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  • FIRST POST
    • Richardhapton
    • By Richardhapton 16th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Richardhapton
    Is this a scam party wall
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 17, 9:26 AM
    Is this a scam party wall 16th Jul 17 at 9:26 AM
    I have received some speculative letters surrounding the party wall act as my neighbours are doing and extension. After doing some research Adele Bonham from bonham surveyors has been a director of two other party wall company's in the last five years Simon Bonham Limited and Phillips & Locke both are now dissolved companies but Phillips and Locke sent me a letter to looking at there website they trade as Surveys For London Ltd

    Can I trust any of these people?
    Last edited by Richardhapton; 16-07-2017 at 10:34 AM. Reason: Title not clear
Page 1
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th Jul 17, 10:35 AM
    • 24,914 Posts
    • 68,294 Thanks
    Doozergirl
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:35 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:35 AM
    I'd be more comfortable contacting a company directly if and when the time comes. Why should you trust those people just because they contact you? If you don't like what you see on Companies House, don't use them. There are plenty of reputable surveyors.

    There are stories of ambulance chasing type companies who charge extortionate fees, ask unecessary questions, racking up the hours on their fees as they go. Whilst this work is being carried out by your neighbours and the cost borne by them, there's no reason why you need a separate PWS straight from the off when your neighbours haven't even served notice yet.

    You have a choice as to whether you dissent at all when they do serve notice. You can also use the same PWS. It isn't rocket science and no neighbour is going to deliberately set out to cause damage.

    Ultimately, the PWA is to assess condition, agree the methods used, compensate you if building off a party wall that belongs to and was paid for by you and agree that any damage will be rectified. There's a lot of common sense involved, there doesn't have to be dispute.

    Is the extension to affect the party wall hugely?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Richardhapton
    • By Richardhapton 16th Jul 17, 10:45 AM
    • 3 Posts
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    Richardhapton
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:45 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:45 AM
    We don't even share a wall with a neighbour. But I do you want to protect my property from any damage that could be caused. Will my home insurance be enough?
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th Jul 17, 10:53 AM
    • 24,914 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:53 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jul 17, 10:53 AM
    You don't share a wall? How far is this extension from your house?
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Richardhapton
    • By Richardhapton 16th Jul 17, 11:22 AM
    • 3 Posts
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    Richardhapton
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 11:22 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Jul 17, 11:22 AM
    I don't know.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 16th Jul 17, 1:39 PM
    • 24,914 Posts
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    Doozergirl
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 1:39 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jul 17, 1:39 PM
    The Party Wall Act may not even apply!

    "I don't know" doesn't really allow me to advise any further.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Johnhowell
    • By Johnhowell 16th Jul 17, 6:29 PM
    • 609 Posts
    • 271 Thanks
    Johnhowell
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:29 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jul 17, 6:29 PM
    Party Wall Act may still apply if the proposed works affect your foundations - depends of depth of foundations, depth of proposed works, distance between foundations and therefore the angle of effect...


    Ask you neighbour if they have assigned a Party Wall Surveyor which can assess your property before and after. You have the right to engage your own Surveyor - not a cold call scammers - which your neighbour would have to cover the costs. There is guidance on Planning and Building Control websites for this scenario.


    Good luck.
    • Clive Woody
    • By Clive Woody 17th Jul 17, 10:18 AM
    • 4,444 Posts
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    Clive Woody
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:18 AM
    • #8
    • 17th Jul 17, 10:18 AM
    We had an extension built and the foundations were within a certain distance of our neighbours (we are both detached) so we needed a PWA. We went round to discuss this with them, showed them our plans and kept everything nice and friendly and made sure they were fully informed.

    I would avoid cold calling/mailing companies as they will charge your neighbours huge fees and as mentioned milk it for everything they can. At the end of the day you need to live next door to your neighbours so I would just talk with them and keep everything civil and ensure you are still "friends" when the build is finished. Worst case find our own surveyor who charges sensible fees.
    Rugby Union - The Greatest Game
    • cddc
    • By cddc 17th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    • 1,141 Posts
    • 1,315 Thanks
    cddc
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Jul 17, 4:57 PM
    Avoid these cold callers like the plague if you want to maintain any kind of relationship with your neighbours because they are out to fleece them.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 8th Dec 17, 2:37 PM
    • 12,143 Posts
    • 8,214 Thanks
    theonlywayisup
    SPAM
    Originally posted by Lacuna
    Erm I don't think so.
    • AndrewB84
    • By AndrewB84 10th Mar 18, 2:46 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    AndrewB84
    Hi all! Do not use these sorts of companies! in many cases they are not proper party wall Surveyors and ultimately it is down to the building owner to notify their adjoining owner of their proposals given there are strict time implications under the party wall act. They don!!!8217;t follow correct procedure under the party wall act, they simply undermine the process between neighbours creating higher fees and more importantly undermine
    the profession, look for faculty of party wall Surveyors or RICS accredited firms should you need any advice. I am a party wall Surveyor for a firm outside of London and this my blood boil!
    • Heroine007
    • By Heroine007 13th Mar 18, 8:46 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Heroine007
    From experience - Adele Bonham at Bonhams is a classic example of ambulance chasers/cold call scammers desperately scouting for work - who scaremonger homeowners into thinking that something terrible will happen to their home if their neighbour renovates. They sift through council websites searching for planning applications, and then write to adjoining neighbours claiming that they must force their neighbours [the building owner/renovator] to pay all surveyor costs for their property to be surveyed in case armaggedon occurs.

    Basically they fleece building owners/renovators into paying for their flawed services. They charge ridiculous, unnecessary fees and leave relationships between neighbours in tatters.

    Protocol is for the building owner/renovator to serve their neighbour [adjoining owner] with notice that they are about to renovate. Then ONE/JOINT surveyor can be used to check that plans are OK to renovate. However, Bonhams do not do that. They ensure they ruffle the feathers of the adjoining owner and serve notice to the building owner/renovator [when it should be the other way round e.g. the adjoining owner waits for building owner/renovator to serve notice of works], thus forcing their services on the building owner/renovator to use them if they wish. Since Bonhams are dubious - the building owner/renovator has no choice but to find their own trusted surveyor to protect themselves from invalid advice, which means they have to pay for TWO surveyors. Very costly, unfair and shows the loopholes in this act.

    Unfortunately the Party Wall Act 1996 has opened the flood gates for dubious surveyors like Bonhams who are not experts in Party Wall matters to take advantage of unsuspecting home owners. Adjoining home owners who do not get on with their neighbours [building owner/renovator] take advantage of this act to force their neighbour [building owner/renovator] to pay unnecessary fees for Party Wall surveys. The adjoining owner does not have to pay a penny for their home to be surveyed. The burden of cost falls on the building owner/renovator because s/he is having the work done. This act can also be used as an excuse to delay renovation start dates.

    They seriously cause strife between neighbours. And surveyors like Bonhams do not care because once they have fleeced the building owner/renovator - they are off searching for their next victim - leaving neighbours [adjoining owners and building owner/renovator] with a toxic relationship.

    As another post said on this thread: Avoid these cold callers like the plague if you want to maintain any kind of relationship with your neighbours because they are out to fleece them [fleece the building owner/renovator who is doing the work since they are unfortunately obliged to pay for all surveyor fees concerning Party Walls - their own and the adjoining owners].

    Instead, neighbours should reach a compromise that works for both sides by finding ONE/JOINT reliable surveyor who comes highly recommended to avoid unnecessary fees and bad relations.
    Last edited by Heroine007; 19-03-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    • Happy29
    • By Happy29 14th Mar 18, 7:35 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Happy29
    Help... I have stupidly instructed them!
    I hope someone can help as I have stupidly instructed them as I was not aware what this was.

    I am so stupid and going mad thinking about the ramifications.

    Can anyone advise what I can do now?
    Thanks
    • theGrinch
    • By theGrinch 15th Mar 18, 7:46 AM
    • 2,835 Posts
    • 681 Thanks
    theGrinch
    My neighbour had an extension and we had one too. Both needed PWA. We visited each other, looked at the plans and discussed it.

    We had architects draw it up, structural calculations and reputable builders. All open and in the light.

    All these PWA companies writing thrive when the fear of God is in you.
    "enough is a feast"...old Buddist proverb
    • teneighty
    • By teneighty 15th Mar 18, 9:33 AM
    • 1,121 Posts
    • 808 Thanks
    teneighty
    I hope someone can help as I have stupidly instructed them as I was not aware what this was.

    I am so stupid and going mad thinking about the ramifications.

    Can anyone advise what I can do now?
    Thanks
    Originally posted by Happy29
    Appointed them to do what? Are you the person doing the work (building owner) or the neighbour (adjoining owner)..

    What is the work? Does it actually fall under the Party Wall Act.

    Your best bet is to reveal that the works are not covered by the Party Wall Act or that your instruction to the surveyor is invalid.
    • Heroine007
    • By Heroine007 17th Mar 18, 5:39 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Heroine007
    I hope someone can help as I have stupidly instructed them as I was not aware what this was.

    I am so stupid and going mad thinking about the ramifications.

    Can anyone advise what I can do now?
    Thanks
    Originally posted by Happy29
    Regardless of what they might say - you do not have to use them even if they have been in touch and want to issue a notice letter to your neighbour on your behalf.

    You can unappoint them because if you are the adjoining owner - you should wait for the building owner/renovator neighbour to serve you notice... not the other way round. Until you have been served notice - how can they be appointed?

    Just say that you would rather start off the Party Wall process discussions [if there is a Party Wall matter] with your neighbour and take it from there. Your neighbour probably already has all the right people involved to renovate/start their work e.g. architect, structural engineer, surveyor. They are likely waiting to speak to you once they have planning permission in place before kick starting conversations. And if they were not aware of Party Wall matters - they will be now with your prompt.

    Plus to help your neighbour reduce their surveyor costs - if a Party Wall matter is on the cards, instruct a JOINT surveyor - find a trusted, reliable one that has great online reviews. Not a cold caller desperately scouting for work.

    And even if you are the building owner/renovator [and not the adjoining owner] - you do not have to use them. Best to find a reliable surveyor with great reviews.

    Main thing is to keep the relationship with your neighbour civil, open and constant since once the surveyor is gone - you have to live with them for years to come.
    Last edited by Heroine007; 17-03-2018 at 5:52 PM.
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