Party Wall Service's & Covid-19 | Protection & Avoiding Delay
During these unprecedented times TK Surveying Group are very aware of the obligations we have to our customers, surveyors and members of the public. Given that the Party Wall Surveyors role includes attending properties, we thought it would be useful to offer an update as to how we are handling service provision.
As stated previously, we have closed our office and have successfully implemented remote working. Fortunately, much of the Party Wall processes and procedure can be progressed remotely via desktop analysis as would be done in the office.
Inspections & Schedule of Condition
A Schedule of Condition acts to both protect the party undertaking works from spurious claims of damage and protect the interests of the adjoining owner from actual damages caused by works.
Although under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 a Schedule of Condition is not a legal requirement and Party Wall Awards (Agreements) can be served without one in place, it has become best practise and often a requisite required by an Adjoining Owner impacted by works.
As such, we have implemented the following protocol of protective measures:
1) Agree on an Award and avoid inspections all together
Whilst this is the least favourable option for both building owners and adjoining owners, this is naturally the safest.
2) Agree on an Award with a clause which requires the Schedule of Condition to be undertaken at a later date (before the commencement of work)
This is a practical solution which can be adopted for projects which will not commence until later in the year/early next year, normally associated with complex projects or those domestic projects which have been well planned.
3) Undertake inspections whilst adopting protective measures*
All surveyors to wear protective equipment to include a face mask and new latex gloves which will be disposed of once the inspection is finished.
Advanced checking of all parties to ensure there are no health concerns.
Adopt stringent social distancing of at least the 2-metre rule, with zero contact.
If we are acting as one of two surveyors, we will negotiate with the other surveyor with a view of one surveyor attending to undertake the survey (not two).
During this unprecedented time there no doubt has to be compromise and flexibility amongst all parties involved in the Party Wall process, that said, if we work together, we believe our reasonable and practicable safe system of work will ensure that there is minimal disruption and delay to building projects.
Do you need help with a party wall award?
Call or email one of our party wall surveying experts.
0208 243 8981
Expert, Efficient & Effective | Party Wall Specialists
*We will be following government and health authority guidelines as they become available and or mandatory and reserve the right to amend and or adapt our working protocols to ensure compliance with immediate affect.
We have given our surveyors the option to decline inspections where they want to or do not feel safe or comfortable undertaking them.