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Party Wall (WikiPedia)
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden construction, nevertheless it does impact the building of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered into force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work carried out. Having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if someone is planning to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall between 2 semi-detached homes, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the properties but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in basic, take a look at this page.
Similar to all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally discuss the designated work, think about the neighbours comments, and modify your plans (if appropriate) before serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and approval.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have a result upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be notified. Suggestions ought to be looked for from a regional Building Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish border wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be issued to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notice should consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will generally be simply 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 involves excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position etc
If the planned work is a new limit wall as much as or astride the border line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person planning to carry out the work needs to serve a written notification at least one months before the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party must react in composing giving authorization or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of getting the notification, the result is to put the notification into disagreement. Nevertheless no formal arrangement is needed for a wall approximately the border line, the neighbour just requires not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring celebrations have actually concurred in writing to the notification (or a modified notification).
See below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served a minimum of one month before the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties should give written arrangement within 2 week or a conflict is deemed to have happened.
See listed below concerning what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If a disagreement arises, what happens.
If contract can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to identify a fair and objective Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the individual parties.
The individual who is carrying out the work will generally need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Surveyor. However it should be kept in mind that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a fair and unbiased Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which should be impartial and reasonable to all celebrations.
- When an Award has been made, all celebrations have 2 week to attract a County Court versus the Award.
When you have arrangement.
All work needs to comply with the notification when you have agreement. All the contracts should be retained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the property may want to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve just given a brief summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however have a look at the Communities and City government site for a more extensive explanatory pamphlet including example letters for reactions and notices.
- Discussing desired deal with neighbours is free and can prevent misconception which may develop if a notification arrives all of a sudden.
- Your regional Structure Control Office might be able to offer free advice regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
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