header graphic

Party Wall 1966

Agreements and Notices

A legal framework for carrying out Works to Party Walls

The Party Wall Act 1996, came into force in 1997 and covers England and Wales.

It provides a legal framework for carrying out Works to Party Walls, Party Fence Walls (certain garden walls) and Adjacent Excavations.

The Act also applies to horizontal Party Structure which could be the floor or ceiling separating two flats or apartments.

The Party Wall Act 1966

It covers:-

The Definition of a Party Wall

Generally most Party Walls have the boundary between two properties running along the wall centre-line such as occurs in most terraced houses.

If the boundary is within the wall thickness then the wall will be a Party Wall.

A wall can also be deemed to be a party wall where one person has built the wall in the first place, and another has butted their building up against it without constructing their own wall.

In practice most Garden Walls are built entirely on one side of the boundary and are not Party Walls even if part of the wall foundation straddles the boundary.

 

 

How to Serve the Notices for Work on a Party Wall?


If you are carrying out works you must inform your neighbour, the Adjoining Owner, of your intentions. The best way to start the process is to engage the services of a qualified engineer orl surveyor to prepare and serve the necessary notices in advance of the works commencing.

Notices for works to a Party Wall must be served two months before they commence or one month if you are excavating foundations within a certain distance of your neighbour’s building or structure. 

The notice needs to describe the works and, when dealing with an excavation, must have a drawn section through the proposed excavation showing the assumed relationship with your neighbour’s foundations.

 

What to Do if Served a Notice?


If you are the Adjoining Owner you have the option to either consent to the works or dissent. Dissenting actually means “to proceed with the protection of the Act”.  If you dissent on the basis that you require your interest to be considered and protected, you should appoint an engineer or surveyor.

 

 

Party Wall Surveyors 

Dissenting does not stop the works but instead controls how the works are carried out.  You should be aware that the appointed surveyor

should administer the Act impartially and not just representing one client.

It is important to be aware that in almost every situation (as you are the adjoining owner) your surveyor’s fees will be paid for by the neighbour who is instigating the work, except in very rare instances.

The two surveyors will now put in place a Party Wall Award which protects the Adjoining Owner against damage, contains the drawings related to the works, and a "schedule of condition" of your property.

 

Minor Works

If the works are minor the adjoining owner can consent to the works and that generally ends the involvement of the Act and obviously saves the building owner money, avoiding the need for surveyors. 

If you are considering consenting we would still recommend you take advice before doing so, as a well worded letter of consent can give you better protection.

 

Contact Pentacon

Pentacon would be pleased to act as your Party Wall Surveyor and so If you want Pentacon to help with a Party Wall issue - give me a call and email me a copy of any Notices, photos of the building and any other relevant information.

I will provide free advice in an Email on how to deal with your Problem.

Just text or call me on 07557 966 459.

I look forward to hearing from You

 

 

Best Regards

 

will witt signature