Party Wall Documents Templates
If you want to start work on a party wall, you first need your neighbour to agree to your plan. You must both come to a Party Wall Agreement to do this. This document will detail the specifics of the work you’re permitted to do, including things such as timescales and more.
If you’re to start any building work, with common examples including working on a loft or doing foundation work, you need to have some form of agreement. Without one, you’ll be acting unlawfully and can be taken to court, where you may be issued a hefty fine.
These risks make getting a Party Wall Agreement important. That said, knowing how to create one and what needs to be included can be tricky. Thankfully, you can follow various templates to ensure you have all the required information.
Party Wall Agreement Vs. Party Wall Award Vs. Party Wall Notice
A Party Wall Agreement differs from other standard documents surrounding party walls, such as Party Wall Notices and Party Wall Awards, so it’s vital to know what makes it stand out before writing one up.
A Party Wall Notice should be considered the preliminary document before you can draw up a Party Wall Agreement. The notice informs your neighbour that you plan to complete work on a party wall and includes details of your proposition. Once received, your neighbour can choose to assent to the notice, which means they agree to it. Alternatively, they can suggest amendments before they agree to it or flat out refuses – dissent – the notice.
You can draw up the Party Wall Agreement together if your neighbour consents to a Party Wall Notice. This is a document where you add information about what is permitted, including what areas of the property are allowed to be worked on and what work hours are permitted. The Party Wall Agreement is a document the neighbouring property owners will create themselves, although you can get support from building workers, architects and party wall surveyors to guide you.
If your neighbour has flat-out refused the Party Wall Notice, you’ll need to have a Party Wall Award issued instead of getting an agreement. This is similar, but the key difference is that a party wall surveyor is used to assess the property and party wall, and they make the final decision based on the evidence they’ve found about what is allowed to be done.
Essentially, a Party Wall Agreement is a document you and your neighbour collaborate on to create a solution you’re both happy with. A Party Wall Award is written by an external factor following regulations and rules to issue what’s allowed.
Things to Include in Party Wall Agreement
There’s no strict template to follow when drafting a Party Wall Agreement. Instead, your primary focus should be that the document contains as many details as possible to ensure total clarity between all parties.
Your Party Wall Agreement document can be a signed Party Wall Notice, providing that your neighbour has given written consent and signed that document on that notice. Alternatively, it can be a separate document outlining what has been agreed to. Regardless of how you draw up your Party Wall Agreement, ensure that the document contains as much information as possible, especially when giving details of the work you plan to complete.
Below, you can download a great template that should ensure you have everything included, but here’s a quick reminder of all the stuff that should feature in the agreement.
This is the most important thing to include in your agreement document. The whole document is void if no line clearly states that the adjourning neighbour agrees to the work. When drafting the agreement, add a sentence or two that clearly states that signing the agreement means that the individual agrees to all the work detailed in the document.
Having a schedule to follow makes sure that everyone involved knows what to expect. It’s good to include your estimated timeframes for when work should be completed, and if you’re confident, you should also have precise details about when specific types of work are scheduled to take place. For example, if there will be a few days when your neighbour will not have complete access to their home due to building work, adding when this will take place gives you a lot of protection.
Agreed working hours
It’s essential to include the times during the day you’re permitted to work on the party wall structure. For example, stating in the agreement that you can only work between 9am-5pm on a weekday makes it easier to plan around the work and ensures that everyone’s time is well respected.
Building structures that will be affected
You should include details of what areas of the property you will be working on. Try to be as specific as possible, as it paints a better picture of what to expect. For example, if your work affects the party wall and a few connected structures in the loft, then mention this in your agreement.
Expected final outcome
It’s good to include details of what you expect the outcome of the work to be. This gives a good benchmark to aim for and helps the adjourning neighbour understand the benefits and reasons for the work.
A statement that the notice is under the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
Everything you do must follow The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 when working on a party wall. So, for your agreement to be valid and top quality, you must mention that the Notice or Agreement has been made under the act’s provisions.
Including all these aspects in your Party Wall Agreement eliminates as much doubt into what’s allowed to go ahead. Furthermore, all this information provides great protection to the property owner completing the work, as it clearly defines that all you’re doing is allowed. It can also be utilised by the adjourning neighbour if anything outside the agreement has been done, as it serves as a significant bit of evidence and gives them the power to enforce their rights.
Party Wall Documents FAQS
What is a party wall?
A party wall is a specific boundary wall that crosses into two or more properties. For example, a common party wall can separate terraced houses that straddles and overlaps the boundary line. As a result, the wall is owned by both properties, so permission needs to be granted for work to commence on this wall.
Is a Party Wall Agreement the Same as a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Agreement is slightly different from a Party Wall Award. Both documents provide details of what you're allowed to do to the party wall; however, an agreement is drawn up and created in collaboration between the property owners after a Party Wall Notice has been assented to.
If the notice has been rejected, a party wall surveyor must assess the properties and issue a Party Wall Award, using their findings and the guidance from the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 to dictate what's allowed to occur.
What's covered in a Party Wall Agreement?
A good Party Wall Agreement should cover all the details of the proposed building work, including the timeframe it should be completed in, agreed working hours, and what structures are being worked on.
In addition to this, an agreement needs written consent and a declaration that it's been created per the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. Remember to include the addresses of both properties as well.
Do you legally need a Party Wall Agreement?
You're not allowed to start work on a party wall without having an agreement or an award issued by a Party Wall surveyor. This is because, as ownership is shared, you must get permission. Working on a party wall without an agreement can lead to fines and court orders.
Do you need a party wall surveyor to issue a Party Wall Agreement?
No, a party wall surveyor is only required if your notice has been rejected and you need to get a Party Wall Award to start building work. That said, our experts can help you write up a perfect Party Wall Notice and agreement.
Do I have to pay to serve a Party Wall Notice?
You should be able to serve a Party Wall Notice without paying any money using some templates you can find on our website. You'll have to pay a fee if you want more hands-on support and assistance drafting your notice or award.
What if my neighbour and I can't reach an agreement?
If you can't reach an agreement regarding your party wall, then you'll instead need to get the services of a party wall surveyor to issue a final award that outlines what is allowed to happen.
What kind of building work needs a Party Wall Agreement?
Any building work done to a party wall included in the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 must have an agreement before you can get started. This includes excavation work on or near the party wall, building on or repairing the party wall, dry-proofing or insulating the party wall, and many other structural types of work.
You don't need a party wall agreement for small cosmetic work, such as painting or plastering the wall.
Do I need to serve a notice to get a Party Wall Agreement?
As the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 outlines, you must serve a notice to get a Party wall Agreement. Furthermore, this notice must be sent at least one month before you plan to do any work, depending on the nature of your work.
How do I know which type of Party Wall Notice to use?
There are multiple types of Party Wall Notices that you can send to your neighbour, and each is specific depending on the kind of work you're doing. It can be tough to know the right one to use, which is why many people use a party wall surveyor to help them when drafting and sending a notice to get an agreement, as it ensures that you send the right one.