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Free Party Wall Help

May 1, 2023


Hello and welcome to today’s property surveying blog post where we are going to be taking a look into the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and we will be giving free advice on Party Wall Surveying procedures.

This is a topic that can cause a great deal of confusion for both building owners and adjoining owners alike as it does require both practical building knowledge and legal knowledge alike.

The works that are encompassed by the Party Wall etc Act 1996 can be varied and include a variety of different types but will generally fall under 3 distinct categories each being covered by its own section in the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

New walls (section 1)

Section 1 of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 concentrates on the construction of new walls that are on/or astride the line of junction.

So they will either be but just up to the boundary line or they can be built on the boundary line where they are capable of being used as a shared wall, this can be beneficial if your neighbor wishes to do any construction work in the future they will be able to use this wall, but it is worth noting that if in the future your neighbor did decide to build off the wall then they would be liable for half of the construction cost of the wall.

Works to the party wall (section 2)

Section 2 has the widest variety of works that encompass it but all will generally relate to those that take place on the party wall, some of the different works that do fall under section 2 are as followed:

  • Cutting in for a damp-proof course
  • Removing chimney breast
  • Inserting steel beams into the walls for support in works such as a loft conversion.
  • Inserting pad stones into the walls
  • to expose a party wall or party structure hitherto enclosed subject to providing adequate weathering.

Excavations (section 6)

Section 6 concentrates on excavation works and they will fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 if the excavations are done within 3m or 6m of the adjoining owner’s property and if they are going to be to a depth of 1m.

Whereas if you plan to dig deep excavations that will go below the dept of your neighbor’s foundations then this will fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 if the excavations are taking place within 6m of the adjoining owner property and a line is drawn from the base of the adjoining owner foundations at a 45-degree angle that intersects the proposed foundations.

Party Wall Notice

Now that we have established what works Require a Party Wall Notice, the question becomes what is a Party Wall Notice?

A Party Wall Notice is a letter that will inform your neighbors who could be affected by your planned works and depending on the types of works that are taking place and what section of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 they will fall under.

 The Party Wall Notice will also generally be accompanied by drawings, which is mandatory for any planned works that fall under section 6 and depend on the section the planned works fall under it will come with a minimum amount of time the Party Wall Notice would need to be served by.

For sections 1 and 6 they will require a Notice to be served a minimum of 1 month before the planned works are going to take place, whereas for section 2 works this would require a Party Wall Notice to be served a minimum of 2 months before the planned works are set to commence.

Responding to a Party Wall Notice

Serving the Party Wall Notice will give the adjoining owners 3 distinct response options under the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

Party Wall Notice Consent Vs Dissent

The first option is to consent to the Party Wall Notice, this will essentially forgo the Party Wall Surveying procedure, and if any issues were to arise then they would have to be dealt with in a neighborly manner or by way of common law.

The second response option is to dissent and appoint an adjoining Party Wall Surveyor, so this would be one Party Wall Surveyor who would act on behalf of both parties and will Act independently to implement the Party Wall Surveying procedure.

The third response option is to dissent and appoint your own Party Wall Surveyor so they would be a Party Wall Surveyor for each party involved who will work together to implement the Party Wall Surveying procedures.

Party Wall Award

The Party Wall Award is the final piece of the puzzle in Party Wall Surveying procedures, and once this has been agreed this will give your neighbors the right to commence there planned works.

The Award itself will be drafted by the Party Wall Surveyor/s involved and will include what protections would need to be put in place before and during the works are being carried out and also may include method statements of the way that the works will be carried out to ensure that they are done so in the most risk-averse way possible.

Once the award has been decided upon this will then be shared with all parties involved and will mean that the Building owner will be free to start there planned works, whereas the adjoining owner will have up to 14 days upon recite of the award to contest it within the courts if they so choose to.

We hope this gives you further clarity into Party Wall Surveying procedures and the different elements and aspects that make it up, if you have any further questions or queries on Party Wall Surveying procedures or any of the other services that we offer here at Stokemont then please feel free to give us a call and one of our team of experienced party wall surveyors will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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