No Notice - No Act.... Really? The Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Can the Building Owner absolve himself from any liability to compensate an Adjoining Owner for damage basing his defence on the fact that he did not serve a notice? viz 'no notice - no Act'.

It is often stated that the Act has no teeth, I believe the Act can give a nasty bite if correctly utilised….

These houses are over 100 years old - what do you expect.

These houses are over 100 years old - what do you expect? was the comment a builder made to the adjoining owner one Saturday morning after knocking a hole through the party wall into one of her bedrooms.

The adjoining owner was very distraught as it had been arranged for her grandchildren to stay over on the Friday night but, luckily, had been cancelled at the last minute. She could not help but think about what might have been, as their bed was directly below the hole where the bricks had been out.

When opening the roof dampness got into the they did not afford adequate protection. They have also caused other damage during the course of removing chimney breasts.

The ceiling will have to be re-boarded with plasterboard and skimmed, the whole room will have to be redecorated and other remedial works carried out.

The final cost has yet to be established, the surveyors costs have mounted up already. I will publish the costs once known.

It is the Building Owner who is directly responsible to the Adjoining Owner, so it is treated as if had caused the damage himself and will have to try and recover the costs from his contractor.

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Life threatening defective wiring in Manor Park, East London

I was carrying out a defective building works report, this time in Manor Park, East London.

It never ceases to amaze me how a contractor can put the lives of his clients in danger by carrying out work illegally. This cooker connection was in a life threatening state when investigated. The circuit was live and being used by the homeowner. 

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Lee Kyson was a guest on Fixradio

Lee was a guest on this afternoon's 'Toolbox Show' at the request of presenter Andy Stevens. There were some short discussions about recent events regarding rogue builders and party wall issues. 

Fixradio is specifically aimed at 'Tradespeople' and can be listened to on DAB in London and the Southeast or on 

Rogue Builders in Newham beware

Lee Kyson has just completed a report on defective works carried out on a property in Newham by a building contractor. The contractor had told the homeowners they needed additional work carried out on their property which didn't need doing. Adding insult to injury he commenced the work and tried to charge them over three times the amount he had quoted.

However, help was on hand in the form of Trading Standards from London Borough of Newham. Trading Standards saw to it that the contractor in question was arrested as he turned up for work today. The police had been informed and were prepared for his arrival.

Friday 13th was not a lucky day for this contractor. Lee watched as the police confiscated the contractor's brand new van. They also confiscated tools, mobile phones and other items too. If the court find in favour of LBN then the items confiscated may will be sold under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. This is not the end of the matter, previous customers, that LBN are aware of, are going to be contacted to find out if they have also been scammed.

The contractor had no affiliations with any trade organisations that we are aware of.

This item will be updated once the outcome is known and concluded. 

Defective Building Works in East Ham, Newham.

Lee Kyson is compiling a report on defective building works carried out to a domestic property in East Ham. The report has been commissioned by Trading Standards from London Borough of Newham in an effort to clamp down on rogue builders.

The property in question has been left in an uninhabitable state and much of the work carried out by the contractor will need to be redone. The builder, has drawn far in excess of the value of the work carried out - even had it been carried out properly.

Contractor has probably been overpaid ~£50k as apart from being overpaid, much of the work has to be redone.


Article published in FPWS newsletter

Lee recently had an article published in the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors quarterly magazine.

The article looked at whether there is a necessity to serve notice on all Adjoining Owners and / or Occupiers. The view taken by Lee looks at the requirements of serving notices from a different angle. This approach was recently adopted in regard to a property which was divided into flats. There were threats of an injunction but they never materialised as one of the Adjoining Owners realised they were on an uphill struggle.

Cowboy Builders in Gidea Park

Lee Kyson is currently assisting a homeowner who has had defective work carried out by a cowboy builder. The contractor had drawn far more money from the job than the value of the work done. Much of the work was defective and in several instances had just been covered up in the hope that the Building Inspector would not see it. 

Lee assisted in terminating the builders contract with a view to employing another contractor to complete the works.

The contractor has been overpaid in excess of £30k+ and another £13k+.

If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do a job, wait until you hire an amateur - Red Adair

I was recently asked by the Building Owner  to assist in a matter where their surveyor had died. Apparently he was a really nice guy.

I requested all the current documents to be emailed to me and I duly received two awards.  I had been informed that the surveyor had been paid in excess of £2k.

The works consisted of a single storey rear extension and a loft conversion.

The 'Award' announced the surveyor as 'agreed surveyor' appointed to act on behalf of all parties. It then goes on '.... the surveyor so appointed has selected Mr ........ to act as an 'independent' surveyor in accordance with the Act..... and if the two surveyors are unable to agree; a 'Third Surveyor' will be selected in accordance with section 10(8) of the Act.'  This is totally wrong, he has tried to create an agreed surveyor award from a two surveyor award.

The 'Award' referred to Sections 1, 3 (2.2) & 6. It referred to the notices which had been verbally served by the Building Owner. No drawings were handed over.

The works referred to, only related to the rear extension, no mention of the loft conversion.

'In witness thereof having set their hands ............. day of ....... 

Surveyor to the Building Owners and Adjoining Owners'

This award could create more problems than it purports to solve and could cost the parties a lot more money in the event of a dispute arising.