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The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (The Act) prevents construction work being undertaken by the Building Owner undermining the structural integrity of shared walls or neighbouring properties owned by the Adjoining Owner.
The Act is also structured to avert and resolve potential disputes with neighbours.
Will it Affect my Plans to develop or Renovate my property?
If your property is a semi-detached, terrace, flat, basement or your detached home is sited within proximity to neighbouring houses, it might. Its all about distance.
The key element to determine are which walls constitute as ‘Party Walls’ and the type of work defined by the Act.
More extensive work is covered by the Act. This includes:
As a Building Owner If you plan to undertake any work covered by the Act, you will also have to give ‘Notice’ of the commencement of work to your Adjoining Owner.
How Do I Give ‘Notice’?
If your intending development is covered and defined by the Act, you give formal Notice setting out your intentions, to all the owners of every neighbouring property affected. This Notice will contain a site plan, section drawings of any foundation and/or loads any Party Wall will need to accommodate, along with structural calculations if applicable.
Remember to include all the key information, including:
We strongly recommend you appoint an experience Party wall Surveyor to undertake this matter and its actually easy to serve an invalid Notice and matters would have to recommence.
When Do I Need to Give Party Wall Notice?
The Notice periods are two months for structural modifications E.g. chimney breast removal, underpinning or a loft conversion.
Your neighbour will have 14 days to provide written approval or dissent. If they provide approval, your notice will be valid for a year to complete work.
What Happens if the Neighbours Object?
The ‘Agreed surveyor’ or two surveyors will then prepare a Party Wall Award. This ‘Award’ covers:
To avoid complex pitfalls, delays, costs or unnecessary professional fees we recommend you appoint an experienced Party Wall Surveyor at the point of serving or receiving Notice.
If we are appointed as the Adjoining Owner Surveyor our services are free of any charge.
At Certified Building Surveyors we have a six strong team specialising in Party Wall matters in an independent and impartial manner.
If you have any questions or need advice don’t hesitate to call us on 0207 118 4331
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