BUILDING WORK TO A PARTY WALL in London

ARE YOU PLANNING BUILDING WORK TO A PARTY WALL?

Are you contemplating construction work for an area or wall which shares with your neighbor? Are you sharing a building work that could impact your property?

If you’re planning construction work or if your neighbor is planning work that could affect the party wall or structure, you must comply with the law that you adhere to the provisions that are in the Party Wall and Party Structures. Act 1996. If your property is located in England or Wales the law must be observed. The law is not applicable to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

WHAT IS A PARTY WALL?

An Party Wall can be defined in many different ways. It is generally the wall that is the boundaries between two or more buildings, like the wall that divides adjacent homes. It may also be the boundary floors between apartments.

The Act also covers structures that are built on the land of one owner. Sometimes, this may be on the junction line and could be utilized for both the owners. i.e. where one person has constructed one wall, and another owner has built a wall against it, thus enclosing the wall. In this particular instance, only a portion of the wall could be considered to be as a “party wall”..

Properties that are totally distinct from each other could become subject to the Act. If a property owner is planning to do excavations of up to 6 meters away from a neighboring owner’s structure, there may be a requirement that they adhere in accordance with the Act.

A “party fence wall” is an unbuilt wall that doesn’t belong to a building and is situated on land that belongs to various owners. It may be a garden wall, but it does not contain a timber fence.

There are a variety of situations in which it is possible that the Party Wall Act may or might not be applicable. We suggest it is evaluated by a professional in assessing the functions and nuances of the Act and also has knowledge of construction.

WHAT HAPPENS IF AN ADJOINING OWNER DOES NOT AGREE TO PARTY WALL WORKS?

If an adjoining owner is unable to not accept the proposed work, the dispute is considered to be in the making. Parties involved in a dispute are not capable of acting as a surveyor themselves . They have to choose a surveyor in london who can be independent. Owners can agree to choose an agreed surveyor or choose their own surveyor to work on their behalf. The expert or experts will decide the guidelines for how work should be completed and issue a ‘party wall award’, which will define how any work that impacts the structure of the party are completed.

DOES THE PARTY WALL ACT APPLY TO ME?

If the structure that are being considered meet the requirements in the Party Wall Act there is likely there will be an obligation that the works require agreement with the owner who is adjacent to them. Simple work, like the installation of shelves, or replacing electrical wiring or sockets doesn’t need an agreement. It is recommended to only carry out specific building work on an area of a party wall or structure after the adjacent proprietor or owner has been notified in writing and have agreed to the work prior to the construction work taking place. Some examples of notifiable wall work could include:

A wall is cut to accommodate the load of a beam or to insert flashing.

Incorporating a damp proofing course.

Demolition, construction or strengthening a wall.

If you’re considering undertaking excavations, there are a number of comprehensive rules, as outlined in the Party Wall Act, that must be fully known to determine if the Act applies to you.

WHEN DOES PARTY WALL NOTICE NEED TO BE SERVED?

If you’re planning to build work for create a Party Wall then we suggest that you notify your neighbors promptly. That is the most important step to avoid expensive and unnecessary disputes in the future. The aim for this Act is to prevent disputes from which arise because that owners are aware of and agree with that the Party Wall functions.

In the event that it is necessary, you must notify your neighbor in writing prior to when construction work on the wall of a party begins. There is a certain time frame for the notifying to take place prior to construction work on the structure or wall of the party begin. If there are multiple people holding any interest in the land (i.e. Leaseholders and Freeholders. These are also clear in the Act) you have to notify everyone. If multiple properties are that are affected, they must all be informed.

The Act provides specific obligations of distributing notices. It is crucial that valid notices and notices have been served. If notices are not valid, they should be served correctly again and then the time limit.

 

The contract usually includes the schedule of conditions of the affected parts of the adjacent owner’s property prior to the start of work. This is a complete report of the state of the structure prior to the start of work to ensure that any the damage (if there is any) can be accurately assessed when the work is completed.

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