Watson Woods Partnership

Party Wall Surveyors

We use a Phantom 4 Drone to undertake surveys of parts of buildings that are not easily accessible by conventional means .

There are many  organisations and web sites offering information &  advice on the Party Wall Act but these GENERALLY deal with the dispute resolution aspects of the Act by a Party Wall Award. There is little information to be found about the fact that the protection given by the Act can be provided and maintained without any dispute and therefore without the unregulated surveyors fees that follow from a 'dispute'.  IT WAS NEVER INTENDED THAT neighbours SHOULD INVENT AN 'ARTIFICIAL' DISPUTE FROM THE START.

How is an Agreement different to a Party wall Award? 

An Award is a legal document prepared by surveyors to resolve a dispute.  It contains legal preambles and recites rights and obligations and list precautions and provisions that the surveyors consider necessary. 


With a Party Wall Award the Party Wall surveyor(s) will sometimes make a additional inspection at the end to ensure the works are properly finished and no damage has been caused. With an Agreement further inspections would only be made if requested, however a Final inspection can always be 'bolted-on' to a Party Wall Agreement if required.


Some surveyors advise people who have receive notices for simple works to dissent, have a dispute, and then appoint that surveyor  to resolve the dispute by an Award. It should be remembered that Party Wall Surveyors earn more fees from dispute than from agreements.


For more informatioclick this link.

WHAT IS A PARTY WALL AGREEMENT?

A Party Wall Agreement is a formal agreement between neighbours following the service of a notice under the Party Wall Act.


Agreements that we prepare will normally 

include a Schedule of Condition of the neighbors property (This is really the most important element as it is the tool which is used to judge if any damage has been caused), plus copies of the scheme drawings and notice/consent. We use a Phantom 4 drone to survey roofs and part of buildings that are not easily accessible by conventional means. (see example photo below)


A Party Wall Agreement does not lessen any of the rights or protection that the Adjoining Owner would have if a Party Wall Award had been made.


If following an agreement any dispute subsequently arises in relation to the works then a surveyor or two surveyors can still resolve the matter by a Party Wall Award. Therefore by having a Party Wall Agreement neighbours are not ‘signing away their rights’.




IS AN AWARD NECESSARY?

A Party Wall Award is not necessary for both parties to benefit from the rights and protection given by the Act. All that is necessary is the service of a notice.


In the case of minor domestic works (i.e. Most loft conversions, internal alterations and simple rear extensions or excavation that is remote or very isolated) a Party Wall Award is not necessary and does not provide additional protection. In these we believe that it is preferable for neighbours to have an Agreement. This is what the Government recommend in their Advisory Document 

(Section 12).  In this circumstance It is a myth that a Party Wall Award is necessary for an Adjoining Owner to have the protection given by the Act.


Where complex works are involved, particularly works including underpinning or deep adjacent excavation, there is a significant risk to adjoining property and in these cases, we believe that it is in the best interests of Adjoining Owners to dissent to notices and appoint a Party Wall Surveyor who  will be able to bring expert knowledge to the situation. 

 party wall AGreements vs awards - the facts

Watson Woods Partnership
The Courtyard, 286 Upper Richmond RoadLondon, LondonSW15 6THGB
Phone: 020 8788 7128 Website: www.partywall.info