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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.

party wall

The Party Wall Act 1996

as it impacts the garden

At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does affect the 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 provides you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with 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 enters into effect if someone is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just suggest the wall between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:

For details of how the Party Wall Act affects structure operate in basic, take a look at this page.

Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly contract rather than turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, consider the neighbours comments, and modify your plans (if proper) prior to serving the notice.

What garden work needs a notification and consent.

The general principle 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 need to be informed. Suggestions must be looked for 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:

Boundary walls

If the planned deal with a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be issued to all affected neighbouring parties. The notification must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.

If the planned work is a brand-new boundary wall up to or astride the limit line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.

See listed below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.

Excavations.

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 before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to give written agreement within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have taken place.

See below regarding what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.

What happens if a conflict occurs.

If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.

When you have arrangement.

All work needs to comply with the notification as soon as you have arrangement. All the agreements ought to be retained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home might want to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.

Remember:

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