Party Wall Consultancy
Why use A J Hodge Associates?
A J Hodge Associates provide technical party wall advice to building and adjoining owners. We know The Party Wall etc Act 1996 inside out. The act came into force on 1st July 1997 and we’ve been dealing with party walls since then and as a consequence give unrivalled service.
You can be assured that your project will be undertaken by a director who has encountered and overcome most of the problems and technicalities that you are ever likely to come across. This means that you will save considerable time, stress and money by getting things done right first time, every time.
Our principle director, Andrew Hodge is a member of the Pyramus & Thisbe club, the pre-eminent organisation for professionals specialising in Party Wall matters. The Club played a pivotal role in the framing of the present Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Our directors have acted as party wall surveyors for private individuals as well as blue chip companies such as McDonalds and Lloyds TSB. They have worked on small extensions and large commercial projects. To us the size doesn’t matter. Giving the best possible advice does!
The Act is a formal act of parliament and the consequences of not complying to the letter can be disastrous. Is it worth employing anyone with less experience? Give us a call for a free consultation!
We have now retained Andrew Hodge at A J Hodge Associates to act as our chosen Party Wall surveyor on all our projects. He has shown that he has tremendous knowledge of The Party Wall Act and is able to get on well with neighbours to avoid dispute. This has allowed us to progress our developments without delay and has undoubtedly saved us time and money.
- Party Wall Notices for Building and Adjoining Owners
- Party Wall Awards
- Schedules of Condition
We strive to maintain low overheads and are committed to retaining low fee levels for the exceptionally high level of service given. We know that our fees beat the competition and we offer a director led service to compete with junior levels offered by other firms.
We take a particularly proactive approach to party walls. Where some surveyors will send a letter to adjoining owners, we will try to make direct contact. By doing this adjoining owners will often agree to our joint appointment, rather than appointing their own surveyor. For a building owner, who would have to foot the bill for that additional surveyor, this approach can save them hundreds of pounds in fees. We’ve also been known to visit ‘out of hours’ if necessary. How many firms would do this?
Party Wall Issues
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides formal procedures for works undertaken to, or in close proximity to party walls. The Act is particularly relevant to residential extensions and loft conversions where properties often adjoin, but can be equally relevant to commercial property where new build or extensive refurbishment projects are undertaken. More often than not where building work is being carried out adjacent to neighbouring properties or even within a distance of 6m of a property, including its boundary walls The Act will come into play. Therefore we recommend that before carrying out any construction work the conditions are assessed to ensure that you do not fall foul of the Act and its obligations. In a similar vein we would recommend that where a neighbour or adjoining owner is carrying out construction work the circumstances are assessed to see whether the act is applicable and whether the neighbour should serve notice on you under the Act. If it is applicable, then as an adjoining owner you are entitled to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf and the fees for that surveyor would normally be picked up by the person carrying out the construction work. The technicalities can be bewildering but we provide specialist advice to both the individual/company wishing to undertake the work and those sharing that party wall to comply with the requirements and procedures laid down in legislation.
We are experienced Party Wall surveyors with detailed knowledge of the act and can provide you with comprehensive advice to guide you through the process. We can assist, whether we are acting on behalf of the Building Owner (person carrying out the work) or Adjoining Owner (neighbour affected by the works). We are able to serve the relevant Notices, undertake Schedules of Condition, draw up and publish Awards etc as well as explain the Act in layman’s terms.
If you are planning work which comes within the scope of the Act you must notify any affected adjoining owners. This should be in the form of a written notice and is served two months’ prior to commencement of the work in the case of work directly affecting the party wall, such as cutting into it to install a steel beam or roof flashings, or is served one month prior for excavation works within a distance of 6m where certain criteria apply. The notice gives adjoining owners the right to appoint a surveyor of their choice to help safeguard their property against damage. The building owner must generally bear the reasonable costs of both theirs and their neighbour’s surveyors unless it can be proved that the planned work will benefit both parties. The surveyors will prepare a document setting out the rights and responsibilities of the respective owners called a Party Wall Award – this is a legally binding document. As well as a schedule of condition of the adjoining property or party fence wall, the award will contain details of the planned works and guidelines on other matters such as permissible working hours and protective measures required etc.
The Adjoining Owner:
Assuming that a neighbour follows the correct procedures under the act, the first point at which you become aware of your neighbour’s plans may be when a formal written notice from their representative drops through your door. When you receive such a notice it can be unclear as to what rights you may have under the Act. You should seek advice before signing an acknowledgement form and waiving your legal rights. The notice should offer you the opportunity to appoint a surveyor to limit the risk of any problems occurring and A J Hodge Associates is well placed to advise you of your rights and the implications that any development may have upon your property. Your surveyor’s duties will include agreeing a schedule of the condition of your property with the building owner’s surveyor prior to the work starting and checking it upon completion. These records will be essential if a defect comes to light which may be attributable to the party wall work. The building owner must pay the reasonable costs of your surveyor in most circumstances.