This blog is not an authoritative interpretation of the law; it is intended as a general guide.
In this blog Icon Surveyors will be considering what a Party Wall Notice is and why one must be served for works that are being carried out under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
What is a Party Wall Notice?
A Party Wall Notice is notification of any proposed works that will be carried out and that may affect and/or inconvenience a neighbouring owner or occupier. Such a Notice is mandatory for works that are being carried out under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996.
Under the provisions of, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, a Party Wall Notice must be served on an adjoining owner (the owner or occupier of a property/land adjoining those of the building owner) by a building owner (the owner of the land/property who is proposing to exercise their rights under the Act to carry out the works).
There are 3 different types of Party Wall Notice. These can be found at section 1, section 3 and section 6 of the Act. The first must be served on an adjoining owner if the building owner decides to build on an adjacent or boundary line. An example of which might be an extension or garden wall.
The second, concerns building works that will use a part of a Party Wall structure to carry out the works. An example might be works that involve the removal of a chimney breast or cutting into a neighbouring wall.
The third type of Party Wall Notice concerns proposed works that will include excavations that are horizontally within 3 meters of an adjoining owners building or where the excavation is within 6 meters horizontally from any part of an adjoining owners building or structure where the excavation will split at a 45 degree angle of the adjoining owners foundations. An example of this might be the building of a basement extension of the erection of an extension onto a terraced house.
It is imperative for a building owner to serve a Party Wall Notice on all and/or any of their adjoining neighbours. Failure to fulfil this mandatory obligation can result in some hefty penalties being placed on a building owner. An example might be the adjoining owner applying to the Court for an order to cease with the works until a Party Wall Notice has been served and a Party Wall Award agreed. There are also examples where a building owner has been ordered by the Court to demolish the building/structure as a result of the building owner’s failure to comply with the Act.
Icon Surveyor’s would always recommend that a building owner comply with the Act. The Act was drafted to ensure that both building and adjoining owners are protected against any unreasonable inconvenience and/or loss and damage that may arise as a result of building works being carried out.
Icon Surveyors are happy to provide a free consultation to any building or adjoining owners who may be affected by the subject matter raised in this blog.