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Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall, also known as common wall or as a demising wall) is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically, the builder lays the wall along a property line dividing two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side. This type of wall is usually structural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting walls built at different times. The term can be also used to describe a division between separate units within a multi-unit apartment complex. Very often the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to meet established criteria for sound and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, nevertheless it does impact the construction of limit walls even if not part of structures and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Planning Permission for any work carried out. Also, having Planning Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect if somebody is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just indicate the wall in between two semi-detached homes, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes however is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring home.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure work in general, have a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is much better to informally go over the intended work, think about the neighbours comments, and amend your strategies (if appropriate) before serving the notification.
What garden work requires a notification and approval.
The basic concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an impact upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be notified. If in doubt, suggestions ought to be looked for from a regional Structure Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish limit wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
A notice should be provided to all affected neighbouring celebrations if the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice should include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property carrying out the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will typically be just a single sentence outlining the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new boundary wall up to or astride the limit line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to perform the work needs to serve a written notice a minimum of one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party should respond in composing providing authorization or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notice, the impact is to put the notification into dispute. No official agreement is required for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in writing.
- No work may commence on a wall astride the border line up until all neighbouring parties have concurred in writing to the notification (or a modified notice).
See listed below concerning what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification requires to be served at least one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to give written agreement within 14 days or a dispute is considered to have occurred.
See below concerning what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
What occurs if a disagreement emerges.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to figure out a reasonable and neutral Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all celebrations).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is performing the work will usually need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. It ought to be kept in mind that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be reasonable and neutral to all celebrations.
- When an Award has been made, all parties have 14 days to appeal to a County Court versus the Award.
Once you have contract.
Once you have arrangement, all work needs to abide by the notice. All the agreements should be kept to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the residential or commercial property might wish to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just given a short overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and City government website for a more comprehensive explanatory booklet consisting of example letters for responses and notifications.
- Going over intended deal with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misconception which may emerge if a notice gets here unexpectedly.
- Your local Building Control Workplace may be able to offer free suggestions relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
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