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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 impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, nevertheless it does affect the building and construction of border 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 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 impact any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work carried out. Having Preparation Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into effect if somebody is planning to do deal with a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall in between 2 semi-detached homes, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the homes but is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts building operate in general, take a look at this page.
Just like all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly 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 intended work, consider the neighbours remarks, and amend your strategies (if suitable) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and permission.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be notified. Recommendations ought to be sought from a local Building Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy limit wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- 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 structures of the neighbouring structure.
A notification should be released to all impacted neighbouring parties if the planned work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notification needs to 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 full description of the proposed work (this will generally be simply a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration 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 brand-new boundary wall as much as or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person meaning to perform the work needs to serve a composed notice a minimum of one months before the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party offering information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party ought to react in writing providing consent or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notice, the effect is to put the notification into conflict. No formal agreement is needed for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour just requires not to object in composing.
- No work might begin on a wall astride the limit line until all neighbouring parties have agreed in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice requires to be served a minimum of one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to give written arrangement within 2 week or a conflict is deemed to have actually taken place.
See listed below regarding what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
What takes place if a disagreement occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to figure out a impartial and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will generally have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Property surveyor. It should be noted that any Property surveyor needs to act within their statutory obligations and propose a reasonable and objective Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which must be neutral and reasonable to all celebrations.
- Once an Award has been made, all celebrations have 2 week to attract a County Court against the Award.
Once you have arrangement.
When you have arrangement, all work must adhere to the notification. All the contracts ought to be maintained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the residential or commercial property may wish to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only offered a short summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however have a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more detailed explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for notifications and actions.
- Going over intended deal with neighbours is totally free and can prevent misunderstanding which may occur if a notification shows up all of a sudden.
- Your local Structure Control Office might have the ability to give complimentary suggestions relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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