When it comes to building and renovation projects, it's not uncommon for disputes to arise between neighbours. This is especially true regarding party walls, which are shared walls between two properties. In this article, we'll answer some common questions about party wall issues and the Party Wall Act.
What Is the Party Wall Act?
It is a piece of UK legislation that was introduced in 1996. Its purpose is to provide a framework for resolving disputes between neighbours who share a party wall and other relevant structures such as floors and ceilings. The Act sets out the procedures to be followed before any work can be carried out on a party wall or other relevant structure.
When Does the Party Wall Act Apply?
The Party Wall Act applies in many situations. It applies when work is carried out on a party wall, such as removing or altering it, or when work is carried out on a structure close to the boundary line between two properties. It also applies when excavation work is being carried out close to a neighbouring property.
Do I Need to Notify My Neighbour If I Want to Carry Out Work on a Party Wall?
Yes, you do. The law requires you to notify your neighbour of your intentions in writing at least two months before any work is due to start. This notice should include details of the work you plan to do, when you plan to start, and how long you expect the job to take. Your neighbour will then have 14 days to respond to your notice.
What If My Neighbour Objects to the Work?
If your neighbour objects to the work, the Party Wall Act provides a framework for resolving the dispute. You will need to appoint a party wall surveyor to act on your behalf, and your neighbour will need to appoint their own surveyor. If the two surveyors cannot agree on a way forward, a third surveyor will be appointed to make a final decision.
Who Pays for the Surveyor?
The person carrying out the work is responsible for paying for the surveyor, as well as any other costs that arise as a result of the work. This might include expenses for repairing any damage caused to your neighbour's property.
What Happens If I Carry Out Work without Following the Party Wall Act?
You could be liable for damages if you carry out work without following the Act. Your neighbour could take legal action against you to recover any costs associated with repairing damage caused by the job. In addition, you could be required to undo any work carried out.
How Can I Avoid Disputes with My Neighbour over Party Walls?
The best way to avoid disputes over party walls is to communicate with your neighbour. Let them know what work you plan to carry out, and try to agree on how the work will be carried out. If necessary, you can involve a party wall surveyor to help resolve any issues.
The Party Wall Act is an essential piece of legislation that helps to resolve disputes between neighbours over party walls and other structures. If you plan to work on a party wall, it's essential to follow the procedures set out in the Act to avoid any legal issues or disputes with your neighbours. By communicating with your neighbour and involving a party wall surveyor if necessary, you can ensure that the work is carried out smoothly and without any problems.
If you want to learn more about the Party Wall Act, turn to our experts at Icon Surveyors. We provide professional party wall surveying services for homeowners and property developers, helping them to navigate the complex legal requirements of the Act. Our team of experienced surveyors will work closely with you to ensure that your project complies with the Act and that any potential issues are addressed before they become a problem. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you with your party wall project.