In simple terms a party wall sits astride a boundary to land owned by 2 or more different owners and forms part of a building on one or both properties. A wall which sits astride the boundary but doesn’t form part of a structure is actually a Party Fence Wall for the purposes of the Act. The term Party Structure is also found in the Act. A floor structure separating flats is just one example of a Party Structure.
When does the Party Wall Act apply? The Act will apply when: Various works are completed with an existing Party Wall or Party Structure. New buildings or structures are erected up to or sat astride the boundary line. Excavations are completed approximately 6 metres of any structure over a neighbouring property which have the potential to undermine the foundations of the structure.
And so the Act pertains to my works, exactly what do I really do now? If the Act applies you will end up obliged to provide a Party Wall Notice on the neighbour, setting out information on the works on hand and providing key information such as plans, proposed commencement dates etc. With regards to adjacent excavations you may have to provide specialist specifics of foundations. You may be obliged to give your neighbours between 1 and 2 months notice of commencement of labor according to which section of the Act applies.
What happens if my neighbour objects to my Party Wall Notice? The Act gives you the right to complete various work on or round the boundary line so provided your works are included in the Act your neighbour’s objection cannot hold you back going ahead but will mean that you are currently obliged to adhere to the Dispute procedure lay out under Section 10 of the Act. This calls for one to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to act on your behalf. Your neighbour has the right to appoint their own surveyor or they may agree inside the appointment of the single ‘Agreed’ surveyor. Where building surveyors maidstone are appointed they will likely agree on the appointment of the third surveyor to adjudicate/referee where the two surveyors cannot agree.
The surveyor prepares the Agreement/Award which sets out your rights and obligations of both sides and features a Schedule of Condition from the neighbouring property to record its condition before works start. You’re probably interested in this article because you’re about to undertake a construction project, or possibly your neighbour is. It may be a tiny extension or loft conversion, or anything on the larger scale. The act doesn’t consider size it only works on principal. The initial aspect is of course to determine whether the act is relevant to begin with.
If you are in every doubt it is usually wise to seek professional advice and in many instances the job is not really white and black. In crude terms however, a Party wall is actually a structure shared by two neighbours and also this includes boundary walls or fences and also the walls to a building. Perhaps in this regard the title from the act is a bit misleading and more than this, it may also be applicable should you propose to construct a wall or building on land where no wall or physical boundary currently exists.
In a modern environment where most properties will be in close proximity to one another it is actually usually the case the act will end up applicable during any construction project that concerns digging foundations near to your boundary line. It may also be applicable for loft conversions or building refurbishments where party wall is not being altered, but support is required through the wall for steel supports or suspended timber floors or ceilings etc. In conjunction, it might enter in to play for work that you simply would feel is minor, such as cutting in to a wall to insert a weatherproof detail or flashing.
Because you will have deduced the act is significantly ranging and is also generally applicable whenever you execute construction work near to neighbouring buildings / land. My advice will be to consult a surveyor who has party wall experience in case you are unsure. Most surveyors could be willing to give some free advice over the phone and if the project is local in their mind, you cexhhr often find that they may offer you a free holiday to assess your unique project with the hope that, in the event the act is relevant you may appoint these to undertake the role to suit your needs.
Certainly in my professional experience as a chartered building surveyor I give free advice regularly in the hope that it will cause an instruction. There are surveyors who can charge regardless however the key, of course is always to agree a scope of service and any fee in advance to prevent confusion. You already know that you stand. Exactly what is a Party Wall Agreement/Award? This can be a written document prepared by the surveyor detailing the rights and obligations from the owners. The contents are agreed from the survey and upon completion the Agreement is served on the owners. This can be a legally binding document which can be enforced by the County Court where necessary.