Our Kingston Surveyors discuss the inconvenience of party wall works
As anyone who has had to carry out party wall works, or has been an adjoining neighbour to a property that has been having this work undertaken, you will no doubt be aware of the possible disruption and inconvenience when this type of work is being carried out, not to mention the noise and dust that can be caused. Our Kingston Surveyors have been asked to advise on some common issues we hear about.
What inconvenience and noise?
Whilst we know that the majority of party wall works are necessary repairs that need to be carried out, sometimes these works are for improvement purposes. No matter what types of works these are, they may cause disruption which can possibly lead to tension between neighbouring property owners. Falling out with the neighbours can be some people’s worst nightmare!
At Prinsegate, our Kingston Surveyors can help you through the whole process so that this doesn’t happen. If you are experiencing Party Wall problems, or just want specialist advice before starting out, then give us a call. There are laws in place to combat excessive disruption when works are being undertaken.
It is always best to appoint a chartered party wall surveyor in your local Kingston area. Party Wall can be complicated and we recommend that a specialist handles the relevant matter to limit any potential falling out with your neighbours.
The Party Wall Act has been put in place to provide neighbours with fair terms to abide by, which the surveyors shall apply. This is an effective means at resolving any disputes efficiently and amicably. Often, people will attempt to conduct the party wall process by serving notice themselves and not following the correct procedure. This is usually an attempt to cut costs. Actually, this can be more costly if the process is not followed correctly. An injunction may be sought, damage can occur and illegal work can take place. All of the aforementioned issues can be very expensive.
Kingston Surveyors – The Party Wall etc Act 1996
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 states that a building owner should not act in a manner so as to cause unnecessary inconvenience to any adjoining occupier/owner. However, it seems inevitable that there will be some disruption.
Let me give you a few examples; noise pollution, rubbish, parking issues, and equipment storage to name just a few. So, your street has limited on-street parking available, with no driveways to the properties. A team of workmen with machinery and work vans turn up. They park where they can but soon other neighbours are complaining that they are having to park miles away because of all the vehicles. If this problem carried on for days or even weeks at a time, then this could cause a hostile environment with neighbouring properties.
Unfortunately, the definition of unnecessary/inconvenient works is not straightforward where the Party Wall etc Act is concerned. It is therefore very important to get expert advice throughout this process. Our Party Wall Kingston Surveyors have a wealth of knowledge and are experts in dealing with these types of matters. Let’s face it, in today’s climate of frequent litigation, it certainly makes sense to get the advice of experts.
Other Acts to be considered
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is unfortunately not the only legislation you need to get to grips with when you are considering carrying out party wall works. For example, there may well be The Control of Pollution Act 1974 to consider. Not heard of it? When considering party wall work, or face the disruption of someone else’s work, the Control of Pollution Act 1974 is very clear in ensuring pollution of all types is kept to a minimum. Were you aware that building works carried out cannot start before 8am and can only continue until 6pm in the evening? On a Saturday, the work can only continue until 1pm. This is to ensure that any pollution, in whichever form, is kept within reasonable times.
If your neighbour is carrying out works which are resulting in excessive noise or inconvenience, there are ways of dealing with this. Compensation can be sought through the County Court.
However, we recommend that the advice of a chartered party wall surveyor is sought first. This will enable you to establish what your grounds are and how you can claim. Remember, work must be prosecuted diligently and the surveyor’s opinion will be very important here in order to establish whether this is or is not the case.
Usually, a surveyor’s authority is enough to motivate a building owner to remedy any such existing problems. From experience, a simple warning can normalise a situation on the subject of party wall. The result is that the works are completed adequately by way of involving professional Chartered Building Surveyors.
Further information from our Kingston Surveyors
Don’t worry if all this seems a little overwhelming. Help is at hand in many different forms.
For more information relating to the Party Wall etc Act 1996, please click the link below:
If you would like more information regarding The Control of Pollution Act 1974 please click the link below:
Or to speak to a professional, please feel free to contact us at Prinsegate Chartered Surveyors. We have an experienced team of Party Wall Surveyors in Surrey available to help in any way possible.
Be sure to check out our other blog post on party wall: https://prinsegate.com/party-wall-surveyor-kingston-team-explain-party-walls/