Independent Chartered Building and Property Surveyors

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Party Wall Matters Part 1

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  • 27-09-2018
Party Wall Matters Part 1

Party Wall Matters, Part 1

While considering to start building works and chances are that it may affect the adjacent structures and properties in a highly built-up area, it is required that you serve them a notice that informs them your intentions. This should be done to protect the interests of your neighbours. The Act that covers works which require notice includes the following: 

  • New wall construction along a boundary that is shared.
  • Excavations that exceeds the depth of the foundations of the neighbouring property, usually taken as 800mm below ground level.
  • Any works to be carried on the party wall itself. 

This Act states in details, the involved parties’ rights and responsibilities, it also directly covers items such as repair of damages that might be caused throughout the process of the works, cost appointment and the timescale of the proposed work. The Party Wall Act should contain the following details: name and address of the property owner, the exact date that the works is expected to commence, nature the work to be undertaken and all the details of the stated work. 

Serving Notice 

Before the start of any works, a notice should be served on the adjoining owner/s within the confines of a specific period of time, if the work falls under the scope of the Party Wall Act. This notice should be accurately drawn covering all the vital details of the work, including the depth of any planned excavations, this should include the following; new foundation excavations, drainage that might exceed existing foundations and underpinning. This Notice can be served either in person or through a post to be displayed on a visible part of the property or premises. 

Party Wall Agreements 

The adjoining owners are given 14 days once the notice has been served, within this period they are required to either to consent to or dissent from the works. You do not need to do anything further under the act if you consent to and agree to carry on with the construction. This, however, implies that neither you nor the other adjoining owner will benefit from the protections and rights of the Party Wall Act if you agree and carry on with the works. 

If the other adjoining owners decide to dissent from the works or do not respond to the served notice within the provided 14 days since the notice was served, you are required to appoint a party wall surveyor. The party wall surveyor will work on your behalf in preparation of a party wall agreement. This agreement will contain the actual name of the property owner and the party wall award that covers several like access to the other adjoining owner’s land, excessive noise, all the expenses and lastly the scaffolding erection. 

Usually, any party that wishes to start the works under the Party Wall Act, and the owner of the building, are required to pay a sensible amount of money to the adjoining owner/s in dealing with the matter. We would suggest, as a budget, an allowance fee of £850.00 plus VAT per every Party Wall Award, this is considering that the proposed works would affect at least two properties.