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Party Wall and Neighbourly Matters

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 gives a framework for the resolution of differences between neighbours regarding particular buildings works, and requires Building Owners (the owners of the property who are having the work done), to notify Adjoining Owners in advance.  In many instances, the parties will reach agreement themselves.  However, if they unable to do so, the Act allows the appointment of a Surveyor for each party, or an Agreed Surveyor, in order to resolve differences.

The type of work covered by the Act includes work to party structures, work to buildings on a boundary, the erection of new walls on a boundary, and excavations close to an existing building or structure to a depth lower than the bottom of the nearby foundations. The Act can give Building Owners rights, including the right to do works to parts of buildings which they may not actually own.

Having worked for some years in London, where the party wall legislation existed before the introduction of the Act, David Muir has experience of resolving party wall disputes for more than 20 years. Construction projects often require access on to or over neighbouring land, and the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act and the Access to Neighbouring Land Act, are not always available. Assistance can be given to draw up access agreements and crane and scaffolding licences.

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Building Surveys

Building surveys and inspections of commercial and industrial property are undertaken for a number of purposes, including the following:

  • Pre-acquisition assessment
  • Stock condition
  • Planned maintenance
  • Building pathology
  • Reinstatement cost assessments for insurance purposes
  • Schedules of Dilapidations
  • Vendor’s survey
  • Development appraisal
  • Pre-alteration assessment
The survey and the report can be suited to the client’s requirements and the intended use of the building. Advice is given on the need to engage specialist investigations into building services, for instance; deleterious materials and drains.

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Building Surveying

The Practice provides advice on a wide variety of property and construction methods. This includes the refurbishment, repair and alterations of existing buildings, as well as new construction.

Building Surveying is a very broad field and the properties range from residential to commercial and industrial buildings of all ages.

Schedules of Condition can also be prepared creating a record of a building, often in connection with a lease agreement or building works.

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Expert Evidence

David has prepared Expert Witness Reports for construction and boundary disputes. Evidence has been given in Court hearings and in mediation proceedings.

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Defect Diagnosis and Remedial Advice

Investigations into the cause of faults in buildings can be undertaken.  Investigations are undertaken on buildings of any age.


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Guidance can be given to Landlords and Tenants in respect of the obligations contained in the repairing covenants of commercial leases. This can include the preparation of a Dilapidations Claim on behalf of the Landlord, or the defence of a claim on behalf of a Tenant. Advice is also given to assess the extent of liabilities to assist financial planning in advance of the end of a lease. Together with assessing the condition of the building, interpretation of the extent of liabilities by careful examination of the lease is necessary.