A party wall separates two adjacent buildings. In most terraced semi-detached houses, this wall is located along the land line. From a legal point of view, half the wall is yours and half is your neighbor`s. Your neighbour has 14 days to respond and give his consent or ask for a village of party walls. If they accept the works in writing, you will not need an agreement on the party wall and this can reduce the fees, which are usually $700 to $900 per neighbor. So it`s worth contacting your neighbors first to discuss your suggestions and try to resolve any problems in advance, or at least make sure they get the notification and respond within 14 days, because if they don`t, they`re considered contentious and you`ll have to call a surveyor anyway to find out if they`re accepting the work. While non-compliance is not a crime, your neighbours can take civil action against you and issue an injunction to stop the work until a contract to strengthen the party is concluded. This delays your project and will probably increase your costs – your contractor may ask for compensation for the time he cannot work, or start another job and not return for several months. The Party Walls Act (1996) defines the distances and depths of the party wall where work is possible. The law around the party walls is complex and precise measures and plans must be used. This is the case for many different types of buildings. Most extensions, attic buildings or cellar extensions interact with the party wall. All interior walls that intersect with the party wall must also be planned.
In other words, if you are doing structural work on a wall that you share with your neighbors, you need a party wall contract. If your neighbour has not given permission, you will need a party wall award and therefore a surveyor. As a general rule, you and your neighbour only use one surveyor (a good idea, as it only means one set of fees). If you are willing to approve your neighbor`s plans, it is necessary to send a written response. If the owner builds a wall that is only on his land, you do not need approval. Sometimes your work can overlap in different categories, for example. B working on a party wall that you share with a neighbor and a new wall construction that could be included in the same project. If the waterfront owners accept in writing the works on display in the notices, there is no dispute or other need for the party`s surveyors, or even for the law on the party walls. If the work continues as described in the notice of contract and there is no damage, there is no need for additional participation.
Michael White C.Build.E FCABE FFPWS, one of our chief surveyors, offers his “beginner`s guide.” Advice is also needed when proposing to build a new wall on the crossing line (boundary line). As a general rule, a party surveyor can confirm the work that can be denied and advise on the notice period and the nature of the communication. Neighbours can claim compensation if they can prove that they have suffered a loss because of work, and this may even require the removal of the work. The same applies if you have a party contract with your neighbours, but you do not respect the agreed terms.