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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2850
Experience:  Partner in national law firm with 20+ years legal experience
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I m a builder Working on a local property where the lady has

Customer Question

I m a builder Working on a local property where the lady has a damp problem I came up with a way of sorting it out which meant taking out the floor and the sub floor which is 2inches of screed and 6 inches of concrete a rough depth of 8 inches. Whilst I was doing this the lady next door came round and said she wanted a surveyor involved. Surveyor says we need a party wall agreement. I have not gone near or into party wall at all. Had council round who cannot see any problem with what I have done. I have looked at party wall agreement and it says that you cannot excavate below the party wall foundations which I have not done. Do U think we need party wall agreement. I have dug out up to party wall but not gone into or below foundation.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.

My name is Alex and I'm happy to help with your question today.

Has the surveyor given any reason for his view?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He says I am within 3 metres of the boundary but the party wall agreement but also says excavations that go below foundations which I have not done

Expert:  Alice H replied 3 years ago.
Under the Party Wall Act, notifiable work is either a) building work which affects a party wall or boundary line or b) excavations within three or six metres of a neighbouring property (depending on the depth of the foundations you are making). So even though you have not excavated below the wall the mere fact that you are within 3 metres seems to put you within the requirements of the Act. Therefore, you would have to give notice.

Surveyors and other professionals charge about £65 for a notice, but you can serve the relevant documents on your neighbours yourself. Use the example letters in the government's Party Wall booklet, found on the DirectGov websit or you can generate a notice for free via the My Property Guide website. Be sure to fill in the blanks correctly, otherwise the notice will not be valid.

Once you have served notice, your neighbours, known as "the adjoining owners", have 14 days to respond. Work can go ahead immediately if they agree in writing. If they dissent or fail to reply the matter goes into dispute, and this is when it can become expensive.

You should give your adjoining owners at least 10 days to decide whether one surveyor can act for both of you or whether two surveyors should be involved in drawing up a party wall award, which lays out the rules your builder must adhere to while carrying out the party wall works. Your neighbour's property will also be surveyed both before and after the works are carried out to see if any damage has occurred, which you'll need to repair.