The wall or walls of your property that you share with the neighbouring property is called the party wall.
What is a Party Wall?
Party Wall Act 1996
The Party Wall Act 1996 has been designed to protect both parties when works are being carried out by providing a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
Works covered under the act include:
- Work to an existing party wall or party structure.
- New building on the boundary of two properties.
- Excavation near neighbouring properties within 3 meters.
- Excavation below the foundation level of neighbouring properties within 6 meters.
Prior to the commencement of the building works a notice must be served by the building owner (who is intending to carry out works) to the neighbouring properties. There are three types of notices:
- Party Structure Notice. This is served 2 months prior to works commencing.
- New Building on the boundary line. This is served 1 month prior to works commencing.
- Excavations/Foundations. This is served 1 month prior to works commencing.
Party Wall Award
A Party wall award is required when a property owner wishes to commence work on his property. This is a legal document prepared by the Party Wall Surveyors, it includes details of the works to be carried out, how it will be done, it identifies who is responsible for the cost of the works and any associated fees and also identifies who is responsible for carrying out any remedial works if resultant damage is caused. The award will also contain a schedule of conditions (with photographs) which records the condition of the adjoining properties prior to the commencement of the works. Generally the one intending to carry out works pays for the surveyors fees for both sides.
How we can help?
We can act for the building owner (one who is intending to carry out the works), the adjoining neighbour or even both.
For the Building Owner – If you are intending to carry out works
If we are acting on behalf of the building owner we will serve the correct notice under the Act, we will visit site and carry out an inspection of both your property and the adjoining property/ies and prepare the party wall award including the schedules of condition. We can also assist in resolving disputes.
Adjoining Property – If your Neighbor is carrying out works
If your neighbour is carrying out works we can agree the award on your behalf. This involves us visiting the site and carrying out an inspection of your property and the building owner’s property to ensure that the party wall award/schedules of condition is correct and truly representing of the condition of your building. We can also assist in resolving disputes.
In such instances all the surveyors’ fees are usually paid by the building owner (one who is intending to carry out the works).
Many times it is cheaper to appoint one surveyor who can serve the notices, prepare and agree the Party Wall Award and assist in resolving any disputes.