Party Wall - What happens when it goes wrong?!

We often take calls from disgruntled neighbours concerned with the impact of neighbouring building work. In a recent case we were sent a video of chimney collapse to a mid-terrace property, causing serious injury and substantial damage.

Going, Going, Gone…

Chimney collapse and damage

Benefit in avoiding your legal duty under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996?

Choosing not to take professional advice and side stepping your legal duty under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can cause costly, stressful and a time-consuming outcome for your project. Not only will you ruin neighbourly relations, in addition to repairing damage you may also be liable for any legal costs

Engineered solution VS Experienced builder?

There is no substitute for an experienced builder, but an experienced builder armed with a designed engineered solution the combination will more likely result in a successful project.

Experienced builders who sometimes by default become the architect of many a permitted development project now advising home-owners of the importance and legal obligation under Party Wall Act from the project offset.

A structural engineer will need to consider the proposed building work, the existing condition and type of building fabric prior to deciding on a designed solution, additional safety factors are then included into the designed solution to quantify for obscure building components.

‘My builder says I don’t need to worry about Party Wall, they've been doing this type of work for 30 years.’

Fortunately, this cavalier attitude is beginning to diminish amongst seasoned builders who have been caught in the middle of stressful and tempered neighbourly disputes and litigation and is now more associated with the here today and gone tomorrow attitude of cowboys builders who will be long gone when the roof comes caving in….

Collapse of a house in London during building work

The following images are of a beautiful end of terrace Victorian property that collapsed in 2016 during renovation works, six months after being purchased.

Prior to house collpase

London house collapse

Source: Dailymail

Avoiding catastrophe

At TK Surveying Group our dedicated Party Wall Surveyors are experts in building and construction and accordingly this expertise is utilised to ensure that any Party Wall Award negotiated and agreed has the requisite level of design detail and safeguarding measures amongst others incorporated into the Award prior to commencement of work.

Whilst we can’t guarantee that no damage will be caused during building works, however it is worth noting that the Party Wall Award serves to offer (legal) direction to parties should the unfortunate occur avoiding the need for stressful and costly legal action.

Who better to deal with your property related issue than a surveyor? A lawyer?


If you have any concerns regarding the building work your proposing, or if you feel your neighbour has started to undertake notifiable work without having served you a Party Wall Notice get in touch with one of our friendly Party Wall Consultants for free impartial help and advice.

Email or call on 0208-243-8981.

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