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Beware the party wall ambulance chaser!

Some bad surveyors make it their business to cause a party wall dispute, here's what you need to know.

2 min read

Unless you’ve encountered them yourself, it’s unlikely you’ll know anything about these dodgy practitioners. However, party wall ambulance chasers (as they’re called) could potentially cost you and your neighbour thousands. Not to mention, they could also delay your potential project by 3 or more months.

Want to protect your home? Here’s what you’ll need to know…

What is a party wall ambulance chaser?

Much like traditional ambulance chasers, who are lawyers who follow car crash victims to encourage them to sue, these professionals are experts in exploitation.

Certain surveying companies will monitor who in their area has gained planning permission, or even just applied, and then go to the adjoining properties to scaremonger them into signing up for a potentially pricey party wall surveyor.

The reason this is frowned upon is that it often provokes unnecessary party wall disputes.

In normal situations, a homeowner would first serve notice to any affected neighbours, prior to construction. If the neighbour gives written consent within 14 days, then there’s no need for the lengthy legal process of putting together a party wall agreement - there are also fewer fees for a party wall surveyor. This is why some bad surveying companies might try to scare your neighbours with complex jargon and horror stories into going straight into the dispute because it’ll make them a lot of money.

How can I avoid a party wall ambulance chaser?

If you’re planning on taking on a home project (extension / conversion) and you want to make sure one of these potentially bad businesses doesn’t get involved, the best thing you can do is talk to your neighbour from the start.

Let them know what you’re planning on doing to your property and make sure you assure them you’ll work closely with them to avoid any disruption. Maybe even take over a bottle of wine - it can’t hurt!

How Resi can help…

The best way to avoid leaving any gaps for surveyors to pounce on is to get a streamlined process in place.

At Resi, we cover everything to get you ready to build. From measured surveys, design, planning, to building regulations - the stage when notices are served. By having one team manage these essentials, we can move quickly to stop any dodgy professionals whispering into your neighbour’s ear.

Then comes our Connect service which introduces you to vetted contractors who can help bring your designs to life during construction. We vet contractors by assessing them against a range of criteria amongst which are: whether or not they are Trustmark or FMB affiliated, whether they have the relevant insurances in place; an assessment of their past work; meeting minimum financial standards; and finally, references from both previous customers and trade.

Want to know more? We also run a free consultation service, giving you expert advice, no matter what stage your project is at. Talk to our team by booking your call today!

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