Party Wall Act - Extortionate fees and ruins relations with neighbours
Still in shock over the £4300 bill from the party wall surveyors.
All was going well with our building plans, included a single storey extension next to the neighbour’s house on one side and underpinning and adding a foundation pad to our 1960s extension near the other neighbour’s side. All straight forward works wholly our land.
As per the government explanatory booklet I reached an agreement with the neighbours regarding the party wall. We agreed I would pay for a chartered surveyor to carry out a record of condition and ensure we made good any damage in return for their consent.
I asked our surveyor to send out the notices and then all went wrong…
The surveyor recommended they dissent and at the last minute both neighbours changed their minds, dissented and appointed their own surveyor.
The neighbours spent £3060 of our money on awards containing information such as: all works at building owners cost, minimise disruption, clear away dust, make good any damage and no excavation on neighbours land. The awards are of questionable value when the act already covers causing unnecessary inconvenience and making good any damage caused by the works. Not forgetting that the awards are limited to a tiny part of the building project, the party wall.
It cost more than drawing up our building plans and longer than obtaining planning permission.
It felt like having a divorce with the neighbours but still living next door.
It’s no wonder many building owners don’t serve the notices given it’s unlikely your neighbours will seek an injunction.
The Party Wall Act surely needs reforming.