Building and party walls in the UK can be a complex issue, especially for people who are new to the process. Many rules and regulations must be followed, and it is essential to understand the different types of walls and how they are constructed. In this article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about building and party wall agreements.
What Is A Party Wall?
A party wall is a wall that separates two properties, either vertically or horizontally. It can be a wall shared by two properties, or it can be a wall built entirely on one property but used by both properties. Party walls can also include floors and ceilings that separate two properties. They are typically found in semi-detached and terraced houses, but they can also be found in flats and commercial buildings.
What Is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall Act is a law that was introduced in 1996 to regulate the construction and maintenance of party walls. The act sets out the rights and responsibilities of property owners when building or renovating a property that shares a party wall. The act applies to all properties, including residential and commercial buildings.
Do I Need to Get Permission Before Building A Party Wall?
Yes, you need to get permission from your neighbour before you can carry out any work on a party wall. The Party Wall Act requires that you serve a notice on your neighbour at least two months before the work starts.
The notice should include details of the work you plan to do and how it will affect the party wall. Your neighbour can either agree to the work or dissent from it. If they dissent, you must appoint a surveyor to resolve the dispute.
What Is A Party Wall Agreement?
A party wall agreement is a legal document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both property owners when carrying out work on a party wall. A surveyor draws up the agreement and sets out the work details, the timetable for the work, and any costs involved. The agreement is binding on both parties and can be enforced by a court if necessary.
What Is A Party Wall Surveyor?
A party wall surveyor is a qualified professional appointed to resolve disputes between neighbours when working on a party wall. The surveyor will assess the work and ensure it complies with the Party Wall Act. They will also ensure that any damage caused to the party wall is repaired and the appropriate party pays any costs involved.
What Happens If I Carry Out Work on A Party Wall without Permission?
If you work on a party wall without permission, you could be liable for damages and legal costs. Your neighbour could take legal action against you, and you could be forced to pay compensation for any damage caused to their property. Therefore, obtaining permission before carrying out any work on a party wall is essential.
What Is A Building Owner?
A building owner is someone who owns a property and plans to carry out work on a party wall. The building owner is responsible for serving the notice on their neighbour and appointing a surveyor if necessary. The building owner is also responsible for paying any costs involved in the work.
What Is An Adjoining Owner?
An adjoining owner shares a party wall with a building owner. The adjoining owner has the right to dissent from any work carried out on the party wall and can appoint their surveyor to resolve any disputes. The adjoining owner is also responsible for paying any costs in appointing their surveyor.
What Types of Work Are Covered by the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall Act covers a range of work, including:
- Building a new wall on the boundary between two properties
- Cutting into a party wall to insert a beam or other support
- Raising a party wall
- Underpinning a party wall
- Excavating within three metres of a neighbouring property
Building and party walls in the UK can be a complex issue, but it is essential to understand the rules and regulations that must be followed. The Party Wall Act provides a framework for resolving disputes between neighbours and ensures that any work carried out on a party wall is done safely and responsibly.
If you plan to work on a party wall, it is essential to seek professional advice and ensure that you comply with the Party Wall Act. Doing so can avoid costly legal disputes and ensure your work is carried out to the highest standards.
If you’re looking for party wall surveyors in London, Icon Surveyors can help! Our professional surveyors will ensure all matters and disputes related to your party wall are resolved for the benefit of both parties. Call us today at 020 7493 9087 to get a quote!