Residential Building Surveys
and Party Wall Matters
Butler Surveying is an independent Chartered Building Surveying practice based in London and the surrounding home counties. We also cover Manchester, Yorkshire and East Anglia.
We are regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and members of the Faculty of Party wall Surveyors (FPWS), ensuring we meet the highest standards in the profession
Butler Surveying’s depth of knowledge, detailed focus, and comprehensive process focuses on our client’s needs
Our goal is to understand both the context and goals of the project in order to provide expert advice to our clients
Did you Know?
Who should I deal with regarding a party wall? by Mark Loveday December 9 2016/The Times
Q. We are building an infill extension at the back of our semi-detached house. The neighbouring house is divided into flats, one of which is tenanted. Our architect says we have to go through party wall procedures, but should we deal with the owner of the adjacent house, the flat owners or their tenants?
A. Works to (or near) a party wall are nowadays covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996. Before starting works to a party wall, party structure, external wall or certain chimneys and parapets, a landowner must go through the procedure set out in the act.This involves serving a party structure notice, under section 3 of the act, on the neighbouring property. This starts a process of negotiation or appointment of party wall surveyors.
A similar procedure applies to certain proposed excavations near the boundary under section 6 of the act. The requirement under sections 3(1) and 6(5) is to give a Party Wall Act notice to “any adjoining owner”. The meaning of “adjoining owner” is defined in section 20 of the act.It means any “occupier of land, buildings, storeys or rooms adjoining those of the building owner”.
An “owner” includes the freeholder of the neighbouring building (described as “a person in receipt of, or entitled to receive, the whole or part of the rents or profits of land”) and any “person in possession of land”.
However, the latter category specifically excludes mortgagees and any “tenant from year to year or for a lesser term”. This definition means that notice must be given to a long leaseholder of a flat, but not to any short-term tenant, guest or anyone else who happens to live at or occupy the property.You therefore need to serve a Party Wall Act notice on the freeholder of the adjacent property and on any long leaseholders of the flats, but you almost certainly do not have to serve a notice on any tenants.
The writer is a barrister with Tanfield Chambers.
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