In this week’s property surveying party wall blog post, we are going to be discussing party wall surveying procedures, and in particular, party wall access.
Party wall access applies when a building owner, who is the owner undertaking the construction work, plans to build a new wall up to the line of junction, astride the line of junction, or undertake some form of works to an existing party fence wall or party wall.
First and foremost, a party fence is commonly a garden wall that separates two properties. – A party wall is a shared wall that separates the internal parts of two properties.
Under the Party Wall Etc Act 1996, the building owner has legal right of access onto an adjoining owner’s land, providing that that owner serves a Party Wall Notice, goes through the necessary party wall procedures and ultimately has a Party Wall Award or party wall agreement in place, in advance of the works commencing.
Access is a point for consideration for the party wall surveyors, and will ultimately ensure that the proposed works have the minimal effect upon the adjoining owner’s property. In order to ensure this, it is common for the party wall surveyors to ensure that the adjoining owner’s property, and area of access, is fully considered by the Party Wall Award. This will commonly see the installation of temporary hoarding or fencing, with the hoarding and fencing effectively screening off the adjoining owner’s garden or property, to ultimately ensure that the works have the least amount of risk and nuisance upon the adjoining owner as possible.
Party wall access is an often unknown point by an adjoining owner and in many cases, they will be quite surprised to know that the building owner does indeed have legal right onto their garden, as ultimately, it is after all, their property.
The important thing with party wall access is to remember that it is for a limited period of time, and under strict protective provisions, that will all be considered when in advance of the access actually taking place.
If you’d like to hear a little bit more about party wall access, or perhaps it applies to a project you are undertaking, or potentially a project that you are neighbouring, give our team of qualified party wall surveyors here at Stokemont a call, or pop us an email, and we will be more than happy to assist you.