I didn’t realise I had to let my neighbours know that I was doing building work...
If you have started building an extension on your property and have since received a letter from a Party Wall Surveyor instructing you to stop – it can be a frightening wake up call. This is what happened in the case illustrated by the following photographs. Works have now stopped.
Philip Antino is an experienced Party Wall Surveyor that understands that sometimes home owners lack knowledge about their statutory obligations to inform their adjoining neighbours about their building works.
The fact is, there are rules that govern and protect property owners from having buildings built on their land or too close to their boundary line. The bottom line is that if you are creating any of the below structures, it is probable that you would need the services of a Party Wall Surveyor like Philip.
Double storey extension
The main purpose of hiring a Party Wall Surveyor is to protect everybody’s properties. What you do not want is for works to go ahead that are clearly too close to your home that could cause internal, external or foundation damage.
The role of a Party Wall Surveyor will assess the proximity of the desired works in relation to the boundary line and ensure that any damage or movement that could occur, is documented. If it is found that the building works are too close, works would need to stop.
Under the Party Wall etc, Act 1996, the following actions are prohibited:
Excavating below or near to the foundation level of an adjoining neighbour’s property
Building on an existing boundary line
Building on a wall, on or across the party wall line of two properties
Doing building work to an existing boundary line or party structure
The fact that you have received notice from your neighbour may mean one or more of the following things:
That they feel that your works are trespassing on their land
That you have failed to serve a Party Wall Notice
That you have caused damage to their property
That you have disrupted the enjoyment of their land
As a result, they will have been in touch with a Party Wall Surveyor (like Philip Antino) who has assessed the situation and seen that there has been a breach or breaches of the Party Wall Act. A Party Wall Injunction, will have been served on you.
This is a court order to stop a building owner from continuing their works. Until both parties have reached an agreement under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, building works will cease. Serving a Party Wall Injunction is not a trivial matter and may end up costing you a lot of money.
So, if you are reading this blog, and know that the works taking place on your home is occurring without having appointed a Party Wall Surveyor – instruct your builders to stop right now! Give Philip Antino a call on 01245 490 019 today.
Philip Antino is an experienced Party Wall Surveyor with over 20 years experience and can issue Party Wall Notices, Injunctions and serve as an Expert Witness to building matters that are being disputed.