Read our Latest blog

  • 06/11/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    A guide to a loft conversion

    Do you think a loft conversation can provide the extra space you need in your home? Doing a loft conversation is one of the easiest ways to expand your property and add value, whether you dream of adding a master bedroom, guest room or home theatre. 


    Loft conversation design considerations
    Primary design concerns you are likely to face and will require to determine are:
    · Access
    · Ceiling height
    · Lighting issues
    · Services
    · Building controls related to floor intensity and fire escapes
    · Planning permission


    Despite these design considerations, a loft conversion can be life-changing and a cost-effective resolution to the shortage of space or facing up to the challenges of moving house.

    Can my loft be converted?
    Before you do anything, you need to determine if your loft is suitable for conversion. Most homes will receive an approved development allowance, which means you can continue the conversion without planning permission.
    If your loft has attached properties, you must have a neighbour’s loft conversion Party Wall agreement, in according to the Party Wall Act 1996. For better guidance on this issue, please contact one of our Party Wall Surveyor. The act always applies if you need to work on a shared wall or other shared structures.
    However, if you live in a protected area, or if your roof is not high enough, it may be more complex to obtain permission. You should seek advice from your architect or planning consultant.

    Look for more conversions on your street
    An obvious way to take an idea of if your loft can be converted is to see whether any related properties on your street have had loft conversions. If you do spot them, it's more likely to be a probability.

    Measure the height
    The height you require to convert the loft is 2.2 meters, and you can easily measure it yourself. Take a tape measure and move it from the floor to the roof at the top of the room. If it's 2.2 meters or more, your loft should be big enough to convert it. Victorian homes tend to be lower than homes built-in 1930. Thus head height may be insufficient.

    What type of roof you have
    Check what kind of roof you have. Depending on when it was built, your home will either have roof trusses or rafters. By viewing through your loft hatch, you should be capable of telling accurate away what type of roof you have.

    What kind of loft conversion should I go for?
    There are four main varieties of loft conversion: roof light, dormer, hip-to-gable and mansard. The one you prefer is likely to be determined by several factors, including the nature and age of the house you live in, and your resources.

    Dormer conversions
    A dormer loft conversion is an addition that ejects from the slope of the roof. Flat-roof dormers are the most prevalent type of conversion. They are fit for pretty much any house with a sloping roof. Dormer conversions are less costly than mansard or hip-to-gable conversions, but will still add a good deal of extra headroom and floor space.

    Roof light conversions
    Roof light conversions are by far the most economical and least disruptive choice, as you won't have to make any modifications to the shape or angle of the roof. Instead, it's merely a case of combining in skylight windows, laying down a decent floor, and adding a staircase to make the place comfortable. However, you'll require having suitable roof space already without having an expansion for this type of conversion.

    Hip-to-gable conversions
    Hip-to-gable conversions work by enlarging the sloping 'hip' roof at the side of your home outwards to create a perpendicular 'gable' wall, creating a more intimate loft area. This kind of conversion will only work on separated or semi-detached houses, as it demands a free sloping roof. If you have a divided home with sloping ceilings on either side, you can build on both of these to make an even extra spacious duplex hip-to-gable extension.

    Mansard conversions
    Mansard extensions run onward the whole length of your house's roof and will alter the side of the roof slope, making it nearly vertical. These lead to be the most costly type of conversion but will appear in a requisite amount of extra space. Mansard conversions are suitable for most property classes, including terraced, semi-detached and detached houses but you will need to check if there are permitted on your property.

    Do you need advice from a Party Wall Surveyor for your loft conversion? Need help on serving a Party Wall Notices? Seven One Associates has Party Wall Surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall issues.

    Read More
  • 01/11/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How big can I make my extension?

    In the past, your local authority would decide on how far  out you could construct your (rear) extension. They would also be responsible for deciding the size of your side extension where applicable. 


    In 2012 Parliament introduced Permitted Development, this new relaxed approach to predominately extensions was introduced to encourage development and helped to take the pressure off planning departments processing applications.

    Extension size under Permitted Development
    Extensions fall under “Class A” of Permitted Development; This allows a householder to build a single-storey side extension up to half the width of the existing dwelling; a single-storey rear extension up to 4m in length for a detached dwelling and 3m long for a semi or a terrace house.

    May 2019 Permitted Development Changes
    The changes that took effect on 30 May 2019 now make permanent the decision that larger single-storey rear extensions of up to 8m (6m for semi or terrace) are permissible under Class A — but do require prior notification.

    Permitted Development Classes
    As well as extensions Permitted Development covers all other aspects of building works;

    Class B – Additions to the roof – applicable for Loft Conversion
    This allows for rear dormers and hip-to-gable extensions if the additional volume created does not exceed 50m3 (40m3 for semis and terraced homes).
    Class C – Other alterations to the roof
    Class D – Porches
    Class E – Buildings etc. (outbuildings) – applicable for Annexes and Garages

    How far out can you build your extension?

    Under the new updated Permitted Development rules, you can go out as far as 8 metres from your existing house if you own a detached property. This reduces to 6 metres if you own a semi detached or terraced property.

    Designated Areas and Permitted Development
    In some areas of the UK, the Government has created 'designated areas', in these areas Permitted Development rights are more restricted.

    Current Designated Areas:
    · A Conservation Area
    · A National Park
    · An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
    · A World Heritage Site or
    · The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

    Check with your local planning office

    Your local planning authority may have removed some of your Permitted Development rights by issuing an 'Article 4' direction. We always recommend that you check with your local planning office and enquire about Permitted Development restrictions as well as if you fall under a designated area.

    Remember if you are building on or near one of your neighbours’ wall/Boundary Line you will need to have a Party Structure Notice served. Also, Permitted Development is different from building regulations and you will need to have a Party Wall agreement for rear extension or party wall agreement for loft in place where applicable – get in touch with us for further advice of Party Wall Matters.

    Thinking of adding an extension on your house? Need some advice on house extensions? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with your project.

    Read More
  • 29/10/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How hard is it to do a basement conversion?

    You may have heard about some of the very extravagant basement conversions currently taking place in central London. We’re talking four floors, swimming pools, gyms and saunas. When you’ve reached the limit of adding space on top, behind and beside a property the only other option is below.

    It is worth noting that basement conversions cannot be done on all properties, consult a structural engineer and architect for specific advice.

    Basement conversions are a great way to add more space to a property, especially if rear extensions or loft conversions are not feasible (or have already been done). There are two main types of conversions 1) turning an existing cellar into a habitable space and 2) excavating a new basement – the latter is the more complicated and expensive.

    Planning Permission for Basement Conversion

    If you are turning an existing cellar into a habitable basement then it is very unlikely that you will need any planning permission - so long as the new conversion is not then used as a separate property. Remember, if there are going to be any changes to the outside of the property then planning permission may very well be required.

    Excavating a new basement will most probably require planning permission as well as the need for a Party Wall Notice between you and your neighbour(s). we strongly advise that find a Party Wall Surveyor and consult about your specific works.

    The good news is that converting an existing cellar into a habitable room can be completed under permitted development (PD) rights, unless you live in a Conservation Area or if your home is listed. Even under PD, it is a good idea to apply for a certificate of lawful development from your local authority; doing so will give you the relevant certification to prove that your scheme met requirements and did not need planning permission, this is particularly helpful when obtaining mortgages or refinancing your property.

    Building Regulations for Basement Conversions

    Ensuring your basement conversion is “good and proper” is essential, especially as it could affect not just your own house but your neighbours’ too. To make sure the conversion is legally useable or habitable it must meet Building Regulations. In order to achieve this the conversion will have to meet certain criteria, such as sufficient levels of insulation, creating emergency escape routes and having a minimum head height.

    All the structural work will need to be passed by a Building Inspector, to ensure that it will not impact the rest of your house or your neighbours’ properties.

    Party Wall Agreements for Basement Conversions

    Just like a loft conversion or rear extension, a basement conversion will require the owner to serve Party Wall Act Notice to Adjoining Owners.

    If you live in a detached house, you will not need to have Party Wall Notices in place unless the excavation is within 6 meters of the neighbour’s foundation. But, if you live in a terrace, end of terrace or semi-detached property then you need to reach an agreement with your neighbours over shared walls before converting your basement.

    The correct notices will need to be issued and consents obtained from all neighbours whose boundaries might be affected at least two months before work begins. This has to be done in accordance with the Party Wall Act.

    As the property owner you will need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor and remember that each of your neighbours have the right to appoint their own – you are liable to pay for all their costs.

    With your neighbours onboard, planning permission in place and building inspector instructed you are ready to crack on with your project. More articles around basement conversions will be published soon – keep an eye out for them.


    As you can see a basement conversion doesn’t necessarily have to be hard or any more complicated than other conversions. If you are looking to do a basement conversion and you need to find a Party Wall Surveyor in London then contact Seven One Associates to get help and support on how the works will be affected by the Party Wall Act.

    Read More
  • 24/10/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Demolishing Party Fence Walls

    What is a Party Fence/Wall?


    A Party Fence/Wall is a fence or wall located on or at the dividing line between neighbouring properties and used, intended to be used, or available to be used by adjoining landowners in the construction or maintenance of improvements on their respective property. A Party Wall or Fence usually stands half on the land of each owner but may be entirely on the land of one, and is maintained at mutual cost.

    Each owner of adjoining lands on which a Party Wall or Fence stands owns the part of the wall that stands on the owner's land and has an easement, or right of use, in the other part, unless there is a contrary law or agreement.

    Can a Party Wall Fence be demolished?

    If you wish to carry out work to a Party Fence Wall then you must serve Notice on the Adjoining Owner the same as you would if you wanted to do work to the Party Wall separating your houses. However, not all work to a Party Fence Wall is notifiable as it is on a Party Wall, so you should seek advice first to confirm if you need to serve Notice.

    You cannot demolish a Party Fence Wall unless your neighbour agrees, but you can repair or rebuild it and the cost is usually split between both owners of the wall if the works are essential maintenance works. An ordinary garden fence is not covered under the Party Wall Act. Timber fences made of timber and/or concrete posts and timber panels do not come under the 1996 Act.

    Looking to demolish your Party Fence Wall (also referred to as Garden Boundary Walls)? Not sure if it will affect your neighbour? Our Party Wall Act Surveyor at Seven One Associates are happy to help and advice on the correct procedure with issuing Party Wall Act Notice and questions on the Party Wall Act agreement.

    Read More
  • 15/10/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Carrying out repairs to a Party Wall/Structure

    The Party Wall Act 1996 relates to any work which a property owner may want to carry out where an adjoining wall with a neighbour's property might be affected. It also provides the framework to facilitate a resolution to any dispute that may arise with any neighbours over any proposed work.

    Maintenance and general repair of a Party Wall
    Carrying out essential repairs to a wall shared between two (or more) neighbours can get complicated. A common issue is the repair and maintenance of a shared garden wall or Party Fence Wall. The first step is to identify if the said wall is a Party Fence Wall/shared wall, at times this can be quite easily identified along with the Boundary Lines and the Party Wall. However, in other cases this isn’t as easy. You can start by checking the property deeds if you’re lucky there is often a plan drawn to scale which shows the Boundaries. The plans can be obtained direct from the Land Registry (by obtaining a copy of your title deeds) or you can ask your solicitor/conveyancer.

    With the plan in hand, you can see if there are “T”s on any of the boundaries. A “T” shown on the inside of the Boundary Line indicates the ownership and responsibility to  maintain it. If the “T” is matched by another “T” on the Boundary so it looks like a “H”, this shows the Boundary to be a Party Wall/Fence. This means joint responsibility for the maintenance of the wall/fence.

    Repairing a damaged Party Wall
    If a Party Wall has been damaged due to one party building on it or altering it then it is dealt with differently. The Party Wall Act 1996 dictates that before any work is carried out on a Party Wall, a Party Structure Notice (Party Wall Notice) must be served. This notice states who is responsible and to what extent if any damage occurs to a Party Wall/Structure during building work.

    In other cases where repair is required to the Party Wall for example due to failing foundations then the costs are defrayed to both owners to the proportion of which they use the party wall. Party Wall Notices are required to do this and almost certainly a Surveyor will be required to keep an account of the costs and its proportionated accordingly.

    When building a rear extension, you will have to use a Party Wall Agreement for rear extension notice. Similarly, for a loft conversion, you will need to use a Party Wall Agreement for loft conversion.

    When a Party Wall is damaged by one property owner building on it, it is common for the cost of repair to sit with them. The Party Wall Notice will state this. If a dispute arises, whether it be over the cause of the damage or the cost, an independent surveyor may need to get involved.

    Do you need to carry out repairs to a Party Wall or Structure? Maybe you want to repair/replace the garden party fence wall but are not sure whose responsibility it is? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with your project.

    Read More
  • 08/10/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Underpinning of existing foundations

    What is Underpinning?


    Underpinning is the process of reinforcing a current foundation or footing when the proposed works are to bear further loads on the wall or because the existing foundations are failing.


    Why Underpin?


    You may want to underpin a wall if you plan to build on it, such as add an additional floor or extension. You may want to repair a wall by underpinning it because there are signs of subsidence (i.e. cracks in walls or uneven floors). 


    Underpinning can be done by extending the foundation in depth and/or width so the wall either rests on a more supportive soil stratum or distributes its load across a greater area. The use of micropiles and jet grouting are becoming common methods in modern underpinning. There are alternatives to underpinning, the strengthening of the soil by using special grout, including expanding urethane-based engineered structural resins.


    Types & Methods of Underpinning


    There are five main types of underpinning used by the construction industry:

    Mass Concrete Underpinning - This is the most traditional method, 100 years on and it’s still in use. The method includes digging boxes by hand underneath a wall and sequentially pouring concrete in a strategic order. The result is an additional layer of foundation built underneath the existing foundation.

    Beam and base underpinning - This method is based on the Mass Concrete method mentioned above. But, in this method rather than pouring concrete underneath the existing foundation, a reinforced concrete beam is constructed below, above or in replacement of the existing foundation. The beam then transfers the load of the building to mass concrete bases, which are built at specific load bearing locations.

    Mini-piled underpinning - This is a much more versatile method, it is used where ground conditions are variable, where access is restrictive, where environmental pollution aspects are significant, and where structural movements in service must be limited.

    Mini-piled underpinning schemes - Like the above method, Mini-piled underpinning schemes include pile and beam, cantilever pile-caps and piled raft systems. Cantilevered pile-caps are usually used to avoid disturbing the inside of a building, and require the construction of tension and compression piles to each cap.

    Underpinning by expanding resin injection - For this method a mix of structural resins and hardener is injected into the foundation ground beneath existing footings. The expansion element of the process occurs when a chemical reaction happens between the resin and hardener on entering the ground.


    Underpinning a Party Wall


    Quite often a wall shared between neighbours will need underpinning, either for repair or to strengthen. The same Party Wall Act rules apply, generally, the Building Owner would engage a Party Wall Specialist to ensure they are legally compliant. Be aware of the potential risk of having no Party Wall Agreement as this could lead to significant legal costs by way of an injunction and claims of damage.

    Are you or your neighbour looking to carry out underpinning work? Do you need assistance with Party Wall notices and Surveying? We at Seven One Associates are here to help with our expert Party Wall Surveyors in London.

    Read More
  • 04/10/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    The role of a Third Surveyor

    With the price of London homes making them unattainable not just for first time buyers but also for home movers, there has been a steady increase in the number of people making their current homes larger as opposed to moving. Relatively poor mortgage deals, increase in stamp duty and the price of houses are making it more affordable to do loft conversions and rear extensions instead.


    What many homeowners don’t know is that to build on or against your neighbour’s wall or boundary line requires you to legally serve Party Wall Notices and where applicable produce a Party Wall Award. Generally, a Party Wall Surveyor will serve Party Wall Notice to the Adjoining Owner(s). As the notices must be correctly produced and served in accordance with the Party Wall etc. Act.

    Party Wall Surveyor

    Before the building work commences (minimum of two months) the homeowner’s Party Wall Surveyor will gather all the required information and produce the Party Wall Act Notice. The Adjoining Neighbour then has multiple options, one of which is to assign their own Party Wall Surveyor.

    It would be cheaper if one Party Wall Surveyor represented both parties, but as mentioned above the Adjoining Neighbour can assign a different one and pass the cost onto the Homeowner. In some cases when the two Surveyors cannot come to an agreement a Third Surveyor has to get involved.

    Third Surveyor

    The Two Surveyors as the first order of business mutually select a Third Surveyor, if they are unable to do so, then they may refer the selection to the relevant body within the local authority. When the two assigned Party Wall Surveyors cannot come to an agreement then the Third Surveyor is asked to step in. This Third Surveyor almost acts as a quasi-arbitrator to find a solution to the dispute(s) raised by the two surveyors or their appointing owners.

    The selected Third Surveyor should be knowledgeable and have good experience with Party Wall Matters, they are generally listed as a Third Surveyor. Traditionally the Building Owner’s Surveyor proposes a list of three or more suggestions as Third Surveyor’s to the Adjoining Owner's appointed Surveyor.

    The Role of a Third Surveyor

    According to the Party Wall Act, the role of a Third Surveyor is defined as:

    The third surveyor's duties are to make determination as requested by either the surveyor or either owner, to resolve disputes and give advice and direction and to serve an award, as Section 10(15)(a)(b)

    Once the Third Surveyor is called into action the first thing they must check is that there is written confirmation of their selection as Third Surveyor. As well as the appointments of the two surveyors are valid, before reviewing and deciding on the dispute.

    Third Surveyor Fees

    Just like the Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor fees, the Building Owner carrying out the work must pay for the Third Surveyor. However, it some cases the fees may be deferred to the Adjoining Owner depending on the dispute. It is therefore common practice for the Third Surveyor to ask for their fees upfront before they have made a judgement.

    Need help with a Third Surveyor?

    Looking to get construction works done to your house or maybe your neighbour has just given you a Party Wall Notice? Do you require advice on Party Wall Notices? Contact Seven One Associates and speak to a Party Wall Surveyor who can help you with all your party wall issues.

    Read More
  • 30/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Installing flashing on to your rear extension

    What is flashing (Weatherproofing)?


    Flashing is the method/process used to waterproof a structure’s joints and makes up part of a weather resistant barrier system. Flashing is used to prevent water penetration through objects such as chimneys, vent pipes, walls, windows and door openings. Typical flashing is made from lead, aluminium, copper, stainless steel or zinc alloy – new material is always being introduced to the industry.

    When is flashing required?

    Builders will generally use flashing on the small gap between two extensions; they need to have vertical and horizontal flashing at the top of the floor or in the case where there are two different extension heights the top section to block off the gap. This is done to prevent build-up of dirt, debris and limit access to vermin in the small gap. This will also limit/reduce any water ingress to both extensions.

    When building an extension you will need to ensure there is flashing between your neighbour’s extension party wall. When doing a loft conversion you will need to make sure there is adequate flashing on your neighbours loft conversion Party Wall.

    Different Types of Flashing

    There are many different types of flashing that you might require and come across, the most common types are:

    Roof flashing

    Placed around ends or objects which protrude from the roof of a building to direct water away from joints and in valleys where the runoff is limited.

    Wall flashing

    Often embedded in a wall to direct water that has penetrated the wall back outside. In some applications, it is applied to prevent the entry of water into the wall. Wall flashing is typically found at interruptions in the wall, such as windows and points of structural support.

    Planning permission or consent for installing flashing

    Planning permission is not required when installing flashing, but you need to serve notice under Section 2(2) (f) or (j) under the Party Wall etc depending on the wall. Obviously there are other sections to serve for the Excavation and building on the Line of Junction which is not related to this topic.

    Find a Party Wall Surveyor to help you better understand what paperwork and processes are required before you start any works.

    Avoid future Issues

    If you or your neighbour are planning an extension, make sure the flashing and weather proofing is implemented properly. The correct implementation of a weatherproofing and flashing can avoid future issues for both your property and your neighbour’s.

    Are you installing flashing on to your rear extension adjoining your neighbour? Do you need to find a Party Wall Surveyor in London? Contact Seven One Associates to get help and support on how the works will be affected by the Party Wall Act.

    Read More
  • 27/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What to do when serving notices to flats which have both freeholders and leaseholders

    Before we start let's define the difference between a freeholder and a leaseholder.


    What is a freehold?

    The freeholder of a property owns it outright (absolute), including the land it’s  built on.

    If you buy a freehold property, you’re responsible for maintaining your property and land. Most houses are freehold but some might be leasehold – usually through shared-ownership schemes or newer built homes.

    Benefits of having a freehold

    You don’t have to:

    · Worry about the lease running out, as you own the property outright.

    · Deal with the freeholder (often known as the landlord).

    · Pay ground rent, services charges or any other landlord charges.

    What is a leasehold?


    With a leasehold, you own the property (subject to the terms of the leasehold) for the length of your lease agreement with the freeholder.

    When the lease ends, ownership returns to the freeholder, unless you can extend the lease.

    Most flats and maisonettes are owned leasehold, so while you own your property in the building, you have no stake in the building it is in. Some houses are sold as leaseholds. If this is the case, you own the property, but not the land it sits on.

    Okay now that we are clear on leasehold and freehold let’s look at what to do when you are serving notices to flats which have both freeholders and leaseholders.

    The Party Wall etc Act 1996 makes clear that Party Wall Notices must be served upon all owners of the property. This includes the Leaseholders that it impacts as well as the Freeholder. Before serving notice you should obtain the full details of all the adjoining owners from the Land Registry website. This will provide clear indication as to who the adjoining owners (neighbours) are and this is where the Notices would need to be served.

    Legally speaking both a leaseholder and a freeholder are deemed to be “owners” under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and therefore both are legally due a Party Wall Notice in advance of the Building Owner’s Party Wall works commencing.

    For example, if the Building Owner’s house adjoined a large block of flats with a freeholder and with multiple leaseholders on the ground and first floor, all within the notifiable distances as prescribed by the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

    In short, it would mean that the Building Owner would need to serve multiple Party Wall Notices on the multiple Adjoining Owners. This would not only lead to the potential for a significant delay in the Building Owner’s proposed work, it could also lead to a significant amount of surveying costs that the Building Owner will be responsible for.

    Our experienced Party Wall Surveyors have dealt with these types of situation before and are experienced in reducing the number of dissented parties to reduce the number of Party Wall Awards required.

    Do you have a Party Wall Agreement dispute? Do you need to serve a Notice to your neighbouring flats? Looking for advice on how many parties are affected or need help about the Party Wall Act dispute? Find out more about the Party Wall Act compensation and get some free advice from the Surveyors at Seven One Associates.

    Read More
  • 23/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How to follow the correct Party Wall procedures

    When you are looking to undertake some building work, the first thing people usually do is to discharge the relevant planning approval. But what you must not forget is your obligations under the Party Wall etc. Act. Don’t be put off by the paperwork needed to get a Party Structure Notice and all relevant consent. 


    If you are going to complete some building work to a Party Wall or are going to excavate within 3 meters of a neighbour then it is possible that you may need a Party Wall notice to be served. The different types of works include excavating to lay foundations in which case a Party Wall agreement for rear extension or perhaps a Party Wall agreement loft extension.

    Time to serve the notice

    The next part is to make sure that you serve the Party Wall Notice to any neighbours that will be affected by the works. You must give them 14 days to reply to your notice, they will have a chance to dispute the works or agree (consent).

    Once the notice has been served and the 14 days have passed, if the neighbours haven’t responded to your notices then they are deemed to be in dissent. They will then need to appoint a Surveyor that will proceed to produce a formal Party Wall Award. If they completely ignore the notice then you’ll need to appoint a Surveyor to serve a final ten-day letter, if no response is received then you will be able to appoint a Surveyor on their behalf to progress to a formal Party Wall Award.

    Party Wall Notices must be accurate and correctly state the subsection which applies to your proposed works including the appropriate drawings included to satisfy the notices. Any error can nullify the entire process which will mean that you need to start all over again.

    Time to appoint a Surveyor

    When it is time to hire a Surveyor you need to ensure that you have someone who specialises in Party Wall legislation. This will ensure that the process is completed as quickly and diligently as possible in order for your building work to go ahead as scheduled.

    The Party Wall agreements can add a considerable amount to your final building costs depending on how many owners are affected by the works and if they opt to appoint their own Surveyors. It is recommended to serve notices via your appointed Surveyor in order to ensure as many affected owners either consent or concur to your Surveyor being appointed on an agreed Surveyor’s basis.

    It is your neighbour’s right under the Party Wall agreement to appoint a Surveyor of their choice if they want. This means that you don’t really have a say in which surveyor is appointed. This means that reasonable costs are usually met by the party that is getting the building works completed and is agreed by your Surveyor.

    Should you fail to follow the appropriate Party Wall procedure and progress with works without formal consent or a Party Wall Award then the neighbours can apply for injunctions that can temporarily stop your work from progressing. This can lead to cost significant legal and consequential costs.

    Do you need to serve a Party Wall Notice? Want to know how to serve the correct and appropriate Party Wall Notice? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with your project.

    Read More
  • 20/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What to do if the neighbours have not responded to a Party Wall Notice

    Home renovations can be a fun and let you be creative, they give you the chance to make your home the way you want it. Though this is a fun task, there are less fun parts such as serving a Party Wall Act Notice. There is nothing more testing to a neighbour’s patience than when the other one is carrying out building work. This can be seen as a disruption in some people lives which is why you must complete the relevant steps to ensure legal obligations are fully discharged. 


    Firstly you must service a Party Wall Notice to the neighbours on both sides (if relevant works are being carried out); this must be served at least two months before the works start as it could affect an existing Party Wall. The notice has to be submitted one month before for any excavation or construction of a new wall along the boundary.

    How to submit a Party Wall notice to your neighbours

    It is important to speak to your neighbours when you start planning the building works, this is more personal than a letter through the letterbox. Speak to them about your plans and listen to their concerns as this can save you a lot of money If they can agree to appoint a single agreed Party Wall Surveyor. The Party Wall Notice can be given in the form of a letter obtained or served by a Party Wall Surveyor with all the necessary information. The notice can also be stuck to the front door of the property if the owner doesn’t live there and you don’t have a forwarding address. it is really important that the notices are valid therefore it is recommended that you obtain a Party Wall Surveyor advice.

    If the neighbour consent to the work, it is important that you offer a schedule of condition. This is written and photographic evidence of your neighbour’s property carried out by an independent Party Wall Surveyor when you serve the notice because it protects you from false claims of damage.

    Here are the notices that will go along with the schedule of condition:

    - Legal names, address and particulars of the works along with plans (where required).

    - The consent to the notices for the neighbour’s to complete.

    - The architectural drawings that show the proposed works.

    What to do if the neighbours have not responded to the notices

    If your neighbour(s) doesn’t agree with the works then they can appoint a Surveyor either your Surveyor or their own independent Surveyor. The Surveyor’s costs are usually a burden on the party that carries out the work unless the works are of a mutual benefit such as repairs to the party wall.

    It makes more financial sense if you agree on the same single Surveyor, this will save some money and you will not have to pay two separate fees for two different Surveyors. When picking a Party Wall Surveyor you need to look for the ones that are offering a fixed fee. There shouldn’t be any check or restraint on the agreed Surveyors actions or decisions. However, in more complex cases such as basement conversion it is common to have two Surveyors appointed due to the nature of the risk.

    If the neighbour doesn’t respond to the notice after 14 days, you will need to serve a reminder which is a 10 day notice. If you still have not had a reply you can appoint a Party Wall Surveyor for the neighbour to ensure that matters can move forward. The two Surveyors will then complete the survey of the property and continue to proceed to completing the Party Wall Award.

    Is your neighbour proposing to carry out construction works? Do you require advice on serving Party Wall Notices? Seven One Associates has Party Wall Surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall related matters.

    Read More
  • 16/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Enclosing on the neighbours’ extension wall

    House prices in London have experienced significant increases in the past two decades, this has created a surge in homeowners and developers carrying out works such as a loft conversion and rear extension. People have seen how adding more square foot to a property can increase its appeal, living space and value.


    Before commencing any building work you ensure you discharge your legal obligations in respect to the Party Wall Act of 1996, if you intend to do any of the following:

    - Excavate within 3 or 6 metres of an adjoining building or structure, this is dependent on the depth of the works.

    - Work on existing Party Walls or structures

    - If you intend to construct a new wall or structure at or astride the boundary line with the adjoining property.

    This Act provides a framework for neighbours who share a boundary usually in terraced homes to carry out building work. This also provides a resolution if any disputes occurs, this Act protects the interests of the Adjoining Owner whilst giving the Building Owner the right to complete the project and other rights such as access not normally granted under common law.

    Building on a neighbour’s extended external wall casomeone couldn't be contentious but mutually beneficial to both owners. it is usually worth having a discussion with your neighbour in the first instance of your proposed rear extension to gauge their support for the proposed works.

    When you in close up on the neighbours flank wall the Party Wall Act applies a compensation value to the proportion of the wall which you are in closing at a 50% rate, as you both now share the wall.

    You will require the help of a Party Wall specialist who will draw up the Agreement within the Party Wall Award which is legally binding, a Party Wall Surveyor in London can also Act on the neighbour’s part as an agreed Surveyor.

    There are many benefits of building on neighbours extension wall such as:

    - By building on the neighbour’s extended external wall, the Building Owner will benefit from a slightly larger extension. Whilst this may not seem like a big space 300mm can make all the difference on a rear extension.

    - By building on the neighbours extended external wall you would be saving proportionate construction costs as the costs are only at 50% of the enclosure.

    - When two neighbours carry out works in conjunction with one another they can agree to build one single party war between the two rear extensions and agree the cost at 50% to ensure both benefit from the cost savings and increased internal space. A Party Wall Surveyor in London will ensure the costs are transparent, calculated
    impartially and legally documented.


    - Enclosing on the existing flank wall with no Party Wall agreement Is illegal and as such will make you liable for compensation in legal costs. In the worst case scenario a court order to rebuild the flank wall as an individual wall. therefore it is really important to obtain the advice of a Party Wall Specialists.

    Are you or your neighbour looking to build on an extended external wall? Do you need assistance with Party Wall Surveying? We at Seven One Associates are here to help.

    Read More
  • 13/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    A guide to the Party Wall process and basements

    Party Wall Process


    If you carry out building work to your property which will affect your neighbours then you will need to determine whether you need to notify them under the Party Wall Act  1996. These works include the following:

    - If you work on an existing wall or floor structure that is shared with another property such as a loft conversion, supporting a beam on a Party Wall, removing walls in a flat or excavating for a basement.
    - If you are building on or at the boundary with another property.
    - If you are excavating near a neighbours building to a lower depth than their foundation.

    In particular, this blog explorers the potential aspects to consider when carrying out a basement extension.

    If the notice is served, the Adjoining Owner will be able to:


    - Provide written consent with conditions within 14 days
    - Refuse the consent which will start a dispute resolution
    - Serve a counter-notice that mentions additional work to be done at the same time.
    - They might decide to do nothing after 14 days have passed this will be recognised as a dispute.
    - Give written consent after 14 days from the day of the notice.

    Properties in London are generally condensed and form as terraced houses. The Party Wall process applies to these more than ever. The act has a couple of benefits, one being that you are able to complete the work in a timely manner. The second benefit is that you will be able to find a Party Wall Surveyor that can help you to review the work proposed and ensure sufficient access is granted under the Act to complete the works.

    Before the works continue you must collect the relevant information:

    - You must have all the calculations of the works and the engineering drawings (at times this can be produced whilist the Party Wall matters are on-going)
    - You need to obtain architectural drawings.
    - You will need the temporary works information, this will be the most important piece of documentation because it looks at how the basement will be dugout. The neighbours’ properties are most at risk when the basement will be dug out as it can affect the potential neighbours’ extension Party Wall.
    - The soil conditions will need to be checked which include borehole information and trial hole information.

    When carrying out this work you will need security for the expenses, in simple terms this is an amount of money put aside to an escrow account which is used in the event the works damage the neighbouring property and the building owner has no means to pay for the remedial works. This is quite common with high-risk works and in particular if the neighbouring property has already completed works to their property such as the neighbours loft conversion Party Wall. It is important to appoint a Surveyor to look after your interests and calculate the monies for the escrow account.

    If there is damage found after the works have been completed, the Party Wall Surveyor will inspect the damage and reach a financial settlement that both parties agree on. This can be a legally binding document for all parties to adhere by.

    Are you looking to carry out a basement conversion? Need to find a Party Wall Surveyor in London? Contact Seven One Associates to get help and support on how the works will be affected by the Party Wall Act.

    Read More
  • 09/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What happens when you are served with a Party Wall Notice

    Party Wall is the wall you share with your neighbours, most commonly in semi-detached or terraced houses. If either neighbour wants to carry pit work on or even near shared walls or boundaries, the Party Wall Act requires them to get the Adjoining Neighbour’s approval in writing, at which point they have to serve what is known as a ‘Party Wall Act Agreement’ or a 'Party Wall Notice'. 


    Why have I been served a Party Wall Notice?

    If you have been served a Party Wall Notice it is because your neighbour wants to undertake work that is covered under the Party Wall etc. Act on their property that could potentially affect your property. This work could involve any of the following:


    · Build on or at the Boundary of your property
    · Carry out work on an existing Party Wall
    · Excavate within a three-meter radius of the neighbouring foundations.
    · Build a new wall up to the Line Junction.
    · Cut into a Party Wall
    · Make a Party Wall taller/shorter/deeper
    · Remove a chimney breast or flue from the Party Wall
    · Demolish and rebuild a Party Wall or Party Structure

    Before works can be carried out on the party wall, your neighbour, the Building Owner, will serve you, the Adjoining Owner, a Party Wall Notice in writing, detailing the planned works that they want to undertake. You should receive this Notice at least 2 months before work is due to start so that you can prepare your response. However, you only have a limited time of 14 days to respond to this notice, before it is deemed in dissent.

    What do I do once I have received the Party Wall Notice?

    You (often referred to as the “Adjoining Neighbour”) must submit a formal response within 14 days.

    Your options are as follows:

    Give your consent

    If you give your consent to the Party Wall Notice, you are permitting your neighbour to proceed, without any further action. That said, no survey of the current condition of your property is taken. Clearly, this is not in your interest. In order for your neighbour to be held responsible for any damage caused as a consequence of the building works, you need to have written evidence from an appointed Surveyor to factually record and document the condition of the property. The Surveyor is then duty bounded to resolve any disputes that may later arise.

    Seek professional advice

    If you’ve received a notice from your neighbour you should consult our Party Wall Surveyor in the first instance to advise on what to do next. The works may be simple in nature and you might have no objections to your neighbour proceeding, however; if you consent to the works before seeking advice you may forfeit some of the protection offered by the Act. If you do consent to the works, your neighbour can begin once the notice periods have expired or sooner if you agree.

    What if I do not give my consent?

    If you choose not to consent to the works (dissent) you must appoint a surveyor. Under the Act you can agree to using the same Surveyor as your neighbour (called an Agreed Surveyor) or more commonly you are entitled to appoint your own surveyor (called an Adjoining Owner’s Surveyor) to act on your behalf and importantly their fees should be met by the person carrying out the works (your neighbour for instance).

    If there is no response after the initial 14 days, you are deemed to be in dissent. You will be served with a follow-up notice, valid for 10 days which you must respond to with your decision to either appoint your own Surveyor or to instruct the same Surveyor as your neighbour.

    If you do not respond to the follow-up notice, the Building Owner’s surveyor has the power to instruct another surveyor to act on your behalf, in accordance with section 10(4) of the Party Wall Act. Once this has been actioned, a Party Wall Award will be issued and your neighbour can start their construction works.

    Have you just been served with a Party Wall Act Notice? Not sure on what to do? Our Party Wall Act Surveyor at Seven One Associates are happy to help and advice with any Party Wall Notice issues and Party Wall Act agreements.

    Read More
  • 03/09/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What you should do when your neighbour ignores the Party Wall Act

    What is the Party Wall Act?


    The Party Wall Act prevents building work undertaken by one neighbour undermining the structural integrity of shared walls or neighbouring properties. It is also designed to avert and resolve potential disputes with neighbours.

    You will need to give a Party Wall Act Notice if you’re looking to carry out building work where there are adjoining properties within a 6-meter radius.

    Party Wall Notices should be served at the earliest opportunity in order to ensure that there is sufficient time for the notice/s to run and for negotiations, if a dispute arises, to be undertaken. However notices are only valid for 12 months so caution should be given so as not to serve the notice too early either as they may then expire before works commence. This is not usually an issue with smaller domestic scenarios but should be factored into larger, longer-term projects.

    What should you do if your Neighbour is carrying out works and has not served Party Wall Notices?

    Your neighbour has a legal responsibility to serve Party Wall notices under the Act prior to notifiable works commencing. Notifiable works, include cutting into the Party Wall, Excavating within 3-6 meters and to a lower depth of your foundations and building on the line of the junction to name a few example under the Party Wall Act dispute.

    You should contact one of our Surveyors on 0208 432 2876 or contact@sevenoneassociates.com in the first instance for some free advice on how best to proceed. In many cases our Surveyors can contact your neighbour on your behalf to request a Party Wall Award to be drawn up to protect your interests – costs of which are their responsibility.

    What should you do if you have served notices but your neighbour ignores them?


    Once a Party Wall Notice is served the Adjoining Owner has 14 days to respond to that Notice. If 14 days pass and there still isn’t a response from the Adjoining Owner, at that point a further Notice can be served which gives them a further and final 10 days to respond.

    If the adjoining owner still hasn’t responded after the service of the Party Wall Notice and the service of the 10 Notice, at that point the Building Owner can then appoint a surveyor on behalf of the non-responsive Adjoining Owner to allow the Party Wall matter to progress.

    Once the neighbour’s surveyor has been appointed the two surveyors will then proceed as if the neighbour had appointed the surveyor and undertake all of the normal exchanges progressing to agreeing the Party Wall Award.

    If the two appointed surveyors fail to agree upon any of the issues in dispute they can make a referral to a previously selected Third Surveyor.

    Neighbours ignoring the Party Wall Act? Need advice or help about Party Wall Act dispute? Find out more about the Party Wall act compensation & Party Wall Act agreement dispute – contact us get some free advice from the Surveyors at Seven One Associates.

    Read More
  • 15/08/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    The benefits of building on the Boundary or Line of Junction

    What is a Boundary Line?


    A Boundary Line looks at the separation of ownership of two or more lands; this is an invisible line which divides one person’s land to another’s. This does not include the thickness or width and usually falls somewhere in or along the physical boundary. The physical boundary can be a feature such as a wall, fence or hedge. The exact legal boundaries are not shown on registered title plans and not shown on ordnance survey maps either.

    England and Wales usually operate a general boundary system of land registration. A title plan shows the boundary of a property in relation to a given physical feature on the ground as well as the wall or hedges.

    What is a Line of junction?

    The line of junction is an imaginary line which divides the lands of two adjoining owners, unlike the Boundary Line, the line of junction extends upwards. If you are building a new wall up to the legal boundary line but on your own land you will need to serve a line of junction notice under the Party Wall Act 1996.

    If you don’t want to serve notice, you can keep the wall slightly back but if you want to serve a Party Structure Notice, it will help you to access your neighbours land to build the wall. This section of the Party Wall Act applies where land of different owners adjoin and are not currently built on the line of junction. It will also apply if it is built on the line of junction to the extent of the Boundary Wall.

    Here are some advantages of building on the Boundary Line:

    - You will require a Party Wall Agreement for rear extension if you are planning on building on the Boundary Wall. This will help to achieve more floor space when you are
    extending your home.

    - A Party Wall Agreement loft conversion will benefit from the Boundary Line because you will be able to access your neighbours land/property for the purposes of building the wall.

    - When you build on the Boundary Wall, it allows the adjoining owners to think about future developments, the adjoining owner will need to pay a portion of building the wall when they want to use it.

    - Another advantage of building on the Boundary Line is that it is much neater if there is one wall built. This is also a cost effective way because both the neighbours can share the cost of building the wall. It is important to obtain a Party Wall Surveyor to formalise this into an Award.

    Need help serving the correct and appropriate Party Wall Notice? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with your project.

    Read More
  • 08/08/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    12 things to know about house extensions before you start

    Whether you are planning to extend for a bedroom, loft, kitchen, office or any extra space to utilize your living area, whatever your reason may be, you still need to make sure that you are properly prepared for the extension and that you have thought through the main considerations before you start.


    Here are 12 things you should know about house extensions before you start.

    1. Planning Permission
    Before you even start you should consider whether your extension will require planning permission. The rules for planning in your area are detailed at the UK Planning Portal website and there, you can find out if your extension will come under permitted development or if you will need to go through the planning process. This could add as much as 3 months to the time it takes to complete your project, but it does ensure that your extension is legal and that your neighbours are aware of what is happening.

    2. Building Regulations  

    Even if you do not need planning permission for your extension, because you are using permitted development rights, you must get building regulation approval. The Building Regulations set out minimum requirements for structural integrity, fire safety, energy efficiency, damp proofing, ventilation and other key aspects that ensure a building is safe.
    Most repair work is excluded from the Building Regulations, with the exceptions of replacement windows, under­­pinning and rewiring. However, apart from certain new buildings such as sheds, outbuildings and some conser­vatories, all new building work, including altera­tions, must comply with the Building Regulations.

    3. Are you in a Conservation Area?
    If your home is in a conservation area or is a listed building, there may be very strict controls governing what alterations you can and cannot make.
    You may not know if you’re in a conservation area, so check with your local authority for more information.

    4. Insurance
    Before you do any work at all you should check with your buildings insurer to find out what their rules are when it comes to building work. Most builders will have the necessary site insurance, but don’t take their word for it. Ask to see their certificates and get your own insurance if you are not sure. If you are leaving your home during the work you need a special type of insurance to cover this.

    5. Know The Party Wall Act
    Your neighbours cannot stop you from build­ing up to, or even on, the boundary between your properties, even if it requires access onto their land (providing you have planning permission to do so, and there are no restrictive covenants).
    The Party Wall Act 1996 allows you to carry out work on, or up to, your neighbours’ land and buildings, formalising the arrange­ments while also protecting everyone’s inter­ests. This is not a matter covered by planning or building control.
    If your extension involves building or digging foundations within 3m of the boundary, Party Wall or Party Wall struc­ture, or digging foun­dations within 6m of a boundary, the work will require you to comply with the Party Wall Act. In these cases, you may need a surveyor to act on your behalf. The act does not apply in Scotland.

    6. Where is best to locate your house extension?
    Where you put your house extension is the next decision.
    The most common option for simply gaining extra space is either a single storey or two storey extension, for which you may want to build out to the side of your home. Consider current planning regulations for the available build size as each property has different rules regulations to adhere to.

    7. Do you really need an architect?
    You will need the services of an expert if you are planning on making major alterations to your property, and in fact, part of the planning application may have to include plans produced by a qualified architect and other consultants such as structural engineers.
    You will need to factor in the cost of an architect and, if required, an engineer, to your overall spending plans.

    8. How long will it all take to complete?
    House extensions don’t happen overnight – and even getting planning permission and building regulations approval can sometimes take months. So be patient, and expect some upheaval and interruption to normal family life while the building is going on.

    9. Know the difference between an Estimate and a Quotation
    An estimate is normally a contractor’s guess as to what your extension will cost. Whether given verbally, or in writing, is not legally binding and the final bill may exceed it.
    A quotation is a definite price. When deciding which builder to choose, always get a detailed written scope that forms the quotations from at least two firms, ideally ones that have been recommended to you.
    The written quotes should itemise the work to be done, provide a breakdown of costs and a total, and state whether VAT is included. When you receive the bids, check whether there are any caveats which might involve extra expense. Also, compare provisional sums for work such as foundations to make sure you are comparing like with like.

    10. The Whole Project
    Try to think beyond the extension itself. When organising an extension you can get caught up with planning the extra space and forget about the rest of your existing home. Your new extension can affect the rest of the house. Depending on what your new plans entail you may need to budget for spending money elsewhere to make improvements to the overall space.

    11. Beware of Removing Trees
    Some trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs). Even if an extension does not require planning permission you cannot alter or even prune a tree that has a TPO on it without planning permission.
    All trees within a Conservation Area are protected by legislation and effectively have a TPO on them providing they have a trunk of diameter greater than 75mm. Altering a tree that is protected by a TPO is a criminal offence and can result in substantial fines so take care if you are extending your home near to a protected tree.

    12. Learn From Others
    Finally, if you are thinking of getting an extension, or are in the process of having one built at the moment, it can be very helpful to know about other people’s experiences. There may be pitfalls which they can help you to avoid or great tips that could save a lot of time and money: no advice is more valuable than that gleaned from experience.

    Do you need to serve Party Wall Act Notice? We at Seven One Associates are happy to help with serving the correct Party Wall Agreement Notices for your works with our experienced Party Wall Act Surveyor.

    Read More
  • 01/08/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How much does an extension cost?

    Home extensions have become more and more popular over the years, they create space within your existing property. You can add a conservatory or a garden room to open up your home and create additional space. You can also add another bedroom or extend your living area. 


    Home extensions are a cost-effective way of creating more space in your home. Moving home can be stressful, expensive, testing and can dramatically change your lifestyle. A home extension can be done to meet your family needs; you will be able to tailor the design the way you want. This change to your home will also add value to your property once you are ready to sell.

    The best thing about an extension is that you don’t necessarily need planning permission. It can come under permitted development. It can usually put people off when they have to get involved with planning permission as it is always a timely endeavour.

    Before executing a home extension, it is important to understand the costs. Here are some tips to help you understand the cost of a home extension.

    1. On average in Britain for an extension, the price range from around £1000 - £2000 per square metre. There are many different qualities that can make the price go up or down, for a single-storey extension a basic extension can cost between £1000 to 1700 per square metre. For a high spec build the extension will cost more around £1900 to £2160 per metre. If you are thinking of a two-storey extension, the costs would be relative, the foundations may need a slightly stronger strength of concrete or additional steel beam may need to be introduced.

    2. The cost will be affected by the materials and the help you will require. If you are going to do the extension mainly on a DIY basis then you could potentially save 30%. You can go down the route of managing the construction yourself with the help of tradespeople hired directly. You might want to hire a main contractor or a small house builder who will provide you with a package to complete the work.

    3. Most extensions won’t require full planning permission but they will require a party wall agreement. A Party Wall Specialist will need to be present; having no Party Wall Agreement can be detrimental to your property. The cost for a Party Wall Surveyor London can range from £120 - £195 per hour, the Party Wall Award and Surveyor/s can cost approximately £1,500 depending on how your neighbours respond.

    4. It is important to always get an accurate quote that is fully itemised for your extension and formalise this in a Building Contract which can be drawn up by your Project Manager, Architect or Quantity Surveyor. It may aid your project to obtain the services of a Quantity Surveyor to ensure the builder has priced for all elements of the work required to prevent costly variations arising during the works from the contractor. The QS will also be able to help you value and pay the builder on an interim basis.

    Are you looking to carry out building works? Do you need assistance with cost estimation or Party Wall surveying? We at Seven One Associates are here to help.

    Read More
  • 24/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    10 Building Projects that don't require Planning Permission

    Planning Permission is required when you make certain changes to your existing property/plot. This Permission will either be granted subject to some conditions or be refused if it isn’t within the guidelines. 


    Parliament has given all the responsibility for Planning to the local Planning authorities. This is usually the Planning department located within your local council offices. It is essential that you take the responsibility for seeking Planning Permission if you are looking to make changes, this must be done before the works start. The local authority has powers to demand structures are broken down if it has been built without Planning Permission.

    Here are some building works that don’t require Planning Permission:

    1. Garage conversions – in most cases garage conversions will fall under a Permitted Development. If you are not changing the actual structure of the building then you will not require Planning Permission.

    You may need to serve Party wall act notice if you are planning to excavate within 3 metres of an adjoining owner. This can be issued by a Party wall Surveyor.

    2. Loft conversion – it is always best to have additional space and it can be achieved without Planning Permission. There are limitations generally up to 40m2, you can also get dormer windows but they are not allowed to sit higher than the highest part of the roof. Lofts usually involve cutting into the Party wall for the beams, you will require a Party wall notice for this.

    3. Remodelling – changing the interior of your home is an excellent way to add more space to your home especially if it means that you are not extending the footprint of the home. 


    4. Building a swimming pool – you are able to build a swimming pool without Planning Permission, it must be within your garden. The total area covered by the pool should not exceed 50% of the area of the garden curtilage.

    5. Cladding – you are able to change your cladding without Planning Permission but your home must not be part of a National Park, World Heritage site or Conservation Area.

    6. Two storey extension – you can add a two-storey extension to your home if it is at the rear of the property. The two storeys must not exceed 3m in depth or be within 7m of the rear boundary.

    7. Conservatory – the conservatory will be under the same restrictions as the two-storey extension. You will not require Planning Permission.

    8. Porch – you may get a new porch as long as it conforms to Building Regulations, the porch must not be taller than 3m, the ground area must not exceed 3m and it cannot be within 2m of a boundary adjacent to the highway.

    9. Garden decking – you will not need Planning Permission as long as the height is below 300mm.

    10. Solar panels – Solar panels have become popular and can be installed without Planning Permission. They must not overhang more than 200mm beyond the Plane of the wall or roof.

    Getting work done to your house and not sure if it will affect your neighbour? Need advice on serving Party Wall Notices? Seven One Associates has Party wall surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall issues.

    Read More
  • 18/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    A beginner's guide to converting your loft into a room/rooms

    Converting a loft into a habitable space has become a hugely popular way to add more room(s) to a home, whether you’re dreaming of adding a master suite, a guest bedroom or a home cinema. A loft conversion can also add value to your property! 


    So what are you waiting for? Our beginner’s guide should help you avoid common conversion pitfalls and make the most of your loft.

    HOW MUCH DOES A LOFT CONVERSION COST?
    A loft conversion can vary in costs depending on the location, the design, the type of roof and the legal constraints. Excluding finishes like windows, flooring, sanitaryware, the average cost of a standard loft conversion can be between £1,200 and £2,000 per sqm. The variation in the cost per square meter depends on the type of loft conversion, the size of the alterations to the roof, the access, the type of finishing and the location.

    PLANNING AND PROFESSIONAL FEES
    Loft extensions can usually be completed under permitted development rights, but it is worth obtaining a Certificate of Lawfulness (approx. £86 as well as your architect’s and building control fees) from your local council for the work.

    Should planning be required, expect planning permission fees (approx. £172 as well as your architect’s and building control fees); these may be included in your agreed contract with the loft company, but do check. 


    If you live in a terraced or semi-detached house, you will need a party wall agreement with your neighbour(s). These can vary and typically costs can range from £350 to £1,000 per neighbour.

    BUILDING CONTROL FEES
    You will need a building control certificate at completion, this certifies that all the work is in compliance with current building regulations. The average building control fee for a loft conversion is £850 approx, depending on the size and the nature of the works.

    You can liaise directly with the local authority or engage a government-approved inspection company known as approved inspectors. Both will check that the work is done in compliance and will issue the certificate at completion.

    SUITABILITY
    Apart from obvious obstacles, such as a water tank or chimney stack, the features that will determine whether your roof space is suitable for a loft conversion are:
    · Head height: Take a measurement from the bottom of the ridge timber to the top of the ceiling joist; the usable part of the roof should be greater than 2.2 m.
    · Pitch angle: The higher the pitch angle, the higher the central head height is likely to be. If dormers are used or the roof is redesigned, then the floor area can be increased.

    ROOM IN ROOF
    Basic ‘room in roof’ conversions are the simplest form of loft conversion and for all in, you can expect:
    · Electrics, lighting and heating
    · Fire safety measures (smoke alarms and fire door)
    · Floor reinforcements
    · Insulation
    · Skylights
    · Staircase

    DORMER EXTENSION
    To add more head height, the least invasive option is to use dormer windows. Doing so gives you more usable floor space and provides more options as to where to place the staircase. For large dormer extensions, you can also consider the benefits of en suite living.

    RAISING THE ROOF
    This is the most expensive option as it’s necessary to remove and rebuild the roof. It’s also harder to acquire planning permission because the property silhouette will be changed. An additional cost to consider is the architectural design work. Overall, the conversions will be a considerable investment but you will be getting a loft conversion with the maximum potential for living space and en suite extras.

    Looking to do a loft conversion or alterations to your property but think you may have a Party Wall agreement dispute? Are you keen to avoid costly surveying fees? Not sure what Party Wall Act compensation is? Want to know more about Party Wall Act dispute?

    Find out more about the Party Wall Act and get some free advice from the Surveyors at Seven One Associates.

    Read More
  • 15/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Loft conversion: A guide to permitted development

    What is a loft conversion?


    A loft conversion is the process of converting an empty attic space into a fully functional room. This can be changed into a bedroom, office space, gym or even storage space. A loft conversion is one of the most popular home improvements that take place in the United Kingdom. Carrying out a loft conversion can be very complicated and you will require the neighbour’s Extension Party Wall Notice.

    You might be a DIY guru but it is best to leave loft conversions to the professionals. There is a large amount of work that will need to be completed for the loft conversion to be a success. You will need to find a Party Wall Surveyor to issue a party structure notice which is a requirement under section 3 of the Party Wall Act. This notice is required because there is steel being inserted into the Party Wall for the loft floor. They will also need to look at the neighbours loft conversion Party Wall if one already exists and how the structural plan be altered as a result.

    There are many benefits to converting your loft:

    - Having a loft conversion can increase the value of your home by 20%. There is no other home improvement that can add more value at the same price.

    - A loft conversion can create more room not just with the extra room you receive but around the conversion. You can create storage underneath your new stairs which will relieve the pressure in all the other rooms of the property.

    - Having a loft conversion means that you will not need to move home with all the additional moving costs, fees to the solicitors and valuation fees. The cost of moving is currently increasing year on year.

    A loft conversion now falls under permitted development rules, this means that you are able to make some changes to your home without planning permission but there are some limitations to this, whilst you are able to move the interior walls, the footprint of the house cannot be altered.

    Are you looking to carry out a Loft conversion? Do you require further information into how the works will be affected by the Party Wall Act? Need to find a party wall surveyor in London? Contact Seven One Associates to get help and support today.

    Read More
  • 11/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How to check whether a Party Wall Notice is valid

    A Party Wall Notice is a legal document that is prepared by a Building Owner or their representatives regarding works that they intend to carry out in close vicinity to a neighbouring structure or to the boundary line. The Notice is intended to inform neighbouring owners (which can include long-term leaseholder etc) of the implications of their proposals on the neighbours. 


    First and foremost, it must be made clear to persons who may be seeking Party Wall advice that it is the duty of a Building Owner to serve the appropriate notice or notices upon all Adjoining Owners. In absolute terms – NO NOTICES means NO RIGHTS under the terminology of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.

    There are three types of Party Wall Notices:

    1. Line of Junction
    2. Party Structure
    3. Notice of Adjacent Excavation

    In many situations, more than one type of notice is required and it is essential that you ensure all notices required under the Act are given. Make sure the Notice you receive clearly states the type of work that is to going to be carried out and how it may affect you.

    The notice must state and cover the three main sections mentioned above, if it is not clear or you believe it effects more than what has been stated, it could be invalid.

    This is obvious, but notices must be for work due to be carried out and not for work that has ALREADY been carried. Party Wall Notices cannot be retrospectively served.

    Notices will become invalid if the work to which they relate to has not begun within the period of twelve months beginning with the day on which the Notices are served and also if the work is not prosecuted with due diligence.

    Serving an invalid Party Wall Notice can lead to added cost and delay, therefore, getting it right is key!

    Not sure if your Party Wall Act Notice is valid? Are you looking for a Party Wall Act Surveyor? We at Seven One Associates are happy to help with any Party Wall Act Notices and Party Wall Act agreement.

    Read More
  • 09/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How to get it right: Removing a chimney the right way

    Chimneys were popular in previous years but have seen a big decline in recent years as many are no redundant. One of the two most common internal changes carried out to a home is to create a loft room(s). The other most common alteration is to remove a chimney breast which has become obsolete at the ground floor or 1st floor


    There are many building regulations that will apply to this type of work because you are altering the structure of the property. There are structural requirements to ensure the remaining part of the stack is supported properly at the loft level, this could also be affected and altered if your neighbour has already removed their chimney breasts.

    The benefit of removing your chimney and chimney breasts is the internal space created as a result. If you are going to remove any part of the chimney then you will need to take professional advice to see the implication of the works. It is very important to acknowledge that the works will also be covered under the Party Wall Act 1996, a Party Wall Act Notice will need to be issued to the property next door by a Party Wall Surveyor. It is important to serve the Party Wall Notice to ensure that shared flues and structural adequacies can be determined before the work begins.

    Here is a how to remove a chimney the right way:

    - It is important to consult with a structural engineer who will be able to draw up a plan for supporting the load bearing wall before you continue. There are a couple of important requirements before any work should begin. This includes Planning Permission (in some cases), Building Control Sign-off and a Party Wall Agreement.

    - You will need to make sure that the integrity of the structure of the property is maintained. The bricks will be removed in a careful manor whilst the chimney stack is supported. The brickwork above will need to be supported with typically a gallows bracket or a rolled steel joist RSJ once you remove the chimney breast. The amount of weight will be determined on how much load bearing will occur, a structural engineer will generally propose a design.

    - Building Control will require the steel to be fireproofed; you can use intumescent paint which will expand when exposed to high temperatures. This will create an insulating layer which will protect the structural members.

    - You will need to make sure that the walls are covered with plasterboard and skirting board as required.

    - You will need to re-plaster the walls and ceiling as required.

    Need to remove your chimney but not sure if it will affect your house or your neighbours? Need advice about giving a Party Wall Act Notice? Seven One Associates has Party Wall Surveyor specialists who are more than happy to help you with all your party wall issues.

    Read More
  • 04/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Why you have to pay to use your neighbour’s wall?

    What is a Party Wall?

    The Party Wall divides the buildings of two owners, with a boundary between the properties. This is usually but not always positioned at the centre of two attached properties. The Party Wall Act 1996 looks at two different types of party walls:

    - Type A is when a wall stands astride the boundary of the land which belongs to two or more different owners. This can include walls which are separating terraced or semi-detached houses (known as the party wall) or between two gardens in masonry (known as a party fence wall).

    - Type B is when the wall stands on one owners land but is used by two or more owners to separate their building. For example this includes where one neighbour has a building structure that leans against a wall that is owned by the other neighbour.

    There are different types of notices that a Party Wall Specialist can issue:

    - The Party Structure Notice is usually used when alterations directly affect the Party Wall and this can also include removing chimney breasts, cutting holes to insert beams and padstones.

    - Line of Junction Notice is when there is construction of a new wall that is adjacent to the boundary wall or construction of a new wall astride a boundary.

    - The Notice of Adjacent Excavation is for when you are excavating within 3 or 6 metres of your neighbour's building.

    It is important to have a Party Wall Agreement in place because usually a Party Wall is the shared wall between a terrace and semi-detached house and divides the homes of two separate owners. You are obliged by law to serve a notice on your neighbours. They can either consent or dissent, if they dissent then you can get a Party Wall Surveyor London to help. If there is no Party Wall Agreement, the dispute can get really messy and result in court proceedings.

    If your neighbours are building a new wall which is built equally on the boundary then you will have the right to enclose upon it in the future should you wish to build an extension. The total cost of building the wall includes the materials and labour costs of the wall and its foundations will have to be paid to the property owner whom built the wall in present-day costs at due proportion. The cost is usually at 50% of the proportion of the wall that is being enclosed upon calculated by the Surveyors. Of course, this naturally leads to a 50% saving as the flank wall is being utilised dispite the payment of 50% to the neighbour.


    If the wall is built on your neighbours land then you won’t be allowed to enclose it without their consent.

    Why do you have to pay for your neighbour's wall? Are you looking for a party wall specialist? We at Seven One Associates are here to help from our specialist Party Wall Surveyor in London.

    Read More
  • 02/07/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Is an Agreed Surveyor right for your job?

    What is a Party Wall surveyor?


    A surveyor is described in the Party Wall Act 1996 as anyone who is not party to the works that are being carried out. This helps both sides as it rules out the owner acting for themselves. This will include whoever has an interest in the said works or a relation between the owners.

    The person that you pick should have extensive knowledge of construction, have an excellent understanding of the Party Wall procedures and have a relevant degree. People usually pick Building Surveyors or other surveying backgrounds.

    The Party Wall Surveyor will prepare documents such as the Party Wall Award or Party Structure Notice. This document looks at the owners’ rights and responsibilities of how the work should proceed and looks at items such as working hours. The document will also state the course of action in the case of any damage and how the surveyor will access the property during the course of the works.

    What is an Agreed Surveyor?

    An Agreed Party Wall surveyor is someone that acts on behalf of both the homeowner and the Adjacent Neighbour. They can be employed for a Party Wall Agreement for rear extension or to make a Party Wall Agreement loft conversion or any notifiable works under the Act.

    The agreed surveyor’s responsibilities include:

    - Reviewing the proposed works and constructional details provided by the building owner.

    - Serving the appropriate and correct notices for the works.

    - Assessing the impact of the works to the adjoining owners and reviewing the method of the works to reduce the risk of adverse damage to the neighbour structure.

    - Arranging access and attending the site to record the condition of the Adjoining Owners property which forms the schedule of conditions.

    - Issuing and serving the Party Wall Award to the neighbours and Building Owners for the proposed works.

    - Assessing any damage caused by the works and issuing subsequent Award/s to make good/compensate the adjoining owners.

    The benefit of an Agreed Surveyor is that the Building Owner will not need to pay the surveying fees of two Surveyors, moreover, the process is generally quicker when there is only one Surveyor drafting the Award.

    Not sure if an Agreed Surveyor is right for your party wall matter or do you need help with the Party Structure Notice? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with all your Party Wall issues in London.

    Read More
  • 28/06/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Building on the Line of Junction

    What is the Line of Junction? 


    The Line of Junction is line that divides the lands of two or more Owners, it’s sometimes described as the imaginary line. Unlike a boundary line, the Line of Junction also extends upwards. So, if you are planning an extension, particularly a side or rear extension up to the line of junction, you will need to consider issuing a Line of Junction notice to your neighbour.

    What is a Line of Junction Notice?

    A notice is required where either owner is about to build on any part of the Line of Junction. The Line of  Junction will be determined between the owners or their appointed surveyors. It is not deemed to be a boundary line, as the Party Wall Act is not legislation that can determine a boundary dispute. But in essence, the line of junction and boundary are generally the same.

    If a building owner wants to build a Party Wall or a Party Fence Wall on or up to the Line of Junction, they should issue a Notice to the Adjoining Owner at least one month before they intend to start building works and the notice should indicate their desire to build and the works intended.

    What must the building owner include in the notice?

    ·It must be addressed to the Adjoining Owner/s as listed in the land registry or Companies House records in the case of a UK listed company


    · It must state the name and address of the Adjoining Owner/s as listed in the land registry or Companies House records in the case of a UK listed company

    · It must state the intent to build a new wall as a party wall astride the boundary or confirm intent to build the new wall just up to the line of junction

    · It must describe the new wall that the building owner intends to build – for example height, length, materials etc. The Building Owner might also wish to add further information for the neighbour’s benefit – for example ‘forming part of a single storey extension’ or include drawings

    · The date of commencement of the planned works

    · Signed and dated.

    Is your neighbour building on the line of junction or are you having a Party Wall Act dispute? Do you need help with Party Wall Act compensation? Find out more about Party Wall Act compensation and let Seven One Associates manage your Party Wall Agreement dispute.

    The Line of Junction Notice can be confusing. If you are not sure whether you need a Line of Junction Notice or need any initial advice, please give us a call.

    Read More
  • 25/06/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How to make the most of the larger home extension scheme

    In the current house market it can be really hard to find the money for a significant deposit, so extending your home is the next best thing. The population is living much longer than ever before, which means that there aren’t many properties to go round as supply has failed to keep up. People are looking for an easy way to extend their home that will increase the space and add value to their property. 


    Moving to a bigger house can be a costly endeavour whether especially including legal fees and stamp duty.

    You might be thinking of a side extension, garage extension or a double or single-storey rear extension, there will be a lot to consider when you embark on your home improvement project to expand your footprint. Loft conversions are very popular but you will need the Party Wall Surveyor to have a look at the neighbours loft conversion party wall to avoid any disputes once works commence.

    Permitted development is seen as a pre-approved permission to build, this means that you will be able to navigate the planning process with ease. Your planned design and build will need to be in line with governmental guidelines. It is worth getting a Party Surveyor or an architect on board so that you can make sure you are within the rules.

    You will need to apply to your local council so that you can receive a certificate. This certificate will prove that you have complied with all the rules and regulations. If your plans fall within the larger home extension scheme, this can save you time and help you with potential complications.

    What to consider before you start on the extension?

    - You will need to make sure that your neighbours know of your plans. If planning permission required, your neighbours will be contacted by the local planning authorities for their approval/consent. The best way is to tackle it is head on and let your neighbours know before they receive the formal letter from the authorities.

    - The Party Wall is usually a shared wall which applies to terrace and semi-detached houses. The neighbour’s extension party wall will need a Party Wall Agreement. This is commonly needed for loft conversions and extensions that require steel support. If the neighbour is not in agreement then you might need to find a Party Wall Surveyor.

    - Another important thing to think about is whether your extension project actually adds value to your property. It is best to speak to a good local estate agent, they will give you some advice on whether your plan will add any value to your property. They will also be able to assist you on how much of an increase on the price you can receive.

    Looking to extend your home? Do you need to find a party wall surveyor? Contact Seven One Associates to get help and support today!

    Read More
  • 13/06/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    5 things to consider when carrying out building work to your home

    Thinking of a new bathroom or an extension? You want to make sure that you can build the size of extension that you want, within your budget. Being aware of potential pitfalls and additional costs at the beginning of the process will help you make informed decisions.


    Below are 5 things you should consider when carrying out building works.

    1. Check whether you require permission or approval for the work

    Depending on the precise nature of the improvement work you are proposing, you might need to obtain multiple types of permission or approval before that work can commence.

    Even seemingly rudimentary tweaks, like replacing windows or doors, could necessitate building regulations approval. Meanwhile, if you will be building a new structure or making a significant change like an extension, planning permission will typically be needed.

    2. Visit your local planning office if unsure

    Informally visit your local planning office and ask them if what you have in mind will require planning authorisation. Making any changes to a listed building will require planning permission.

    3. Building regulations

    Regardless of whether or not planning permission is required, any renovation project must comply with building regulations. You’ll need to ensure whoever carries out the work can either self-certify the work they do (for example, FENSA accredited window fitters, Gas Safe registered gas engineers and NICEIC registered electricians and so on) or will liaise with the local Building Control Officers at your council to have their work certified. If the requirements aren’t met, you could be served with a notice to take the extension down and will have trouble when it comes to selling your home without the relevant Building Regulations certificates.


    4. Work out the costs

    How much your extension will cost depends on many factors, not least of which is the quality and complexity of the design. As a rough guide, a cost of £1,000–£2,000 per square metre should be expected. You will typically need to employ an architect/designer, depending on the extension you also need to appoint a structural engineer and you may also opt to appoint a Quantity Surveyor, which will be an additional cost. In most cases building control will require certain drawings, calculations in order to sign off the works.

    Balance the budget for your extension with the value it will add to the overall property. See the advice of a quantity surveyor to guage a cost estimate or value engineer your build to provide savings.

    5. Designing an extension - Finding an architect

    Depending on the scale of the project, you may wish to involve an architect. There’s no law saying you need to use an architect, even for large renovations and builds, but some people find it easier to have a professional draw up the designs. Using an architect will generally mean you’ll get a better end result, however, their fees are usually around 15%, so you’ll need to factor this into your budget.

    Getting construction work done? Want more information on excavation work in construction? Not sure if excavations is covered by the party wall act? Need to give a notice of adjacent excavation? SevenOne Associates are happy to help with any excavation notices.

    Read More
  • 12/06/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    5 common confusions about the Party Wall Act

    The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 has been around for more than 20 years but it can still be confusing to many Building Owners. This is why a Party Wall Surveyor are usually put in place to ensure the Building Owner is compliant with the rules of the Party Wall Act. 


    The Party Wall Act covers various work that is going to be carried out directly to an existing Party Wall or Party Structure. It also covers the following:

    - New building at or astride the boundary lines between properties

    - Excavations within 3 or 6 metres of neighbouring buildings or structures depending on the depth of the hole or proposed foundation.

    - Work may fall within more than one of the above categories and involve different types of building and structures.

    Here are some of the common confusions about the Party Wall Act:

    1. The biggest misconception people have is not getting official consent if their neighbour has given permission. Official consent cannot be given unless the Party Wall Act is served even if you have the most wonderful neighbours. Verbal consent will not be sufficient, you will need to serve the Notice. After this, they will be given a two week period in which they are able to confirm their consent in writing. For example, if you are extending the rear of your home and there is no Party Wall agreement for rear extension in place, you will have no security against any damages that might occur. The Party Wall Surveyor will not be able to help because the works commenced without the agreement.

    2. Some people believe that the act doesn’t apply to any extension on your own land - another common misconception. Section 6 of the Party Wall Act states that even if the build is within your own grounds, the Act will recognises that this can bring potential damage to your neighbour’s foundations. To make sure that you are covered within the Party Structure Notice[FA1] , you must be excavating within 3 metres of your neighbours foundations. This can be extended to 6 metres if you find that the foundations are deep such as Piling.

    3. Another common confusion is that your neighbour can refuse access to the work. If however, you have the served the correct Section 1 Notice then you have the necessary permission to then enforce your right with the help of either a community support or other police officer. You are able to remove any fences or doors in order to enter the premises. You will not have to go through the courts.

    4. Some people believe that if the neighbour hasn’t replied then they are free to start their loft conversion. There is a 14 day period for the neighbours to consent to the works. If they still don’t reply then they are deemed to have dissented and must appoint a Party Wall Surveyor. If they fail to do that then the Party Wall agreement loft conversion must be overseen by someone the Building Owners appoint on their behalf.

    5. There is belief that you can produce a retrospective award if works have gone ahead without notice, this is a common confusion. There are cases where work has been granted retrospectively but it is down to the surveyor’s opinion and subject to agreement by both parties. If neighbours cannot agree then it can be escalated and settled in court, although, this is costly.

    Are you confused about the Party Wall Act? Need help with the Party Structure Notice? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with all your Party Wall issues in London.

    Read More
  • 11/06/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What is the role of a party wall Surveyor?

    A Party Wall Surveyor is appointed under statute to act impartially between two parties to resolve a dispute under the Party Wall etc. Act. 


    The Party Wall Surveyor should have excellent knowledge of construction; they will also be well versed in Party Wall procedures and have the most relevant qualification. The most popular choices that people usually go for are Building Surveyors or other surveying backgrounds.

    The Party Wall Surveyor will first serve Party Wall Act Notice. This document will set out the owners’ rights and responsibilities in relation to how the work should proceed and covers items such as working hours, what happens in case of damage and access for the Surveyors during the duration of the works.

    There might be times when the neighbour is not likely to consent to the planned works, therefore, it is worthwhile involving a Party Wall Surveyor at an early stage. The process will start with the Service of Notice, templates are available on the internet and in the library but it is always worth remembering that if all the necessary information is not included, they can be seen as invalid.

    The most time-intensive task that the Party Wall Surveyor has to carry out prior to the building work commencing is the preparation of the Party Wall Notice. It is essential that this is done with the utmost care so it does not delay the commencement of works. If there are two Surveyors, this is prepared by the Building Owner’s Surveyor and Agreed by the Adjoining Owners’ Surveyor.

    It is important to remember that once the Surveyor is appointed whether they are employed as an agreed Surveyor or by any of the owners, they will have to act in an impartial manner. A Party Wall Act can be hard to understand, this is why a Building Owner obtains the services of a Surveyor so that they can explain the complexities of the act. Once the Party Wall Surveyor is appointed it’s their role to make sure the dispute is resolved even if the Building Owner no longer wants them in place. The appointment of that Surveyor cannot be rescinded unless the Surveyor declares themselves incapable of acting.

    The fees in normal circumstances are paid by the Building Owner. It is difficult to mention the costs because they range widely from job to job and many different Surveyors will charge different amounts depending on the proposed work.

    Surveyors who are appointed on behalf of Building Owners will usually charge a fixed amount, whereas the adjoining owners will charge by the hour with contingencies for additional visits. The Surveyor will enter the agreed figure into the award just before it is served. For example fees charged by Adjoining Owners Surveyors in London range between £700 for a simple job to £1,500 to cover more complex works such as a basement conversion.

    Have you just been served with a Party Wall Notice? Need advice about the Party Wall Act notice? We at SevenOne Associates have Party Wall Surveyor specialists who are more than happy to help you with all your Party Wall issues.

    Read More
  • 10/06/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What to do when your neighbour ignores the party wall act

    Under the Party Wall Act, any person proposing to do work which falls under the Act must first serve notice/s, this is because carrying out the said works to either a wall which is on, or near a boundary or which may be a shared party wall carries the potential for damage and affects the neighbouring properties. The Neighbour may then serve a counter-notice depending on the proposed works. Unless they can agree the works to be done (or consent), the Act provides a procedure for the appointment of a Party Wall Surveyor (or more than one Surveyor if the parties so choose). The Surveyor will then make an award which determines what work can be done and how. The Surveyor can also make awards of compensation where loss or damage results.


    What will happen if a Party Wall Notice is not served?

    By failing to serve a Party Wall Notice you will be breaching a ‘Statutory Duty’. When a neighbour claims that they have suffered damage due to your works they will provide evidence of this damage in its current state. Without a Schedule of Condition to compare conditions before and after it will be difficult (if not impossible) to identify what damage has been caused by the works. Your neighbour may, therefore, decide to make spurious claims for pre-existing defects.

    As there has been a breach of statutory duty the court is likely to a dim view and apply the ‘Reverse Burdon of proof’. In practice, this means that the neighbour’s claim is assumed to be correct unless you can prove otherwise. You may, therefore, be ordered to pay for any number of repairs, which in reality may not your responsibility (plus solicitor’s and court costs).  Subsequently, had notices been served it would be down to your neighbour to prove that said damages were as a result of the works, that said, it is always best to appoint a Surveyor to draw up an Award as they can then be called upon to resolve at a later date any disputes over damage that may occur.

    What will happen if your neighbour ignores the Party Wall Notice?

    Once a Party Wall Notice is served the Adjoining Owner has 14 days to respond to that Notice. If 14 days passes and there still isn’t a response from the Adjoining Owner, at that point a further Notice can be served which gives them a further and final 10 days to respond.

    If the Adjoining Owner still hasn’t responded after the service of the  Party Wall Notice and the service of notice under Section 10(4), at that point the Building Owner can then appoint a Surveyor on behalf of the non-responsive Adjoining Owner to allow the Party Wall matter to progress. Although, it is important to ensure all notices are correct and valid before the appointment of a Surveyor can be made under Section 10 (4).

    The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 by its very nature is a facilitating Act; therefore by allowing an appointment to be made on behalf of the Adjoining Owner it ensures that the process moves forward in a sensible manner, while also ensuring the non-responsive Adjoining Owner’s legal rights are fully protected.

    Even if you have appointed a Party Wall Surveyor for your neighbour that does not mean that access to take a schedule of condition is possible. In that case, you may find the Party Wall Surveyor has to make a “blind” party wall award because there is no easy access into your neighbour’s property to take the schedule or an external survey is taken.

    What you must not do, is assume that because you haven’t heard from your neighbours you can ignore them and just crack on with your works.

    Has your neighbour ignored the Party Wall Act? Or maybe you are facing a Party Wall Agreement dispute? Need help with a Party Wall Act dispute? Find out more about the Party Wall Act compensation at SevenOne Associates.

    Read More
  • 28/05/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    4 ways you might be affected by the Party Wall Act

    If you are planning to extend or convert your property, you might be under a legal obligation to serve a Party Wall Notice to your neighbours - even if you don’t actually share a wall with them. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is completely separate from planning or building regulations. 


    The Party Wall Act grants rights that do not exist within common law to Building Owners undertaking certain construction work. The Adjoining Owner will not be able to use the Party Wall Act to stop you undertaking any building projects, although, if the process is not followed you could be at risk of an injunction being placed against you. The Party Wall Act will provide a framework for resolving disputes between neighbours in connection with Party Walls and Structures, Boundary Walls and Excavations near neighbouring buildings.

    Key benefits to Building Owners include:

    · Enabling works to be carried out legally upon service of an Award by a Party Wall Specialists

    · Offering protection from future spurious claims of damage

    · Preventing the expense of going to court in the event of a dispute

    Here are 4 ways you might be affected by the Party Wall Act:

    1. Your shared Party Wall may in need for repair although, the Adjoining Owner is reluctant or has little interest in paying due proportion for the repairs to the shared party wall. If no Party Wall Agreement is produced by a Surveyor, you risk the whole works being solely at your costs. You will not be able to reinforce the Party Wall Act 1996 to compel the land owner to pay due proportion to you in regards to the repair work. If you are likely to do any work you can get the award to ensure that you are covered and a Surveyor is appointed to help resolve any disputes that may occur.

    2. Where a Building Owner carries out works notifiable under the Act, it can sometimes have detrimental effects to the shared Party Wall. If a Party Wall Award is not drawn up by a Surveyor and the shared Party Wall later suffers from damage as a result of the works then a dispute will arise as to resulting costs of repairing the wall. At this point, as no Award was drawn up by a Surveyor for earlier work, the Surveyor has no remit to resolve the dispute. As such it would be down to the building owners to prove their case in court, which can be quite costly. You can get a Party Wall Specialist to come and survey your property and help safeguard your property against building works.

    3. If a Building Owner decides to carry out work to an existing Party Wall that is damaged and they have correctly served notice under the Party Wall Act 1996 before works have commenced, you will have no right to stop them. You must allow access for works and inspections to be carried out once you have received the 14 days’ notice from your neighbour. It is important to appoint a Surveyor to ensure the due proportion of costs is calculated fairly amongst both owners.

    4. If the Building Owner is carrying out works which are pursuant to the Party Wall Act and your property is damaged, then the Building Owner will be required to compensate you. However, you must employ a Party Wall Surveyor London to draw up an Award prior to works commencing.

    Not sure on how you will be affected by the Party Wall Act? Looking for a Party Wall specialist? We at SevenOne Associates are here to help with our specialist Party Wall Surveyor in London.

    Read More
  • 23/05/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Party Wall FAQ: 15 questions you should be asking

    If you are a property owner who is planning to carry out some renovation or extension work to your property, or if you are a neighbour to someone who is commencing building works on their property, then you might want to learn more about the Party Wall Act and how it applies to you. 


    In the current market, it has become harder to buy a new house, therefore, more people are renovating and extending on their existing properties. You will need to find a Party Wall Surveyor if you plan on carrying out any building work involving excavation near a neighbouring property or works to a Party Wall.

    Here are some of the questions you should be asking:

    1. The first question you should ask is what is the Party Wall Act? This act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to Party Walls, Party Fence Walls and Excavations near neighbouring buildings.

    2. What is a Party Wall? The Party Wall stands astride the boundary of land which belongs to two different owners. It can be a wall that is part of one building which separates two or more buildings. In the case of a garden wall that lies between two owners, this is commonly referred to as a Party Fence Wall.

    3. Are Party Wall agreements compulsory? It is compulsory to serve notices if the said works are covered under the Act, for example, neighbours extension Party Wall or affecting a ceiling or floor, it is advised that you give appropriate written notice to the owners and occupiers. If the notices are not consented to, then an award (agreement) will need to be drawn by a Surveyor.

    4. Do I need to consider the Party Wall Act or notify my neighbours if I plan to work on internally on shared walls? Yes, you will need to notify the neighbours if you intend to carry out works to the Party Wall.

    5. When do I need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor? It is recommended to appoint one at least 3 months before the building works start. The administration of the Party Wall Act will likely take less time but plenty of time is allowed so you can start building works without any delay. The service of notices takes 14 days, followed by a further 10-day letter if no response is received. Therefore it could take up to a month before any surveying can be done.

    6. What will a Party Wall Surveyor do? The Surveyor offers advice on the procedure, obligations and responsibilities. The first point of action is it review the proposed plans and confirm if the works meet the criteria under the Act. If so, then the relevant Party Wall Notices are served to all affected neighbours. If the notices are dissented to, then the Surveyor or Surveyors will then conduct a site visit and prepare a schedule of condition of neighbouring property. Once this is done, the Surveyor/s finalise the terms of the Party Wall Award and serve this forthwith to all owners at which time building works can commence.

    7. How much will it cost? Generally, the Building Owner carrying out the works will cover the costs of the appointment of the Surveyor for works that are solely for their benefit, for example, the neighbours loft conversion Party Wall. The cost differs between the works as well as the Surveyors, find a Party Wall Surveyor will experience with your type of works.

    8. Can the Party Wall be amended? Yes, however, this should be brought to the attention of the Surveyor/s at first instance. You also have the right to appeal the Award at the County Court within 14 days of service of the Award but this needs to not be taken lightly as there may be costs incurred if unsuccessful.

    9. Who is the Building Owner in the Party Wall Act? The party who owns the property where the building works are due to be carried out.

    10. Who is the Adjoining Owner in the Party Wall Act? This is the party who is potentially affected by the works.

    11. Should a solicitor be consulted? Generally no, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 was introduced to stop expensive litigation between two property owners and instead introduce the role of expert Party Wall Surveyors in the specific field.

    12. When does a Party Wall Award expire? The notice is valid for one year, it is best not to serve it too long before you are looking to start your work. As a minimum notice should be served two months prior to your intended start date, of course, this does not guarantee a start date, but it allows sufficient time for the work of Surveyors to be completed if there is a dispute.

    13. Can the Party Wall Act be used to resolve boundary disputes? No, because the Party Wall Act does not have any provisions that can be used to resolve boundary disputes. These disputes must be resolved through Boundary Surveyors, the Courts or by mutual agreement.

    14. Can a Party Wall Award be applied retrospectively? Generally no, unless this is mutually agreed by both owners. Note that works commencing before valid notices and if required a Party Wall Award can lead to an injunction.

    15. Works have commenced without a Party Wall Notice or Award being served, what are my rights? If your neighbour has commenced works that are notifiable under the Party Wall etc. Act without serving the appropriate valid notices then a temporary injunction can be applied for at the County Court by the Adjoining Owner (neighbouring property). This will mean that a court order prevents works from continuing until a Surveyor/s has been appointed to finalise a Party Wall Award. Unfortunately, an injunction can be costly for the Building Owner carrying out works for failure to follow due legislation.

    Is construction working going on at your neighbour’s house? Are you proposing to carry out works? Do you need to find a Party Wall Surveyor? Contact Seven One Associates to get help and support today!

    Read More
  • 09/05/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Are excavations covered by the party wall act?

    One of the most popular questions asked by property owners is whether an excavation notice is covered by the party wall act. There are different types of excavations that the act covers and confirms why these excavations are notifiable to an adjoining property owner. 


    Most of the property in England and Wales were built around the turn of the century or around the 1930’s. These properties have many different things in common but the most common thing is that all of their foundations tend to be towards the shallower end of the spectrum, this will range anywhere from 100mm to 450mm.

    The building regulations require foundations for new buildings to be a minimum generally of 1 metre deep, this means these foundations are much deeper than those of surrounding properties, especially older properties. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 came into play with the works being legally referred to as notifiable under Party Wall etc. Act 1996. A notice of adjacent excavation will need to be given to all neighbours affected.

    There are modern excavation works in construction that allows for a wide and varied range of different approaches to excavation.

    - Mass concrete foundation are conventional trench foundations, this means that the contractor will dig a trench usually a minimum of 1m deep and anywhere from 400mm – 600mm wide. The trench will then be filled with concrete, forming a foundation with the structure above, this is usually a side or rear extension. These types of foundation are conventional and commonly used.

    - Piled foundation tends to be used where the ground is more of a granular type, for example, more sandy or gravelly areas. The foundation is dug when a piling rig drives or drills into the ground, usually in excess of 3m deep. It is then filled with concrete and usually reinforced with some type of metal to add strength and stability. This type of foundation is less conventional for work such as a rear or side extension. On the other hand, this is becoming widely used generally speaking because they are easy to install, contractors can do these fairly easily and they are strong, which allows the structure above to bear the load.

    - Raft foundation is similar to mass concrete foundation, but rather than the depth of the excavation and trench being 1m deep, a raft foundation sits on the surface of the ground which is where it gets its name from. The trench is usually around 100 to 200mm deep and once dug it will usually have timber shuttering to its perimeter with the entire area being filed with concrete - they might also use some metal reinforcements. The foundation will be able to support the structure but this is not used often because of the mounting cost that comes with it.

    Not sure if excavations is covered by the party wall act? Have you received a notice of adjacent excavation? SevenOne Associates are happy to help with any excavation notices.

    Read More
  • 07/05/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How soon should you serve a party wall notice?

    What is a Party Wall?


    A party wall is a shared wall between two neighbours in a semi-detached or terrace house. This may include garden walls on the boundary line, also known as party fence  walls. Where a wall separates buildings of different sizes, only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.

    Homeowners need to follow a set of guidelines when their building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, excavations close to neighbouring buildings and new walls at boundaries – this is mentioned in the Party Wall Act which came into existence in 1996 in England and Wales.

    What is a Party Wall Notice?

    A Party Wall Notice is a legal document that is prepared by a building owner or his/her representatives regarding works that he/she intends to carry out in close vicinity to a neighbouring structure or to the boundary line. The Notice is intended to inform neighbouring owners (which can include long-term leaseholders and freeholders etc) of the implications of their proposals on the neighbouring structures. There are 3 types of notices, Line of Junction, Party Structure and Notice of Adjacent Excavation.

    Do you need a Party Wall Agreement for a rear extension and do you need a Party Wall Agreement for loft conversion?

    The following gives you a list of types of work that are likely to need a Party Wall Notice:
     
    · Loft conversions and extensions

    · Basements

    · Re-building or repairing a boundary wall

    · Excavation within 3 meters to 6 meters of your neighbour's property [even if you are not attached to them]

    · Building on, or up to the boundary between neighbours.

    How soon should you serve a Party Wall Notice?

    You need to serve notice on all the owners of every neighbouring property affected by the works, both freeholders and leaseholders. You don't need planning permission for your plans to serve notice, and once you've done so you can take up to a year to start work.

    Party Wall Notices should be served at the earliest opportunity (or at least two months before the notifiable works are intended to begin) in order to ensure that there is sufficient time for the notice to run and for preparation and service of the Award by the Surveyor/s if a dispute arises. However, notices are only valid for 12 months so caution should be given so as not to serve the notice too early either as they may then expire before works commence. This is not usually an issue with smaller domestic scenarios but should be factored into larger, longer-term projects.

    Learn more about when you should serve a party structure notice. Contact us to find out more and get assistance with all your party wall issues in London.

    Read More
  • 29/04/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How to best serve a party wall notice?

    The party wall act outlines what information a correctly served party wall notice must contain. The party wall act 1996 introduced a procedure for resolving disputes between owners of neighbouring properties. Disputes, which may arise because of one owner’s intention to carry out works that can affect the party wall. The type of works varies but can involve the construction of the party wall. the boundary wall or excavations within certain distances of a neighbour’s structure and to a lower depth than the foundation. 


    The 1996 act can be traced back to 1666 great fire of London, this led to a radical re think of the party wall construction to restrict the spread of fire to the adjacent properties. Before the act was put in place there was no set procedure in England and Wales for dealing with any disputes, which led to expensive litigation to resolve matters. In inner London, part VI of the London building acts 1939 set out a well tried and tested mechanism for resolving disputes. The party wall act 1996 is essentially a re-working of the 1939 act but with certain modifications to improve some anomalies and general updating of the text.

    How best to serve a party wall notice

    There are three different types of party wall notices that you may need to serve, there might be a reason to use one, two or even all of them:

    - There is a section 1 notice which is when you would like to build on the boundary line

    - Section 3 notice is when you want to work on an existing party wall or party fence wall.

    - Section 6 notice is when you want to excavate within 3m of your neighbour and deeper than the foundation.

    According to the party wall act notice guidelines, there should be sufficient detail and description for a neighbour to understand how your proposals may affect their building. If the description is missing or is too broad, the notice might be considered as invalid if challenged by the neighbour.

    All party wall notices must be served by building owners, but they can appoint a party wall surveyor to sign and serve the notice on their behalf. The surveyor will need to be authorised before they can serve the notice.

    All notices must have the following:

    - The notice must be served in writing to avoid having a conversation that can later be denied by either party.

    - If there are two owners, they both should be mentioned in the notice.

    - The notice should be dated if posted and should be sent recorded delivery to ensure that the recipient receives it.

    - You can give the notice in the neighbours hand in person or if they are not in then under their door.

    Still not sure about how to best serve a party wall notice to your neighbour? SevenOne Associates has party wall surveyor specialists who are more than happy to help you with all your party wall issues.

    Read More
  • 15/04/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How can a Boundary Determination help you?

    One of the most common causes of neighbour disputes is over the position of a boundary fence or wall. The first step to resolving the dispute is to establish exactly where the boundary lies - Who is responsible for maintaining what part of the boundary? The position on the ground does not always reflect the actual legal position in the title deeds and then again, the deeds will not always answer the questions!


    Over the years through property ownerships and various different occupants, the boundaries can often be moved, diverted, adjusted and even overgrown. While the legal boundary line will always be indicated on the Land Registry Title Plan, often these will be to a very high scale, usually 1 to 1,250. In practice, this means that when a Surveyor attempts to determine the boundary line using Land Registry Title Plan scale, there can be as much as a one metre wide discrepancy as to where the true boundary line lies.

    Due to the nature of such matters, Boundary Dispute cases such as these can often become a case of one person’s word against another. Because of this, it can be helpful to get a professional opinion on the matter.

    You can hire a Boundary Surveyor who can write up a boundary determination report, in this document the Boundary Surveyor expresses their professional opinion on where the Boundary Line lies and details how the Surveyor came to that opinion.

    The Boundary Surveyor will often visit the property and conduct a variety of different tests in order to write up an adequate report and come to their decision. They will then usually take a series of measurements and photographs in order to gather an accurate assessment of what the current projection of the Boundary line is.

    Once this inspection is complete the Boundary Surveyor will undertake desktop research, which includes looking at the Land Registry Details, the Land Registry Map Search, previous Planning Applications, Historical and Present Maps and even Google Earth and Street View in order to gain evidence to where the Boundary Line may lie.

    You can make an application to the Land Registry in form DB to determine the exact line of the boundary and this is often a good place to start to resolve a dispute over the position of the boundary. They will look at old title deeds and physical features as well as historical images (photographs for example) to try to establish the true legal boundary.

    The Land registry will only determine the boundary if there is sufficient evidence to confirm its location. They will not adjudicate where there is serious doubt. Before making an application, therefore, it is a good idea for both neighbours to collect as much evidence as possible in the form of documents, old photographs and perhaps witness statements.

    Looking for a party wall specialist to help understand no wall agreement? We at SevenOne Associates are here to help from our specialist party wall surveyor in London.

    Read More
  • 12/04/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What is a Party Structure Notice and when does it need to be issued?

    If you’re planning an extension or renovation near an adjoining property, you must observe the Party Wall Act 1996 and if required obtain a Party Wall Award. It's designed to help you undertake work – providing access to neighbouring properties where required – while protecting the interests of your neighbours.


    If you are undertaking building work, you will need to issue official valid Party Structure Notice/s to your neighbour in the following circumstances:

    · Cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example, a party wall agreement loft conversion will be needed.

    · Inserting a damp proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall

    · Raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any projections preventing from the party wall.

    · Demolishing and rebuilding a party wall or party fence wall.

    · Underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall or party fence wall.

    · Weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building.

    · Party wall agreement for rear extension

    Typical senarios where a Party Wall Award may be required:

    - Party Wall agreement loft conversion

    - Party Wall agreement rear extention.


    What is a party wall?


    A party wall is the shared wall between two or more neighbours in a semi-detached, terrace property or a flat. This may include garden walls, also known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates buildings of different sizes, only the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.

    When to serve a Party Structure Notice?

    You should serve notice on your neighbour at least two months before work begins by writing to them and including your contact details and full details of the works to be carried out, access requirements and the proposed date of commencement. In an urban environment, your project might affect several adjoining neighbours, and you will have to serve notice on each of them. If a property has a leasehold title then you will need to serve notice on both the leaseholder and the freeholder.

    For the party wall structure to be valid, the following information must be included in the notice:

    1. Name and address of the building owner or owners as listed in the land registry or Companies House records in the case of a UK listed company.

    2. Name and address of the adjoining owner or owners as listed in the land registry or Companies House records in the case of a UK listed company.

    3. Nature and detail of the proposed work – this can be in the form of a detailed description. Drawing do NOT need to be attached, however it iis advisable that drawings are provided.

    4. Date on which the work will begin and confirmation that it will not begin until two months have elapsed unless an earlier start date is consented to by the adjoining owner/s.

    5. Details of your appointed surveyor. This is not mandatory as you may not need a surveyor if the adjoining owner has no objections, however, it may be a good idea to give details of the surveyor that you would appoint in the notice so that they can be considered as a possible ‘Agreed Surveyor’ by the Adjoining Owner(s).

    Once you have served notice, your neighbours, known as “the adjoining owners”, have 14 days to respond. Work can go ahead immediately if they (and all other adjoining owners if applicable) agree in writing. If they disagree or fail to reply within the timeframe, the matter goes into dispute or dissent. This is when you will formally need to appoint an experienced party wall surveyor.

    Can't figure out if you need a party structure notice? Contact us to find out more and get assistance with all your party wall issues in London.

    Read More
  • 10/04/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    What is a Party Wall Award or Party wall Agreement?

    A party wall award which is also referred to as the party wall agreement is the formal document that is prepared and agreed by the party wall surveyor(s) once the party wall procedures are complete. Our party wall surveyor in London can help guide you through the process with a free consultation.


    The party wall award will commonly include the schedule of condition report which includes site inspection of the adjoining property, usually undertaken pre-construction works. The inspection will result in a thorough report which documents the condition of the adjoining property. This report is very important in the surveyor’s assessment of the property post works and importantly confirming if damage has been caused as a result of the party wall works.

    The party wall award governs the time which the building owners’ contractor will be able to undertake the party wall element of the construction works on site. This may vary or differ to the local authority working hours.

    The party wall specialist will include within the party wall award which will give the building owner or their contractor the legal right of access onto the adjoining owner’s property for works that are covered under the Act. The said access of the works would in normal circumstances be considered trespass and thus has to be undertaken under the provisions of the Party Wall Act, which is invoked by way of official valid Party Wall Notices and if require an Award. The award will carefully govern the access and ensure that any protections during the course of access are in place.

    The party wall agreement also looks at the manner in which the works are undertaken. This can be anything from the use of certain types of tools to the way in which the works are undertaken on site. Importantly these will often be protective measures in an effort to bring the risk of damage to the adjoining owner’s property to a minimum.

    When there is no party wall agreement, there isn’t any financial protection for the adjoining property in more high-risk works. The party wall award ensures that there is a sum of money held on account in case the building owner abandons or stops the works which will allow the adjoining owners to utilise the funds for protection/redress.

    The party wall award will include clarification on the necessary steps to be taken should there be any damage to the property. The award ensures that in the event of dispute, the dispute will be passed to the surveyors who will be bound to resolve it. This means that the adjoining owner will not have to go to timely and costly civil procedures to recover the cost of repair.

    The award is served commonly via royal mail post and the building owner will have obtained the legal right to commence the party works to their property.

    What is a party wall agreement? Contact us to find out more and get help from our specialist party wall surveyor in London.

    Read More
  • 09/04/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    Can surveyors make a party wall award without a notice?

    What is the role of a party wall surveyor?


    Firstly we need to look at the term “surveyor”, this term is defined in the party wall Act 1996 as a person who is not involved in any work that is being carried out. This will help to rule out any possibility of an owner acting for themselves. Anyone that is overseeing the works on the owner's behalf can take the appointment, whether they are a Surveyor or an architect. The person that is chosen should have a good understanding of construction and be well informed in the party wall procedures. They will need to have a relevant qualification.

    The most popular choices are usually building party wall surveyors and structural engineers.

    The party wall surveyor will prepare a document known as a party wall award and also known commonly referred to as a party wall agreement. This document will look at the owners’ rights and responsibilities in relation to how the works should be covered and within what working hours/days. This document will also look at the procedures that need to take place if there is any damage to the property and how the surveyor will gain access during the course of the works. If both parties agree they can concur in a single appointment.

    If you think that your neighbour is unlikely to consent to the planned works then it is best to involve a party wall surveyor at the early stages. The process will start with the service of notice even though it is best to have an informal chat with your neighbour before the party wall notice drops on their doormat. Template notices are available but you need to always remember that if they don’t contain all the necessary information or aren’t properly served they can be seen as invalid. Subsequently, if the notices need to be reserved then the timelines are reset.

    Can surveyors make a party wall award without a notice?


    It has always been thought that party wall surveyors could only make an award if the building owner has served the notice. This has been documented through the case of Louis v Sadiq which argued that if no notice has been served then the adjoining owner would be left to apply for an injunction.

    The case was decided under the section 55 of the London building act 1939 which states “the agreed surveyor or as the case may be the three surveyors or any two of them shall settle by award any matter … to which a notice under this part of this Act…relates”.

    This law was changed in the party wall act 1996 which is far broader and removes the requirement for a party wall act notice to be served before surveyors can make an award. Therefore the surveyors can be appointed and make awards even if the notices weren’t served. This is more useful than an injunction, in cases where the building owners have commenced notifiable works and there is no danger to the adjoining property. The owner might elect a surveyor rather than incur the costs of making an application for an injunction.

    Do you need help with a party wall award? Our party wall surveyor specialists at SevenOne Associates are more than happy to help you with party wall issues.

    Read More
  • 08/04/2019 - FOYSOL AHMED
    What is an Adjacent Excavation Notice?

    In this article, we will look at building work involving adjacent excavations, something which often requires a notice to be served upon an adjoining owner under section 6 of the Party Wall act 1996. The Act does not just apply to party walls but also to excavations adjacent to them. And 'adjacent' means within either 3 or 6 metres depending on the type of foundations used.


    Notices of Adjacent Excavation are submitted when there are works happening under section 6 of the Act. Excavation work in construction defines the process of removing earth to form a cavity in below ground to form the foundations of the proposed development. It's worth noting that even trail pits are also notifiable under the Act.

    There are two types of excavations that are covered under section 6:

    · Excavating within 3 metres of your neighbour’s building and to a depth lower than the bottom of their foundations

    · Excavating within 6 metres of your neighbour’s building, if any part of that excavation intersects with a plane drawn downwards at an angle of 45 degrees from the bottom of their foundations, taken at a line level with the face of their external wall (this will normally mean that your neighbour is using piled foundations).

    On the notice you must declare whether you propose to strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the neighbouring building or structure - this could include underpinning. The notice must be accompanied by plans and section drawings showing the position of the excavation relative to existing buildings and also the depth of excavation must accompany a Notice of Adjacent Excavation.

    A notice needs to include the name(s) and address of the person(s) undertaking the work. The name (if known) and address of the affected neighbour, a detailed description of the proposed works and note of when these are planned to start. The notice should be signed and dated.

    It is advisable that the notice is served at least two months before the planned starting date for the work. The notice is only valid for a year, so it should not be served too long before construction work starts.

    What happens after a notice has been served?

    A person who receives a notice about intended work may:

    · Give their consent in writing, or
    · Refuse to consent to the works proposed (known as dissent), which means a Surveyor/s will now need to be appointed or
    · Do nothing

    If, after a period of 14 days from the service of your notice, the person receiving the notice has done nothing, a dispute (dissent) is deemed to have arisen.

    The adjoining neighbour may then wish to appoint their own party wall surveyor and the surveyor will then liaise with your Surveyor to conclude to a party wall award. This process can take time especially if the proposals are complicated — for instance if you wish to build a basement.

    The adjoining neighbour’s surveyor may seek the advice of a structural engineer on complicated schemes to advise him as to the suitability of the structural solutions proposed. They are often referred to as checking engineers, although, this is restricted to complicated schemes or high-risk works.

    Don't know what an adjacent excavation notice is? Or maybe you have received a notice of adjacent excavation? SevenOne Associates are happy to help with any excavation notices.

    Read More
  • 22/03/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    ​How to serve documents under the party wall act

    Building work can be a nightmare for the occupant of the house and especially the neighbours, the constant banging and drilling can be hard on anyone. Owning a property in the current market seems to be getting harder and harder, which means that people are trying to expand their homes. 


    As families get older and require more space and privacy, people have little choice but to build on top of their existing home. This can be a loft extension, basement, rear and side extension.


    In some instances, the neighbours loft conversion party wall is proposed, in simple terms, the building owner carrying out the loft conversion proposes to build a dormer on the rear elevation of their property. The side walls of the dormer rather than being built in typical stud walls with hanging roof tiles or clad are enclosed upon an existing raised wall built previously by the adjoining neighbour. This may constitute enclosure and may be subject to compensation to the adjoining owner, however, equally, there would be a representative saving in construction costs. Contact Seven One Associates for further information.


    The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an act passed by Parliament which dictates service of party wall notices a legal requirement for notifiable building work, it provides a framework for resolving disputes in relation to party wall, party fence walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. If you need to find a party wall surveyor to check the neighbour’s extension party wall feel free to get in touch with Seven One Associates.


    There are often disputes between property owners, a large proportion of appeals against party wall awards are because the notices and other documents have not been correctly addressed or not being correctly served. The Party Wall etc. Act can be quite particular in this regard, therefore, it is important to ensure the notices are correct and subsections are cited correctly to avoid delay in commencement of building works. It is worth noting that many generic online template notices are served incorrectly as these are not amended to tailor the said works. 


    Section 1 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relates to works up to the line of junction also referred to as the Boundary Line. Section 1 contains eight subsections, it’s important to ensure the correct and appropriate subsection are cited for the works. The most common subsection quoted under this section is Section 1(5) which relates to the foundations being placed wholly on the Building Owner’s side, however, this is depended on the proposed plans and relevant detail drawings must be provided.

    Section 2 & 3 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relates to works on the Party structure, commonly used for works which involve insertions into the party wall, for example, the installation of structural steel beams for a loft conversion. There are 13 subsections under Section 2 and its important that all relevant subsections are cited for the notices to be deemed valid. 


    Section 6 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 relates to excavation near an adjoining property, this is typically a three-meter notice for a typical foundation or a six-meter notice for piled foundation types. However, this notice must include the relevant detail drawing in order for it to be deemed a valid notice.
    Get in touch with Seven One Associates for a free consultation and official party wall notice service quoting this blog post.

    Section 15 of the Act relates to the method that the notices can and must be issued:
    - You can serve a party wall notice by post which is the best and most commonly used method to service. If you do decide to post the notice it would be advisable to obtain proof of postage (not necessarily proof of delivery).

    - You can also serve a party wall notice by hand which is also a common practice.

    - You must ensure in both scenario that the notices are being sent to the correct address, it is advisable to carry out a land deed search to obtain the correct correspondence address. In many properties may be tenanted or owned by organisations, the correct correspondence must, therefore, be listed on the notices. It would be advisable to serve notices to both the adjoining works address and that list on the land title deed if different.

    - If the owners of the adjoining property cannot be traced and the property is vacant. Under the Act you can still serve the notices via post or you may even fix the notice to a conspicuous part of the property such as the door or window whereby it can be seen clearly.

    - In the case of a limited company, PLC, LLP or any other type of corporation you must deliver it to a secretary at the registered company address which you can find on companies house or send it via post to the address of the company.

    Not sure on how to serve documents under the party wall act? Need to find a party wall surveyor? Contact SevenOne Associates to get help and support today!

    Read More
  • Party Wall Act
    18/03/2019 - Foysol Ahmed
    How to calculate compensation for breaching the party wall act

    House prices have now gone through the roof and are likely to keep rising. There is a growing trend of people refurbishing their homes to create further space or additional rooms because they are unable to buy bigger houses. They may wish to construct a loft conversion or a rear extension. It is important to always read over the legislation so that your building works are compliant and your duties are fully discharged, failure to do so could be an expensive oversight.

    Read More
  • 19/03/2018 - Foysol Ahmed
    Seven One Associates Test Blog

    Blog Preamble Here.

    Read More

CONTACT our surveyors in London now for more details about the services we provide.