Proposing a building project? In the Act, a Building Owner is described as an owner of land who is desirous of exercising rights under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. It is the Building Owner's responsibility to notify and acquire neighbour's consent for works which fall under the scope of the Act.
Matters we can assist you with
Party Wall London are able to serve notices on your behalf under the specified sections and regulations of the Act.
Providing you with a step by step guidance on how to successfully execute your project when a dissent with a neighbour occurs.
Settle matters of fees between neighbours when use of a party structure is subsequently made by the adjoining owner.
The Party Wall etc. Act only becomes invoked once a Party Wall Notice has been served onto the Adjoining Owners. It is important to serve the appropriate Notices to surrounding properties prior to any works commencing as Adjoining Owners can apply for an injunction at court, which will force your project to stop. Types of works that are within the scope of the Act and must be notified are: constructions of new walls at the line of junction, alterations to a party wall structure, excavations close to neighbouring properties.
Party Wall London advises building owners on all Party Wall matters. Appoint us as your Party Wall Surveyor to receive assistance with such construction works. Our appointment during the preliminary stages of your building project will ensure that Party Wall matters are taken into account during the design stage and eliminate issues further down the line.
How does my wall affect my neighbour?It is a common misconception that owners own their respective half of a party structure (i.e. half of a party wall). However, considering the matter of shared ownership in compliance with the Act, both owners have full ownership of the entire thickness of the wall or strucutre. Therefore, it is paramount you let the Adjoining Owner know what you intend to do with the shared strucutre.
Can I start my project if the Adjoining Owner consents to my notice?Yes, when the Adjoining Owner consents to the Party Wall Notice in writing, you are permitted to begin your works. However, it must be noted that Adjoining Owners are able to dissent to the Notice further down the line, even with an inital consent, triggering the provision of the Act.
What happens if my neighbour dissents to my propsed works?When this occurs, you should appoint a chartered party wall surveyor to guide you through the dispute process. Your adjoining neighbour can either appoint their own surveyor or you can both agree on an "Agreed Surveyor". Your surveyor(s) will then visit the site to prepare a Schedule of Condition. An award will then be drafted with the required execution manner of the project. The surveyor(s) will write this award taking into accout of any unnessessary inconveniences your work may cause for the Adjoining Owner, and produce prevention methods for these. As long as you fulfill your obligations as defined in the award, you will not receive any disruptions with undertaking your works.
I have started my building project and my neighbour is unhappy, will the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 protect my works?The short answer is no. A Party Wall Notice must be served prior to ANY works commencing in order for the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to be invoked.
Who will have to pay for the costs of a Party Wall Award?In most cases, it is the Building Owner who pays for the award and the subsequent surveyor(s) costs. This is because it is the Building Owner who benefits from the facilitation of the project.
Do I need to serve a notice to build a wall that will be built wholly on my own land?The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 covers not only matters to do with a party wall, but also excavations. If your project involves excavating within 3 metres of a neighbouring property and will be deeper than your neighbour's existing foundation, you will need to serve a Notice under Section 6 of the Act. Similarly, if you are excavating within 6 metres of a neighbouring property and your excavations would be intercepted by an imaginary line drawn from the bottom of your neighbour's foundations at a 45° angle, a Notice under Section 6 will be required to be served.