We are fully certified specialist Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Set up of Condition reports and lawfully serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With offices in Central, South and North London it makes us completely placed to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Structure Owner preparing a new project or a neighbour who has actually been served a Party Wall Notification our understanding and experience ensures we are constantly best prepared to assist with your Party Wall requirements.
Call now and speak to a Professional Surveyor for friendly expert recommendations.
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 effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact 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 force in 1997, so it is now law and offers 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 boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Planning Approval for any work carried out. Having Planning Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters result if someone is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply suggest the wall in between two 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 used to separate the residential or commercial properties but is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, have a look at this page.
Similar to all work impacting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly agreement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, consider the neighbours comments, and change your plans (if appropriate) before serving the notice.
What garden work requires a notice and approval.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an effect upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be notified. If in doubt, suggestions should be looked for from a local Building Control Workplace or professional 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 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 building.
If the planned deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice needs to be released to all affected neighbouring parties. The notice must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence detailing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notification 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 new boundary wall as much as or astride the limit 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 written notice a minimum of one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party giving information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party needs to respond in composing giving approval or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of getting the notice, the effect is to put the notification into disagreement. No formal contract is needed for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the boundary line until all neighbouring celebrations have actually concurred in writing to the notice (or a modified notice).
See below concerning what happens 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 notification requires to be served a minimum of one month prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to provide written contract within 2 week or a disagreement is deemed to have actually occurred.
See listed below concerning what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
What happens if a dispute arises.
If contract can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to identify a impartial and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- Each party designates their own Surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is performing the work will typically 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. It should be noted that any Surveyor should act within their statutory duties and propose a reasonable and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Property surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which needs to be neutral and fair to all parties.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 2 week to attract a County Court versus the Award.
When you have agreement.
All work needs to comply with the notice once you have arrangement. All the contracts should be retained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property might want to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We have actually only offered a brief overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more detailed explanatory booklet including example letters for actions and notifications.
- If a notification arrives unexpectedly, going over intended work with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misconception which may arise.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace may be able to offer complimentary advice regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
Around the Web