In today’s Property Surveying blog post topic, we are going to be discussing party wall surveying, and in particular the three different types of Party Wall Notices that are necessary to be served in the event that the proposed construction works fall within the realm and remit of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
If you are planning on undertaking construction works to your property, or if your neighbour is planning on undertaking construction works to their property, and those works fall within the realm and remit of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, from a legal perspective a Party Wall Notice will need to be served a minimum of one, or two months in advance of the proposed works commencing.
There are three different types of Party Wall Notices that require legal services, each one covering a different type of work and different section of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
We are now going to be taking a look at these prospective Party Wall Notices, and filling in the gaps so that you have a full understanding of exactly what type of Party Wall Notice requires service in respect of the proposed construction works and the necessary timings surrounding that.
Section 1 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
Building new walls up to, or astride the line of junction (boundary line).
If you are planning on undertaking works that fall within the realm of this section of the Party Wall Act, you will need to serve a Party Wall Notice a minimum of one month in advance of those works commencing upon your neighbouring owner, commonly known as the adjoining owner.
These types of works are generally covered by the construction of new walls up to the boundary line, and commonly these would be in the form of flank walls of front, side, or rear extensions.
One of the beauties of Section 1 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, is that the service of a Section 1 Notice will give the building owner a legal right of access onto the adjoining owner’s land in order to undertake the necessary works.
This means that the building owner’s contractors will be able to safely and securely complete their works whilst standing or while located on the adjoining owner’s land, thereby ensuring that the wall can be constructed in the best possible manner and to the neatest finish.
Section 2 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
Party structure, party fence or party fence wall works.
If you are planning on undertaking any works directly to a party wall, a party fence wall (garden wall) or a party structure (ceiling/floor) then under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 you will need to serve a Party Wall Notice upon the adjoining owner a minimum of two months in advance of these works commencing.
These types of works are generally speaking slightly more risky, as they will involve some form of adjustment, cutting into, cutting away from, raising, or changing the existing structure, and therefore will usually result in some form of percussive works directly to the wall or structure.
Commonly these types of works would be within the realm of a loft conversion, beams going into the party wall, removal of chimney breasts, underpinning, or raising the party wall.
Section 6 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
Notices of adjacent excavation.
If you are planning on undertaking works that fall within the realm of Section 6 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, you will need to serve a Party Wall Notice upon the neighbouring owner, adjoining owner, a minimum of one month in advance of the works commencing.
This work covers any excavations that are not only within 6m of the neighbouring property, but are also to a depth lower than their foundations.
The premise of this section is that the risks associated with undertaking new excavations and foundation work, could result in the undermining of the existing foundation, and therefore there is a bona fide risk, that the Act considers necessary for the implementation of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996’s procedures.
Commonly excavations will be to allow for foundations, that extensions will then rest on, underpinning, basement extensions, or any other form of excavation work required to meet both Building Regulations and the overall spatial design proposed.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 while being a simple act, can often be misunderstood and mis-interpreted, therefore if you are planning on undertaking construction works to your property and are unsure if the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 applies, or perhaps your neighbour is planning on undertaking work to their property and you are unsure if their works fall within the remit of the Act give us a call today and we will be more than happy to assist and advise you in respect of the necessary party wall procedures and the various different protections that the Act will afford you.
Here at Stokemont, we regularly undertake all different types of party wall work throughout England and Wales, whether it is a loft conversion, a rear extension, structural complex changes, new builds, or basement conversions and developments. Our breadth of experience ensures that we are always best placed to assist and advise you and ensure that the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and its procedures are administered as simply and straightforwardly as possible.