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The Party Wall etc Act 1996, 14 FAQs

Apr 13, 2022

Today on the Stokemont property blog, we are going to be taking a look at 14 frequently asked party wall surveying questions.

Do I need to serve party wall notice for works under the party wall act?

Yes. As the building owner, you have an obligation to provide party wall notice to adjoining owners if you intend to complete any works that fall under the scope of the act.

These can include making modifications to the party wall, building on the party wall, or repairing the party wall.

How much notice do I have to give before starting work on the party wall?

It is customary to give at least two months notice to your adjoining owners if you intend to complete any work on the party wall.

It’s important to remember that a party wall notice is only valid for a year, so announcing too early may lead to problems later on.

Who pays for the costs of a party wall surveyor?

Generally speaking, all costs associated with the party wall work, including paying of the party wall surveyor fees will fall to the building owner.

Can you agree on building work without the need for a party wall surveyor?

Yes. The party wall surveyor is only brought into the equation if the two parties cannot agree on a course of action.

If you are fine with the work being completed, then you can give written consent to the building owner, and there will be no need to introduce a party wall surveyor at all.

Will the award for a party wall transfer to a new adjoining owner?

Under the current rules of the act, the award can be passed between adjoining owners freely and still be valid.

However, if at any point the building owner changes, then the award is declared null and void, and a new award must be obtained before work can be resumed.

Who is the adjoining owner?

The adjoining owner in this situation is any party who is a neighbour to the building owner. Basically, if you are not the person trying to complete the works, then you are the adjoining owner.

Does the act allow me access to the property of my neighbour?

Under the rules of the party wall act, once an award has been distributed and agreed upon by all parties, your neighbour must allow you and your workmen reasonable access to the property in order to complete the work.

It is customary to give notice that you intend to enter the property at least 14 days before, but legally they have to let you in.

Can I refuse a party wall agreement?

Yes, you can refuse a party wall notice when it is served, and if you do, the dispute process is automatically generated.

What is the definition of a party wall, and how do I know?

The party wall is considered to be a shared wall by both parties which runs along the border of the two properties.

So, if there is a wall which divides your home from that of your neighbour, the war would be the party wall.

How long does a party wall award last?

Generally speaking, the party wall agreement is valid for a year after it has been distributed.

Can I extend a party wall?

You can raise the height of the party wall and create an extension, but you cannot lengthen it without consent from your neighbour.

Is the party wall act a legally binding set of regulations?

Above and beyond being a guideline for how to successfully handle party wall situations, the act is a legal document.

You are required to follow the rules of the act, and if you don’t, then any work that is completed can be considered unlawful.

My neighbour has said that they are fine with the work I want to do, can I start?

Even if you get verbal consent from your neighbour to begin work in accordance with the act, this is not enough.

If your neighbour wants to legally consent to you completing the work, they must provide a written acknowledgement that they do. Anything else is not legal, and would not stand up in a court situation.

What happens if my neighbour does not respond to the party wall notice within 14 days?

In the event that your neighbour doesn’t respond to your party wall notice to start work within 14 days, they are considered to have dissented, which means that the dispute process is generated, and you can appoint a party wall surveyor for them if they don’t communicate with you.

If you would like to discuss your party wall surveying requirements with our team of surveyors, give us a call today, we will be more than happy to advise.

Party Wall Surveyor Fixed Fees

Party Wall Surveyor Fixed Fees

Thank you for clicking on today’s Property Surveying blog post topic.  Through this post we are going to be looking at one of the most common questions we are asked here as party wall surveyors at Stokemont. A typical and re-occurring question we get from most...

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