What exactly is a party wall, though?
A wall constructed immediately on the boundary of land that two or more different parties own is referred to as a party wall. For example, the walls that divide terraced or semi-detached residences and the barriers that serve as the border between two gardens are good examples of boundary walls (party fence walls).
The Act Concerning Party Walls
The Party Wall Act of 1996 was created to restrict building activity that might threaten the integrity of the structure of any cinder block wall (party wall) or nearby homes. It was passed in England and Wales and applied to residential properties in those countries. It is possible to utilize the Party Wall Act to prevent conflicts between neighbors and to assist in resolving those conflicts if they occur. Party Wall Solutions
Party wall disputes are resolved by common law. Hence the Party Wall Act of 1996 does not apply in those countries.
Do I need an agreement for the party wall?
If you want to perform any building work near or on a party wall, you must first have a party wall contract in place. Then, you must inform your friends, supply them with a Party Wall Notice, and develop a written House Wall Agreement before moving further. If you hire a builder or an architect, they should be able to provide you with guidance on this matter, but they would not serve the notice on your behalf.
You need to get a Party Wall Understanding to carry out the following types of work:
Any work done to shared walls (sometimes called party walls) between semi-detached or terraced properties.
Work on shared “party structures,” such as floors between flats, is an example of this type of work.
Make improvements to the garden walls.
activities of excavation or underpinning are carried out against or near a party wall (within 3-6 meters).
Conversions of loft space that require sawing through a party wall.
As a preventative measure, I am putting a moisture-proof course into a party wall.
We are increasing the height or thickness of the party walls.
I am constructing a second-story addition on top of the existing shared wall.
A new wall is being built up to or off the party wall.
Which types of work do not need to be covered by a party wall alliance?
A party wall agreement is not required for all work done to party walls. These include drilling into the wall internally to accommodate kitchen units or shelves, which are examples of small operations that fall under this category. In addition, plastering the wall, installing more or replacing electrical wires or sockets, or changing existing electrical sockets will not require an agreement.
What exactly is meant by a “party wall notice”?
Between two months and a year before the work is scheduled to begin, you are required to give a Party Wall Notice to your neighbors to provide them with notice of the results you intend to carry out to the party wall in question. This notice must be delivered in writing.
It is unnecessary to obtain planning clearance to serve a party wall notice. On the other hand, given that you will have up to a year to begin construction once the information has been performed, it is in your best interest to get this done as quickly as possible to prevent any delays. Furthermore, to reassure your neighbors that you are following the appropriate protocol and safety procedures, you should have a face-to-face conversation before giving them written notice. This should make it easier to prevent disagreements or misunderstandings and make it possible to draft an agreement more quickly.
You might also provide your neighbor with information on the Party Wall Act to assist them in comprehending the procedure; alternatively, you could send your neighbor to the area of the Government website devoted to Party Wall information.
You should write to your impacted neighbor(s) to properly serve notice. In the letter, you should provide your contact information, complete details of the work that you have planned, the date that work will begin, as well as any access requirements over their land (perhaps to get materials or equipment onto site). If you have contiguous leasehold properties, you must give notice to both the owners of the building and the tenant(s) currently residing in it.
On this government website page, you may locate helpful guidance in addition to templates for Party Wall Notices. Including a reply letter and envelope for the neighbors to sign and return is advisable. This should not surprise them if you have already spoken with them before delivering the letter.
What are my options now that my neighbor has declined to honor the party facade agreement we had previously established?
You are said to be “in disagreement” with your neighbor if they refuse to consent or fail to respond to the notification after delivering notice on them.
You have a few choices available to you here. In the first place, you may speak with your next-door neighbor, take the time to address their concerns, and work toward a solution that satisfies both of your needs. This is the perfect scenario.
They could send you a written response with a rebuttal notice. In most cases, these notifications will seek modifications to the work described, more work, or occasionally stipulations such as limited working hours. If you and your partner can agree on these revised parameters, you should put them in writing and proceed. In addition, your neighbor may be required to pay a portion of the expenses associated with any additional work they want, which will benefit them.
If an agreement cannot be reached, you will be required to engage the services of a party wall surveyor. You and your partner can appoint a surveyor to work for both of you, or you can choose to choose your own individually. The surveyor will arrange a Party Wall Award, which will outline the specifics of the construction.
The Party Wall Award is a legal document that specifies what kind of work may be done, when it can be done, how it will be done, and who will pay for it (including the surveyor’s costs). You have the right to file what is known as an “appellant’s notice” in a county court to explain the reasons for your decision to appeal the award if you are unhappy with it. https://partywallsolutions.net/party-walls-disputes/
Do I require the services of a party wall surveyor?
People frequently discover, to their surprise, that they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. There is often no need to hire a surveyor if your neighbor answers your notice by approving in writing that works can begin since this eliminates the requirement for the information to be served.
In any case, it is still your responsibility to ensure that any damage caused by the work is corrected when it has been completed to avoid disagreements in the future, such as those about cracks in the wall, inspect the wall with your neighbor before construction begins, and then take photographs of the wall and share them. To reduce the likelihood of legal conflicts later on, some individuals choose to have a condition survey performed by a surveyor at this point in the process.
If your next-door neighbor refuses to grant permission, you will be required to get a Party Wall Award and, as a result, a party wall surveyor. In most cases, you and your neighbor will only work with a single surveyor (a good idea as it means only one set of fees).
Various fees are involved, but the overall cost of a Party Wall Award is often close to one thousand pounds.