If you are planning a construction or renovation project in London, you will need to properly familiarise yourself with the Party Wall Act (1996) and its implications on your plans. It is common for property owners in London and the surrounding areas to find themselves struggling to manoeuvre through the complex party wall regulations. It doesn’t matter if you intend to start a whole new construction project, carry renovations, build a loft extension or even a home extension; for any kind of work that touches on a party or shared wall, you probably need to enlist the expertise of a party wall consultant.
In this article, we explore how party wall consultants in London can help you with construction or any other projects that involve shared walls, and what you need to look for as you hire these experts.
Understanding the party wall legislation
The Party Wall Act 1996 is the foundation upon which Party Wall regulations are built. The legislation clearly defines the rights and obligations of property owners executing construction projects that could affect adjacent properties. Party wall consultants in London can help in such situations and serve as mediators between property owners. These experts see to it that the project implementers comply with the Party Wall Act 1996 and address any grievances that could come up.
Situations that necessitate party wall consultants in London
You need to seek the expertise of a party wall consultant if your construction projects include works on or close to a party wall. Here are some of the situations when you’d need to hire these professionals:
- Building on the line of boundary: If you are building on the boundary line that separates your property and your neighbours’, you should consider hiring a party wall consultant to assist you get through the legal requirements.
- Demolishing or modifying a shared wall: When your project involves the demolition of or modifications that touch the party wall, it is necessary to appoint a party wall consultant. The expert facilitates communications and makes sure those involved adhere to the legal obligations.
- Excavating near neighbouring properties: Any excavations near a neighbour’s property that might have an impact on the party wall will necessitate enlisting the services of a party wall consultant, mostly to facilitate agreements between the concerned parties.
Roles of party wall consultants in London
These experts perform several roles including:
Preparing party wall notices
Among the primary responsibilities of party wall consultants in London is preparing and serving party wall notices. In essence, these formal documents bring about the concerned neighbour’s knowledge of the planned construction work and make a request for their consent.
Conducting condition surveys
Before starting a construction project, a party wall consultant should do a survey of the adjacent properties. The survey gives a picture of the properties’ baseline conditions, helping to deal with any disputes or claims of damage that could come up during or after the project implementation.
Mediating and resolving conflicts
If disputes arise, which could easily happen, party wall consultants in London take up the mediation role, facilitating communication between the involved parties. These experts aim at finding amicable and mutually agreeable solutions, minimising the chances of conflicts escalating.
Preparing party wall awards
Sometimes the parties may fail to reach a mutually agreeable solution, and the next course of action is for the party wall consultant to prepare a party wall award, which is simply a legally binding document. A party wall agreement defines each party’s rights and responsibilities and should include details such as access arrangements, working hours and compensation for any resultant damage.
Considerations when hiring party wall consultants in London
As you look for the best party wall consultants in London, you need to consider the following:
Qualifications and accreditation
To avoid hiring a quack masquerading as a party wall consultant, make sure the consultant you select for your project is a qualified and accredited professional. This means they are members of an organisation like the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors, and others. This guarantees you that the expert is keen on expertise in party wall matters as such organisations emphasise that.
Experience in London
You should look for a consultant with experience in London’s unique landscape. Such a professional will have what it takes to navigate the delicate issues of the city’s shared wall issues.
References and reviews
Check the expert’s track record by looking for references from people who have used these services previously and by reading reviews online.
When implementing any project that affects shared walls, you should consider hiring the best party wall consultants in London so they can handle the intricacies that arise from the Party Wall Act 1996.