What is a Party Wall?
A wall is a Party Wall if it stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two or more owners and either:
- Forms part of a building
- Separates two or more buildings
- or consists of a ‘party fence wall’
What work does your neighbour need to tell you about?
Your neighbour must tell you if they plan to:
- Build on or at the boundary of your two properties
- Work on an existing party wall or party structure
- Excavate below and near to the foundation level of their building or structure
You can’t prevent your neighbour from making changes to their property that are within the law, but you can affect how and when their works are carried out. Failure to follow the provisions of the Party Wall Act may result in the works being unlawful. If you are not sure whether the Act applies to the work they are planning you should seek professional advice.
What does a Party Wall surveyor do?
The surveyor (or surveyors) will settle the dispute by making an ‘award’ (also known as a ‘party wall award’).
This is a document which sets out :
- The work that will be carried out
- When and how the work is to be carried out (to limit times of noisy work for instance)
- Specifies any additional work required (protective measures to prevent damage for instance)
- It usually contains a record of the condition of the adjoining property before the work begins. This is desirable as it can assist in identifying and attributing any damage to adjoining properties for instance.
- Allows access for the surveyor to inspect the works while they are going on as may be necessary, to ensure they are in accordance with the award.
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