Party Wall Notice

Property owners are often unfamiliar with party wall issues and the procedures that they should follow if they receive a notice from a neighbour.  The following are typical questions raised when a party wall notice is received:

Q. If you receive a party wall notice for works your neighbour is looking to do what should you do?

A. You should respond. The Party Wall etc ACT 1996 sets out timescales for the service of the party wall notices and the required response times from adjoining owners.  Once a party wall notice is served by a building owner doing the works the the adjoining owner has 14 days in which to respond.  Failure to do so and you as the adjoining owner will have deemed to have dissented to the works and will be requested to appoint a surveyor to act on your behalf or concur the appointment of the building owners’ surveyor who will prepare a Party Wall Award.

Q. The party wall notice says do you consent or dissent to the works, what are the implications of each?

A.  If you consent to the works, the building owner has the right to commence the works without the need to prepare a Party Wall Award.  If you dissent to the works that means that you will need to concur the appointment of the building owners’ surveyor or appoint your own surveyor to act for you.  Dissenting to a party wall notice does not give you any rights to object to the works, that is a planning issue, but sets out that you require a Party Wall Award.  The Party Wall Award sets out the works being undertaken in relation to the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and also include a schedule of condition of your property before the works commence.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is intended to protect both the adjoining owners and building owners when works in accordance with the Act are undertaken and should you require further advice on this matter please contact us.

 

 

 

Building Survey

We are pleased to announce we are undertaking a commercial building survey of an office building in Manor Royal near Crawley, West Sussex today.

Our Client is looking to acquire the lease of the ground floor of the property and in accordance with his solicitors recommendations has instructed us to undertake an inspection and prepare a building survey report. The instruction was confirmed by our Client yesterday and due to our Clients’ tight timescales we have been requested to prioritise the instruction.  We are therefore delighted that we have been able to respond to those requirements and we have arranged to undertake the inspection of the office today to carry out the building survey with the building survey report to be issued next week.

Our building survey will include the elements within the demised office areas together with those in the landlords’ and common parts, for which our Client will have a liability via the service charge. The inspection will cover, and the building survey report include commentary on, the condition of the building along with the statutory requirements which have implications on our Clients’ occupation both practically and financially.

We understand that instructions to undertake an inspection and prepare a building survey report are often time critical during the acquisition of a lease or freehold interest of a property. We pride ourselves on being responsive to our Clients requirements and deliver our instructions to accommodate our Clients needs and meet their timescales.

Fire Safety in a Commercial Property


After the devastating incident at Grenfell Tower, it’s come to light that a number of properties do not contain sufficient fire-safety systems to protect their inhabitants in the event of a fire. While the emphasis is on saving lives in a domestic setting, industrial and commercial property should not be overlooked.

Fire safety in non-domestic premises is the responsibility of landlords, owners, employers, occupiers and site managers. If you hold one of these positions you are known as a “responsible person”, and must work together to ensure security of everyone on the premises. This includes any site with public access, any workplace, and any communal area of a multi-occupied residence.

Responsible persons are obliged to:

• Conduct regular fire risk assessments of the property
• Inform staff about identified risks
• Install and maintain suitable fire safety measures, including emergency plans
• Train and inform staff about steps to take in the event of a fire

Any commercial building must contain an evacuation plan, demonstrating unobstructed escape routes and sufficient exits for the number of people exiting the building. Consider the steps required to assist those with limited mobility, such as the infirm, elderly, disabled and children – ensure staff or residents understand how they can evacuate these people in an emergency.

The appropriate installations for properties will vary depending on construction and use. A review of installations for all buildings should be undertaken periodically, or when any changes are made to a building. At Tim Greenwood & Associates, we offer a range of property compliance surveys to help you ensure your building meets the property safety regulations.

Following on from the Grenfell Tower fire, the RICS has set up a panel of industry professionals who have recently met and agreed their terms. The panel will review the comments and concerns made by industry professionals and report back to industry groups and the UK Government so the feedback and the recommendations that come from it are awaited.

If you are found to have unmanaged fire risks on your property, you may be given an informal or formal notice to amend your safety procedures or make alterations to the observed risks; failing to do so may result in fines or a custodial sentence.

For more information, visit the Government information page, or contact your local fire safety department.

Schedule of Dilapidations – Landlords

Recent cases have once again highlighted the need for Landlords to consider how a dilapidations claim is valued and raised the question of Landlords intentions.  A dilapidations claim can be valued one of two ways firstly by preparing a Schedule of Dilapidations and secondly by valuing the diminution of value to the reversionary interest, known as a Section 18 valuation.  A Landlords claim can then only be the lower of the two valuations.  The Landlords intentions and actions can also impact the claim and final settlement figure.

Preparing for the the end of a lease is something Landlords should consider in good time.  The timing of the preparation and service of a Schedule of Dilapidations can impact on the claim so early action in appointing a surveyor to advise and guide you through the process and prepare a Schedule of Dilapidations is recommended to ensure the you understand your position and achieve a successful outcome.   We are able to provide guidance throughout the claim to ensure Landlords understand the issues and make informed decisions during the claim.

Schedule of Condition

We are often contacted by Clients who are taking a lease but are unsure whether they need a schedule of condition or building survey and what the difference is between them.  In some cases they may need both.

A schedule of condition is a document which simply records the visible condition of the property.  It will note and make reference to defects however will not offer any commentary on either the cause of the defect nor make recommendations on the remedy required to put defects into good repair.  A schedule of condition is typically required when a tenant is taking a lease on a building where there are issues and they wish to limit their future lease liabilities.  In the event that the tenant wants a more detailed understanding of the building then a building survey would be required which would analyse defects offering information on the cause and recommended remedial works to address those issues.

In some instances Clients require both a schedule of condition to limit their lease liabilities and a building survey to fully understand the structure and condition and potential issues of the property that they will be responsible for.

We are always happy to discuss your requirements to ensure you have the most appropriate information to allow you make informed decisions to progress your lease negotiations.

 

Party Wall Instruction

We are pleased that we have recently been appointed by a developer to deal with the party wall issues for their new residential development near Guildford under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.  In accordance with the party wall legislation we will be reviewing the development proposals, preparing and serving the party wall notices on the adjoining owners which are required in relation to the foundations for the new houses.  Once responses to those notices are received we will agree the party wall awards that are necessary prior to the works relevant to the notices being undertaken.

New Building Surveyor

We are delighted to announce that following the sustained growth of Tim Greenwood and Associates Andrew Hagon has joined our team as a Building Surveyor.

Andrew has extensive experience having worked for several local surveying practices which covered instructions in London and the South East.  Andrew has extensive contract administration and project experience and has worked successfully for a number of managing agents, commercial landlords, school, NHS and private clients to deliver a variety of construction and redecoration projects on commercial and residential buildings.

Andrews’ construction experience is varied and includes roofing projects, the installation of fire and smoke detection in residential blocks and internal and external repairs and redecorations of commercial and residential properties.  Andrew is also experienced in dealing with party wall issues in accordance with the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, schedules of condition and reinstatement cost assessments for insurance purposes.

Tim Greenwoods and Associates extend Andrew a warm welcome to our team.

Millpond (Carshalton) Management Company Ltd

We are pleased to announce our appointment to act on behalf of the Freehold Company of this residential development in relation to a building dispute with a large south-east based developer. Our instructions include the analysis of inherent building defects, the preparation of specifications in relation to remedial works required, and overseeing the remedy of these construction faults by the original developer. It includes the dismantling of brickwork cavity walls and parapets, and the introduction of new cavity trays, damp courses, leadwork and cloaks around window, balcony and rainwater outlets.

Prestigious Belgravia Development

We are pleased to announce invitation to tender for a broad package of consultancy services in relation to the extension and refurbishment of a prestigious Belgravia Mews House, the work to include excavation of additional basement accommodation, addition of further floor, and full internal refurbishment including major structural alterations. The scope of our services will include preparation and submission of Planning Applications, with all supporting drawings and documentation, Building Control Approval, Party Wall matters, specification, tendering and contract administration of all works. As part of our appointment we will be employing a range of specialist consultants including structural, mechanical, electrical, geo-technical basement engineers and arboculturalists.

We look forward to working with our new client on this and a number of other high-value residential developments in Central London.

Construction Dispute

We are pleased to announce our appointment on behalf of a south-east based development company in relation to a dispute relating to the quality of work to a prestigious detached residential property, and in particular in relation to faults to the external roof frame and fabric. Our report was to identify any faults in the quality of work and materials supplied, and the scope of remedial work required, when judged against relevant codes of practice, British Standards and Good Practice Guides.