Hello and welcome to today’s property surveying blog post, in today’s topic, we are going to be looking into Party Wall Surveying matters and whether your neighbour’s planned works would need a Party Wall Notice.
This would all vary if any of their planned works fell under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, if this were the case then the planned works would be deemed as notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and your Neighbour would have a statutory duty to serve you with a Party Wall Notice.
What is a Party Wall Notice?
Firstly, let us look at what a Party Wall Notice is, this is a letter that will be sent to an adjoining owner (a neighbour who could be affected by the planned works) when a building owner (the one who is conducting the works) planned works are deemed notifiable under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.
The letter will have to outline what works are taking place and what sections of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 the works fall under.
The Party Wall Notice will also generally be accompanied by drawings, for works that fall under section 6 of the Act, foundation drawings are necessary.
What works are considered Notifiable?
Notifiable works under the Party Wall etc Act fall under 3 different sections of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, which all concern themselves with different aspects of construction works.
Section 1 relates to building walls astride or up to the line of junction
So if your neighbour’s planned works included the construction of a rear or side extension then this would most likely fall under notifiable works. As section 1 is used for access that would be required in order to complete the wall on your side.
Although if you already have a pre-existing extension that is built up to the line of the junction and their extension did not go beyond your own then they would not need to serve a section 1 notice for the planned works as access would no longer be necessary.
Whereas if they were building astride the line of junction then they would need to serve you with a Party Wall Notice as they would require your consent before being able to construct on your land.
Section 2 works relate to works that are taking place along the Party Wall, and can range from:
- Cutting into/away from the wall.
- Penetrating it for the injection of a damp proof course.
- Exposing the party wall
- Raising the height of a party wall
So if any of the planned works involved any of the works over or the other works that makeup section 2 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 then they would have to serve you with a Party Wall Notice.
One of the most common types of work that fall under section 2 is a chimney breast removal, as removing the chimney breast would involve cutting into the wall.
Section 6 works relate to excavations and so if excavations are forming part of the planned works.
This applies when the excavations and they are being done within a 3m distance of your property and to a lower depth than your foundations, the planned works would then be deemed notifiable under section 6.
In some cases where the excavations would need to be particular deep, such as when excavating for pile foundations, then this could trigger section 6(2) of the Party Wall Act 1996 and so anyone who was within a 6m distance from the excavations would need to be notified.
How to respond to a Party Wall Notice?
When it comes to responding to a Party Wall Notice that you have received, they are 3 distinct ways that you are capable of doing so.
The first being to consent to the Party Wall Notice. In doing so this would be the end of the Party Wall Procedures and there would be no further input from a Party Wall Surveyor. If a dispute were then to arise as a result of the planned works this would have to be handled in a neighbourly manner or by way of common law.
You are also capable of dissenting to the Party Wall Notice and appointing an agreed surveyor. Under this option, there would be one Party Wall Surveyor who would be responsible for carrying out the Party Wall Procedures.
Lastly, you can dissent to the Party Wall Notice and appoint your own Party Wall Surveyor. This option is like the first dissenting option although they would instead be 2 Party Wall Surveyors who would both work together to carry out the Party Wall Surveying procedures.
Thank you for reading today’s blog post, if you have any questions in regards to today’s topic or any of the other services that we offer here at Stokemont then please do not hesitate to get in touch today by either giving us a call or popping us over an email and one our experienced Party Wall Surveyors will be happy to assist and advise you.