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What is the Party Wall Wigan Act?
By Claire Lloyd June 23, 2020
If you’re planning building work that will affect a shared wall between you and your neighbours, then you’ll require to be clued up on the Party Wall Act
It is likely you will have a shared wall with a neighbouring home if you’re looking to bring out building work on a terraced or semi-detached house or flat.
The Party Wall Act avoids structure work undertaken by one neighbour undermining the structural integrity of neighbouring homes or shared walls. It is also created to avoid and solve prospective disagreements with neighbours.
Will it Affect my Plans to Refurbish?
If you live in a semi, balcony, flat, or your detached house is sited within close proximity to neighbouring houses, it might.
The key things to keep in mind are which walls constitute as ‘party walls’ and the kind of work subject to the Act.
Kind of work
More comprehensive work is covered by the Party Wall Act. This includes:
- transforming a loft which includes cutting into border walls to support brand-new beams
- inserting a damp-proof course
- increasing the density
- rebuilding a celebration and destroying wall
- extending above a floor which rests on the border
- building a brand-new wall for an extension, for instance, up to or on the limit
- excavation work for brand-new structures, subject to condition (see below). You’ll need to assure your neighbour of the safeguards in place to safeguard their foundations.
Superficial tasks are not consisted of, such as:
- fitting racks
- electrical rewiring
If you prepare to carry out any work covered by the Act, you’ll also need to provide ‘Notice’ of the beginning of work to your neighbour.
You should notify under the Party Wall Act if you’re excavating for brand-new foundations deeper than the foundations of your neighbours’ house, within three metres of the boundary, or within 6 metres if a 45 ° will be formed in between the bottom of your brand-new structures and those belonging to your neighbour.
You do not need preparing approval for your plans to serve notice.
How Do I Offer ‘Notification’?
If your project is covered by the Act, you notify with a letter setting out your intents, sent out to all the owners of every neighbouring property affected.
A sample letter is included within The Party Wall Act pamphlet (download or buy your copy at communities.gov.uk).
Remember to consist of all the key information, including:
- the date the Notice is served
- the date work will start
- all parties’ names and addresses
- a description of the proposed work
If you don’t do this, your Notice will be invalid.
When Do I Need to Provide Party Wall Notice?
Once complete, present this, together with a copy of the Act and explanatory booklet, to your neighbour 2 months prior to beginning. (If you are excavating near a neighbouring building then you require to give at least one month’s notification.).
Your neighbour will have 2 week to offer written approval or rejection. Let them know a design template is offered for both options in the explanatory booklet.
- If they provide approval, your Notification will stand for a year to finish work.
- If they reject or do not respond within 2 week, then you’re deemed to be in dispute.
What Occurs if the Neighbours Object?
Talk to your neighbours and discuss your strategies in detail to reach a contract.
If approval is impossible, then you will need to assign an ‘agreed surveyor’ or two surveyors to prepare a Party Wall Award. This ‘Award’ covers:.
- the work that can be carried out.
- how the works will proceed.
- measures for preventing damage.
- the payment of surveyors’ fees.
- the present condition of both residential or commercial properties.
- most importantly, expenses payable to the adjoining owner if damage takes place.
What Does a Party Wall Surveyor Do?
In other words, party wall surveyors assist alleviate risk to all celebrations, and make sure that projects can advance without delay.
If you correctly serve notice on your neighbours and damage happens, any conflicts over that damage will be handled by surveyors instead of at common law.
Is a Party Wall Notice Mandatory?
If things turn sour with your neighbour and they presume that the work being carried out will negatively affect their house, they can seek a court injunction to stop you from continuing.
If you haven’t complied with the Act and you trigger major damage to your neighbour’s residential or commercial property, the judge can award settlement for any loss or damage resulting from the works, including legal costs.
An approved Notice is the only method to prevent this.
Cost of a Party Wall Notice.
For an uncomplicated job outside London with an adjacent owner dissenting to the works, charges are likely to be in the region of ₤ 1,000-2,000 plus VAT.
Charges will depend on the nature and complexity of the work being carried out as well as the variety of adjacent owners. And it is not constantly the case that the person initiating the work will pay all parties’ fees.
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