How to manage the party wall process
Wednesday 10th November 2021
Carl O'Boyle BSc MRICS FCIOB MFPWS
1. Whether you like it or not your neighbour is affected by the notifiable works that you do. Early consultation pays off in the long term in ensuring a smooth running project
before the 'ambulance chasing letters' arrive!
2. Early appreciation of the impact that your proposed works will have on the neighbour will help to smooth the process when dealing with your neighbour. Not only should you look at your project from your perspective but from the perspective of how likely it is to impact your neighbour and how you can address their concerns.
At the end of the day there is no sense in building a beautiful Home and live in an environment where you are despised by the other neighbours.
3. Identifying the issues/concerns and explaining to your neighbour how you propose to deal with these to mitigate the impact on your neighbour's property, environment and lifestyle.
4. Such things as inviting yourself around to their property to see what the implications may be on their side and how you propose to deal with these.
5. Alleviating fears of damage by categorically stating that the schedule of condition will be carried out as a 'line in the sand' before any works commence.
6. Employing the services of an experienced and qualified party wall surveyor who will be able to suggest remedies for any issues identified.
7. Explaining that there will be a party wall award that will act as a mechanism for resolving any disputes without having to involve legal proceedings.
8. Explaining that a final inspection will be carried out to make sure that there has been no damage to your property and if there has been as a result of the works that there is a mechanism in place to make sure that you are properly compensated to put things right.
Advantages of engaging with your neighbour early even before the planning stage.
1. Engaging early with your neighbour can be useful for things such as agreeing to build your rear extension flank wall across the Boundary, this has the advantage of giving you more space if the neighbour uses it at a later date and in addition you get half your costs back which can be quite substantial.
2. Likewise; in building an attic conversion; you are entitled without your neighbour's permission to raise the full thickness of the party wall. It is always good to make your architect aware of this as again you end up with more space, half of your money back should the neighbour enclose at a later date and less disruption to your project if they do.