What is a Party wall agreement schedule of condition?
- Party Wall Agreement: A party wall agreement is a legal arrangement made between the owners of adjacent properties (commonly referred to as “party walls”) that share a common boundary or structure. These party walls can be walls that stand on the boundary line between two properties or walls that are used by both properties, such as in the case of semi-detached or terraced houses.
When one property owner plans to carry out certain construction works that could potentially affect the party wall (e.g., building an extension, renovating the wall, or excavating near it), they are required to serve notice to their neighbour(s) under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. The notice typically outlines the proposed works and the intended start date. The neighbouring property owner(s) then have the option to either consent to the proposed works or dissent and ask for a party wall agreement to be drawn up.
The party wall agreement sets out the rights and responsibilities of both parties concerning the construction works, the extent of the works, and the procedures to be followed. It also aims to protect the interests of both parties and establish how any potential disputes arising from the works will be resolved.
- Schedule of Condition: A schedule of conditions is a detailed record of the current state or condition of a property or building. It is typically prepared before any construction or renovation works begin, especially when there is a party wall agreement involved. The purpose of the schedule of conditions is to document the existing condition of the property to avoid any disputes over potential damage caused by the adjacent construction works.
A professional surveyor usually conducts the schedule of condition assessment, noting the condition of various parts of the property, including walls, floors, ceilings, doors, windows, and any other relevant features. The surveyor may use written descriptions, photographs, and sometimes video recordings to create a comprehensive record of the property’s condition.
In the event that any damage occurs to the neighbouring property during or after the construction works, the schedule of conditions will serve as crucial evidence to determine whether the damage was pre-existing or a result of the construction activities. This can be vital in resolving disputes and ensuring that the responsible party takes appropriate actions to remedy any damage.
In summary, a party wall agreement is a legally binding contract between neighbouring property owners regarding construction works affecting the party wall, while a schedule of condition is a detailed record of the current state of a property, often prepared before construction works begin to help assess any potential damage caused by the works.