Party Wall Agreements

I am in a process of renovating a mid-terrace Victorian House. We have all the planning permission but due to some miscommunication between myself, the builder and the architect, no party wall notice was served to next door and building work has started. As soon we knew of the error, we engaged with a surveyor. 
We’re now in the process of getting a party wall award as my neighbour has agreed to a ‘joint’ surveyor. 
My understanding is that the party wall award will only be relevant to the work that is unfinished and NOT to the bits of work already completed? He is saying that we need to refer to the work done before the party wall notice was served within the award - is this correct? He’s also been talking to my neighbours BEFORE he’s served the notice to them and I have a suspicion he’s talked them into dissenting but obviously I have no prove.  He’s also told my neighbour that she needs to dissent in order to get a party wall award as she is considering selling her house in the future to avoid any issues. 

Hoping there are professional people here who know about this stuff!


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Comments

  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,723
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    You don't need a party wall award to sell a house.  No one ever asks for that sort of thing. 

    The party wall award is valid for as long as the build, that's it.  

    I feel like you might be stuck between a rock and a hard place as if he's sweet talked your neighbour then you either go with him together or you end up paying for an additional one.  Pointless.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • mexican_dave
    mexican_dave Posts: 266
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    I attended a seminar on Party Wall law and was informed is full of pitfalls. These pitfalls are made worse by have 2 surveyors, one for each party, so appointing one joint surveyor is good. You must realise the surveyor must treat BOTH parties fairly, and give correct advice to each party separately. You might feel he is too close to your neighbour, but your neighbour might think the opposite! Don't look for a conspiracy here. Looks like you set-off on the "wrong foot", so maybe you will just have to suck it up.
  • Thanks both. I do get the feeling that we’ll have to roll with it…..

    Any thoughts about the bit of adding stuff already done into the award? Surely that shouldn’t be in there as the work was done before the party wall notice was served?
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,723
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    I'm inclined to agree but I'm not a PWS.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
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    What parts of your renovation will potentially affect your neighbouring wall?
    What's already been done? What still needs to be done?
  • We took down a chimney stack and some roofing but as far as I am aware this is now completed and the replacement tiles done. (we did get verbal agreement from our neighbour to do this but obviously this was not good enough)

    There is an out house that needs knocking down and the new wall underpinned and the wall affected is between myself and the neighbour.
  • Doozergirl
    Doozergirl Posts: 33,723
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    edited 29 January at 10:16PM
    So what is done and what is to do are completely unrelated? 

    Where did you find this person? 

    I'm veering towards telling him where to get off and certainly calling their bluff and telling them that they won't be getting paid for the chimney.  

     There is nothing your neighbour can do about the chimney so you're right, it's pointless. They can't hire anyone to do anything about it retrospectively and there's no point producing method statements and suchlike for something that is done, so what is the surveyor up to? 

    I was presuming that the works were somehow connected and it could be argued back somehow, but you're talking about different projects in different areas.  
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • Being completely new to this and the area, we asked around and his name came up…….

    We’re anxious about challenging him as we know he will give the final award and we have to ‘trust’ he’s being ‘impartial’ in all of this. If we disagree with his award then the only option left to us to challenge the decision in county court - not something we want to get into!

    However, we do need to ask why he wants all this information and the time involved in getting a method statement when the work has already been completed. Also maybe to say to him that building work already done should not form part of the party wall award.
  • GR54
    GR54 Posts: 4
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    Following the recent cases of 'Shah v Kyson and Power', understanding of Party Wall law has changed.  The mantra is now 'no Notice, no Act'.  In other words you retain all the rights you had to work on or near a boundary that existed before the 1996 Act  came into force.  Lord Justice Lewison, in the Court of Appeal, 2023, stated "developers remain free to exercise their common law rights”. 

    So perhaps there was no need to serve a Notice?
  • Rdwill
    Rdwill Posts: 214
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    I think if you don't serve a Party Wall Notice and then there is a subsequent claim because you did (or allegedly did) cause damage to your neighbours property, then your defence is going to be harmed by not serving a notice.

    I do not have much time for the Party Wall process or those masquerading as Party Wall Surveyors. Look back on my posts from May 2021 to see my grievance with the process.
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