Hello and welcome to today’s property surveying blog post, in today’s blog post, we are going to be looking at Party Wall Surveying procedures concentrating on whether or not you will need to serve a Party Wall Notice.
Whether you need to serve a Party Wall Notice will depend on whether your planned works fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. If so then the planned works would be considered notifiable under the Act and so will require you to serve a Party Wall Notice.
What is a Party Wall Notice?
A Party Wall Notice is a letter that will need to be served on to any adjoining owners that could be affected by any planned works that fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
The letter will inform the adjoining owners of the types of planned works that you wish to carry out and will outline what sections of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 the planned works will fall under.
Generally, the Party Wall Notice will also be accompanied by drawings which is a mandatory requirement for works that fall under section 6 of the Act.
The Party Wall Notice must also include contact details for the building owners and/or their Party Wall Surveyor if they have one at the time of serving the Notice, so the adjoining owner is capable of easily responding to the Notice.
What works fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996?
Notifiable works under the Party Wall etc Act 199 will fall under 3 sections, that being sections 1,2 & 6 which all concern themselves with different works.
Section 1 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 is about the building of new walls and new Party fence walls that are either astride the line of junction (1(2) Wall) or right up to the line of junction 1(5) Wall).
It is worth noting that under section 1 you are only able to build astride the line of junction if you have permission to do so from the adjoining owner, if they do not grant their permission then the new wall must be up to the line of junction.
Any planned works that fall under section 1, commonly this will include the erection of a new party fence wall or when conducting a rear or side extension especially when the works are being done on a terraced or semi-detached property as that is when the wall is like to be built on/astride the line of junction.
For any planned works that do fall under section 1, this will require a Notice to be served a minimum of 1 month before the planned works are to take place.
Section 2 is in relation to works that occur on the Party Wall this can have a wide inclusion of works that could potentially fall under this section, some of the works include the following:
- Cutting into the party wall for the installation of steel beams, pad stones and putting in a damp-proof course.
- Cutting away from the party wall
- Removing chimney breast
- exposing the party wall
- Putting in flashing for waterproofing.
- Demolishing a Party wall
So if any of your planned works do involve any of the above works then it would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and so would require a Party Wall Notice to be served before the works are able to commence.
For section 2 works this would require that the Party Wall Notice is served a minimum of 2 months before the planned works are to take place.
Section 6 works concern themselves with the excavations that may be necessary for planned works, and will come into play depending on the proximity of the excavations to the adjoining owner’s property.
As far as the Party Wall etc Act 1996 is concerned this will be if excavations are taking place within 3m or 6m of the adjoining owner’s property depending on how deep the excavations need to be.
6(1) or 3m Rule?
This will come into play if excavations are taking place within 3m of the adjoining owner’s property.
So, if a line is drawn horizontally from any part of the building owner’s building or structure and if the excavations are going below the foundations of the adjoining owner’s property.
Generally, with modern regulation being 1m and with most of the housing stock in the UK being turn-of-the-century construction which did not have regulation to that depth then, in most cases where excavations are necessary for foundations, section 6 (1) will be applicable.
6(2) or 6m Rule?
Whereas the 6m rule will come into play if the excavations are taking place at a distance of 6m if a line was to be drawn horizontally from any part of the building owner’s property or structure and if a line is drawn at a 45-degree angle from the bottom of the adjoining owner foundations and this intercept the proposed excavations, then a Notice would be required under section 6(2).
Both 6(1) and 6(2) would require a minimum of a 1 month’s Notice to be served before excavations are to take palace.
Thank you for taking the time to read today’s property surveying blog post, if you have any further questions in regards to today’s topic or any of the other services that we offer here at Stokemont then please feel to get in touch today and a member of our team of experienced Surveyors will be happy to assist and advise.