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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, however it does impact the building and construction of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered 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 an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to limit fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Approval for any work undertaken. Similarly, having Planning Approval 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 pertinent structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall between two semi-detached properties, as far as gardeners are worried 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 near to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, have 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 notification to be served, it is better to informally talk about the desired work, consider the neighbours remarks, and change your strategies (if proper) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work requires a notification and approval.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be alerted. If in doubt, guidance must be looked for from a regional Structure Control Office or expert surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy boundary wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
- 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 building.
If the prepared work on a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be issued to all affected neighbouring parties. The notice should consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the property 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 outlining 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 involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a brand-new border wall as much as or astride the limit line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person planning to perform the work should serve a written notice at least one months prior to the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party offering information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party ought to respond in writing giving authorization or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of receiving the notice, the impact is to put the notice into dispute. Nevertheless no formal contract is required for a wall as much as the limit line, the neighbour just needs not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the border line up until all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notification).
See listed below concerning what takes place 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 notice needs to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations should give written contract within 2 week or a dispute is deemed to have occurred.
See below regarding what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a conflict emerges, what occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to figure out a fair and unbiased Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will normally have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. However it should be noted that any Surveyor should act within their statutory obligations and propose a reasonable and objective Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which must be fair and objective to all parties.
- Once an Award has actually been made, all celebrations have 14 days to attract a County Court against the Award.
As soon as you have contract.
When you have arrangement, all work needs to abide by the notification. All the contracts need to be kept to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the residential or commercial property might want to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just given a short summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however take a look at the Communities and City government website for a more extensive explanatory pamphlet including example letters for reactions and notifications.
- If a notification arrives suddenly, discussing desired work with neighbours is free and can prevent misunderstanding which might arise.
- Your regional Building Control Workplace might have the ability to provide complimentary recommendations relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
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