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Selling a House With No Party Wall Agreement?

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Selling a house without a party wall agreement can be very difficult.

Don’t worry, our article covers how you can successfully sell your house, even without a party wall agreement.

Table of Contents

What is a party wall agreement?

A party wall agreement is a contract between two adjacent property owners who share a wall. This agreement outlines the rights and obligations of each owner about the party wall.

It is designed to ensure that each party knows their responsibilities and is protected accordingly.

Sell House Without Party Wall Agreement With Transparency

Not having a party wall agreement will certainly cause delays in the sale process, particularly if your buyer is in a chain.

When advertising a property, it is important to be upfront and transparent. The best practice is to mention this in the property’s description.

Being transparent means you will only get the buyers who fall in love with your home.

You must disclose any disputes with neighbours during the sale in the property information pack.

Price to entice

Given delays and potential frustration for the buyer later down the line, it is suggested that you list your property below other comparable properties to get interest.

Neighbour Not Agreeing to Party Wall Notice

Let’s say you’ve served your neighbour with a party wall notice about upcoming building works, but they’re not playing ball. Maybe they flat out refused to agree, or perhaps they’re just dragging their feet.

Don’t worry, the Party Wall Act has you covered. Under Section 10 of the Act, there’s a clear process to follow if you can’t reach an agreement amicably.

 

Appointing Party Wall Surveyors

If your neighbour won’t cooperate, both of you will need to appoint your own party wall surveyor. These professionals act as impartial referees to resolve the dispute.

You can either:
1) Agree to appoint one surveyor together, or
2) Each appoints your own separate surveyor

The surveyor(s) will review the proposed works and your neighbour’s objections. Their job is to ensure the building project is carried out fairly while protecting both parties’ interests.

 

The Party Wall Award

After inspecting the properties, the surveyor(s) will prepare a legally binding ‘party wall award’. This document outlines exactly how the works must proceed, including any necessary protection measures for your neighbour’s home.

Once the award is issued, you’ll be able to start your building plans according to the surveyor’s instructions. Your neighbour must comply with the award, too—no more objections allowed!

So if your neighbour is being difficult about those party wall works, don’t fret. Just follow the straightforward process under Section 10, and an impartial surveyor will sort everything out properly.

The Party Wall Surveyor - Your Impartial Referee

When neighbours can’t agree on party wall works, a party wall surveyor steps in as the impartial referee.

Think of them as the sensible mediator who ensures everything is done fairly for both sides. 
Their key role is to facilitate the whole party wall agreement process between you and your neighbour. They’ll use their expertise to resolve any disputes calmly and objectively.

Rather than taking sides, the surveyor’s job is to negotiate an acceptable solution that protects everyone’s interests according to the Party Wall Act. They have a duty to both homeowners to be completely impartial and unbiased.

What Does the Surveyor Actually Do?

As a neutral third party, the surveyor will examine the proposed building plans in depth and listen to your neighbour’s objections.

They aim to understand the situation from both perspectives fully.

They’ll then prepare what’s called a ‘party wall award’ – a legally binding document setting out exactly how the works should proceed. This may include specific protection measures to prevent any damage to your neighbour’s property. Once that award is issued, you can finally begin your extension or renovation according to the surveyor’s instructions.

Your neighbour has to comply too – no more arguments!
The party wall surveyor basically acts as the sensible mediator to smooth out any conflicts. With their impartial expertise, the whole party wall agreement process becomes a straightforward negotiation, not a heated dispute between neighbours.

The Party Wall Act 1996

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 requires any person wanting to carry out work to give their neighbouring property owners a notice prior to starting. This is to help resolve any disputes that may arise.

The Act also states that the work should be done in a way that causes the least amount of disruption to those living nearby, and any temporary protection to the adjacent properties should be put in place where needed.

If damage is caused due to the work carried out, the owner carrying out the work must reimburse the adjoining owner if they request it.

For more information on the Party Wall Act 1996, please visit GOV.UK.

Selling a House With No Party Wall Agreement
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 requires any person wanting to carry out work to give their neighbouring property owners a notice prior to starting.

What counts as an adjoining owner?

Adjoining owners are those who own land, buildings, or rooms next to the premises of the building owner. This could also include the local authority.

In other words, these are two owners whose property has a shared boundary, like a party wall.

What does the agreement involve?

When it comes to a party wall agreement, many details and provisions must be taken into account – names and addresses of the property owners, a comprehensive description of the wall, and the rights and obligations of each owner.

After the consent of the adjoining owner, a legal document known as the party wall award is drawn up. This document details the work that needs to be done, the timeline, and who will pay the surveyor’s fees.

Is having a party wall agreement a legal requirement
You don't need to have a party wall agreement to sell your home. However, it can lead to delays in the sale process.

Is having a party wall agreement a legal requirement?

When you decide to get work done on your property, it’s essential that you make your party wall neighbour aware. The notice will allow your neighbour to agree to the proposed work and potentially appoint a surveyor to act on their behalf.

It is not a legal requirement to have a party wall agreement. However, there are certain situations where one is required by law. These include:

  1.  Building an extension,
  2.  Works to party structures,
  3.  Constructing a new building,
  4.  Excavation work,
  5.  Loft conversion,
  6.  Underpinning, and
  7.  Damp proof course.

 

When planning to do any of these works, you must inform the party wall neighbour. This allows them to agree to the proposed works and appoint a surveyor to act on their behalf if needed.

Selling a house without a party wall agreement?

You don’t need to have a party wall agreement to sell your home. However, it can lead to delays in the sale process.

Without an agreement in place, and if you have carried out construction work on the party wall, potential buyers may be reluctant to purchase the property due to potential disputes and liabilities.

If the buyer’s solicitor questions the lack of a party wall agreement during the conveyancing process, this can cause delays, or even make the sale fall through.

Therefore, getting a party wall agreement before starting any work that could affect the wall is recommended. It is essential to document and keep the agreement up to date.

This will ensure clarity and peace of mind for potential buyers and make the sale process smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.

Selling tips for a successful sale
Get a party wall agreement before the sale to give buyers clarity and reassurance.

Selling tips for a successful sale:

  • Hire a qualified surveyor to assess the party wall and provide a report.
  • A party wall surveyor can help resolve disputes over building works.
  • Speak to a knowledgeable solicitor for legal advice and guidance.
  • Get a party wall agreement before the sale to give buyers clarity and reassurance.
  • Highlight the positive aspects of the home – location, size, condition, modern kitchen and bathrooms, well-maintained gardens, attic or extension.
  • Show evidence that building work on the party wall has been done to a high standard. Be prepared to negotiate on price if buyers have concerns.
  • Hire an experienced estate agent to market the property and highlight its best features.

What to look for in your estate agent?

It is essential to make sure that the estate agent has the necessary experience in selling properties similar to yours, such as location, size, price range and lack of a party wall agreement.

They should also be able to give advice on pricing, marketing and negotiations, as well as provide strategies to make the sale process successful.

Questions to ask to identify the best estate agent include:

  • How much experience do they have in selling similar properties;
  • How long do they take to sell properties in the area; and
  • How likely are they to achieve your asking price.

Does having no party wall agreement affect the value of your home?

Due to the risks associated with work carried out on party walls, potential buyers may be hesitant about purchasing your home if there is no agreement in place.

According to the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, if you are planning to undertake specific types of work (e.g. excavation, building an extension, etc.) that involves a boundary or party wall with a neighbouring property, you must serve notice to your neighbours to obtain their approval before commencing the work.

It is recommended to obtain a party wall agreement if you are planning construction work that requires one. This can help to prevent legal disputes with neighbours and protect the value of your property.

Failing to obtain an agreement can have significant consequences, such as a decrease in your home’s value and a decrease in its saleability.

Potential buyers and their solicitors often scrutinise documents like party wall agreements when assessing a property, so not having one in place can make it harder to attract buyers or secure a mortgage.

In conclusion, it is best to obtain a party wall agreement if you are planning construction work that requires one. This will help to protect your home’s value and saleability.

How much does a party wall surveyor cost
Usually, the cost ranges from a few hundred to thousands of pounds. Some surveyors charge by the hour, while others require a fixed fee.

How much does a party wall surveyor cost?

The cost of a party wall surveyor varies depending on many factors, such as the location, the complexity of the job, and the services needed. Usually, the cost ranges from a few hundred to thousands of pounds. Some surveyors charge by the hour, while others require a fixed fee.

In 2023, the average rate for party wall surveyors varies based on the type of project.

For instance, a party wall surveyor per hour costs around £200, and a party wall award is £1,000. For projects such as loft conversion, the fee is £1,575, while extension costs £2,025. If you are constructing a new building, the cost is £2,475; for a basement, the fee is £3,375.

Do I need indemnity insurance to sell my house without a party wall agreement?

Indemnity insurance is recommended for selling a house without a party wall agreement as a precautionary measure to protect against disputes.

How much does it cost?

The cost can range from £20 to £300, depending on the value of the property and the type of issue the policy needs to cover. If a bigger issue needs to be addressed, more may need to be paid.

It’s best to discuss the price with a conveyancing solicitor to get an idea of how much is expected.

A party wall agreement is important when selling your home!
With the right preparation and support, you can still make a successful sale.

Need A Quick & Hassle Free sale?

Property Saviour will buy your home with no party wall agreement.  Here’s why you should speak to us:

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Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
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Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.

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