Hello Jo, in answer to your questions:
No dangerous structure notice has been served, although there is an old lady living there and it potentially could be dangerous to her. as it is about 7 feet tall.
No it did not crop us as a structural survey we had done - the wall was noted on the buyers survey but it was deemed as repairable and not something that had to be instantly seen to. Basically it was seen as " not going anywhere but has a large crack in it that needs some attention at some point in the future). It was obvious that it was a very old crack that we were told had been there for 20 odd years.
The tennant at the property is in her 90's and she complained as soon as the old owner left and we moved in. (May 2013).
The co-owner is the council.
As yet, we have not been consulted on any of the prep cost. The wall has been strapped with scaffolding and boards, nor were we consulted on the two/ three surveys that took place prior to this strapping.
I spoke to one work man who said that the council had commissioned him without even asking how much his services would cost?
He spoke to me privately saying that the surveyor who made the drawings was saying that it was an expensive job.
I have no idea of the costs so far (say £1500-£3000) and as the surveyors are saying that the wall needs to be rebuilt from scratch that it will be £10-12K and I presume pre VAT. Of which through party wall we are deemed to pay 50%.
Hello and Thanks for your answer - I understand completely the unlimited funds of the council - hence their lasse faire attitude to commissioning workmen!
To come back to a point you mentioned things that were covenanted in our deeds.
We have this written word for word in the deeds:
" To maintain the boundary fences marked with a 'T' ( that covers the fence that its built on top of the wall in question) on the said plan in good condition and to contribute a fair proportion of the expense from time to time of maintaining repairing and renewing any party wall fence hedge gutter downspout gulley private sewer manhole drain water pipe or other service in common with the council or any adjoining or adjacent owner or occupier"
This seems that we are responsible although it does not say 50% just a fair proportion.
In context the wall on our side is 1 foot high - with a fence on top - the wall at the other side the council side is 7 foot high - I am guessing that this makes no difference what so ever in the "Fair Proportionate" as really we can not see the damaged side of the wall as it is beneath our property on the other side.
We are more concerned as now they have issued us with a party wall agreement notice to start rebuilding the wall - of course we agree to them repairing the wall but don't want to sign it as potentially by doing so we would be agreeing to their 50% terms too. To date we have never been involved with costings regarding this wall at all. Only letters from the councils party wall surveyor deeming that we are to pay 50%.
Should we sign the agreement to allow them to start building - or would we be better send a letter with our views first?
It does look like we have covenanted to repair the wall - does it make any difference that the wall was neglected so long ?
in your opinion would you agree to sign the party wall notice?
Thanks - this will be my last question - you have been very helpful and prompt and I am very happy so far