally compliant construction process when working on shared walls or boundaries. By understanding what a party wall survey entails, including initial assessments, preparing the Party Wall Agreement, site inspections, Schedule of Condition reports, negotiation of any resolutions, and finalising the agreement, you can navigate the construction project with confidence. Hiring a qualified and experienced party wall surveyor is crucial to ensure compliance with legal requirements, protect your rights, and maintain positive relationships with your neighbour throughout the building process.