Chartered Surveyor Chester and Party Walls
10th July 2018
Chester is an attractive city to be based in. Once a Roman fort, it can feel like walking back in time past famous Chester Rows, first floor covered walkways that front some of the shops, and the black and white Tudor buildings. Most unique are the ancient medieval walls which surround the city making Chester one of the best preserved walled cities in the world and a special area to live and work in. It is also close to the scenic glories of North Wales. The Romans got here first, followed by the dandy Georgians, then Waitrose.
In Chester, we are involved in all aspects of property and construction, completing detailed reports known as building surveys. We identify defects and advise on repair and maintenance options. Building surveying is one of the widest areas of surveying practice. It is a varied workload and can include everything from the conservation and restoration of buildings of historic importance to contemporary new developments, supervision of large mixed-use developments to planning domestic extensions.
Frequently we work on preventative measures to keep buildings in good condition and look for ways to make buildings sustainable. Sometimes we are called upon to give evidence in court in cases where building regulations have been breached as expert witnesses on building defects and dilapidations. We also often cover the more niche areas such as insurance, rights to light and party wall matters etc. The ‘Party wall etc. Act 1996’ is a framework to ensure issues and disputes between neighbours over certain building works can be resolved without expensive legal action.
The Act is designed to assist owners in conducting their proposed work whilst at the same time providing protection to the adjoining owners (neighbours) insofar as they may be affected. It is designed to enable various works to proceed without hindrance and not to place obstacles in the way of the progress of the works. If the adjoining owner dissents to planned work with a notice served on them this does not mean that they can stop the works proceeding. Instead it means that they have the right to appoint a party wall surveyor to prepare and serve an award that would take into consideration the adjoining owner’s rights as well as authorising the time and manner of execution of the proposed works.