The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is intended to enable property works to take place whilst protecting adjoining owners. The obligation is on the owner who wishes to undertake works to notify his neighbours in writing of what is proposed. When applicable the Act provides statutory procedures for appointing surveyors who resolve matters by way of a ‘party wall award‘. An award lists the format that the persons undertaking the work are required to adopt. It does not allow an adjoining owner to stop someone exercising their rights to conduct work under the Act, however, it does ensure that the works are performed in such a manner that protects the adjoining owners’ interests.

The most common works we see when working
on Party Wall Matters

  • Loft Conversion

    Loft Conversion

    A Loft Conversion is a common type of construction work, that falls within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and require Party Wall Notices to be issued. Loft Conversions commonly invoke two sections of the Party Wall Act, first is due to the removal of the existing roof, thereby exposing the Party Wall. Second, cutting into the Party Wall for the insertion of the steel support beams.

  • Internal Works

    Internal Works

    There are various internal works that fall within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996and require Party Wall Notices to be issued. The most common is Chimney Breast removal.

    Both cutting away the Chimney Breast attached to the Party Wall, and the associated support, for the remaining stack or breast, are covered by the Party Wall etc Act 1996.

  • Home Extension

    Home Extension

    Home extensions are the most common type of construction work that falls within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, they often require Party Wall Notices to be issued. Home extensions commonly invoke two sections of the Party Wall etc Act 1996. The first relates to the excavation for the foundations of the extension. Second, is dependent on the location of the extensions flank wall, if this is built up to or astride the boundary line, this will require the service of Party Wall Notices.

  • New Walls

    New Walls

    Construction of new walls can fall under the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996, and often require Party Wall Notices to be issued. If a new wall is being up to, or astride the boundary line. A Party Wall Notices will be required under the Party Wall etc Act 1996. This will also facilitate access to the adjoining owners land, to ensure the wall is completed safely and to a good standard.

  • Basement Conversions

    Basement Conversions

    Basement Conversions fall within the remit of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 and require Party Wall Notices to be issued. When undertaking a basement extension, both the deep excavations and underpinning to the existing Party Wall or adjoining owner’s wall, are what the industry call higher risk works. It’s common practice to have a checking engineer appointed and Security for Expenses requested by an adjoining owner’s Surveyor.

  • Other Works

    Other Works

    The Party Wall etc Act 1996 covers various types of works, commonly misunderstood to fall within the Acts remit. Want to know more? Give us a call now, we are more than happy to discuss your Party Wall Surveying requirements.

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FAQ

How do I serve a Party Wall Notice?

A Party Wall Notice is a legal document, with this in mind you must ensure that the service is legally correct and valid.

A Party Wall Notices can be served by:

Post: When you serve a Party Wall Notice via post, you must allow 2 further days, accounting for postage delays on top of the 14 days statutory Notice period.

Hand: In order to ensure this method is legally valid, you would be required to physically hand the Notice to an occupant within the Adjoining Owner’s property. We would also advise obtaining the name of the person, whom you handed the Notice.

Conspicuous Area: You can also serve the Party Wall Notice to a conspicuous part of the property i.e. a door, window or even a gate. This method is usually used when the name of the Adjoining Owner is unknown.

Email: You can serve a Party Wall Notice via email. However, the Adjoining Owner must confirm in advance of being sent the Notice, that they are agreeable to electronic service.

Here at Icon Surveyors, we have served Party Wall Notices via all of the above methods over the years.

An Adjoining Owner has 14 days, not restricted to business days to respond to the Party Wall Notice.

The Building Owner must allow a further 2 days for postage delays.

The Building Owner must allow for normal holidays, these should be added to the Party Wall Notice response times.

Party Wall Notices will need to be addressed to the legal owner of the property, known within the Act as the Adjoining Owner.

Here at Icon Surveyors, our Party Wall Notices have undergone extensive legal checks to ensure that they are, both correct and legally valid.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996, confirms an Owner is anyone with more than a 12-month interest in the property.

Most tenancies in England and Wales are on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) basis meaning the tenant is not considered an owner under the Act and wouldn’t be due to a Party Wall Notice.

As part of a Party Wall Surveyor’s statutory duty, they will undertake legal checks prior to serving a Party Wall Notice and can confirm exactly which owners require a Party Wall Notice