What Is The Party Wall Act?

In 1996, The Party Wall Act was introduced across England.

It is a piece of government legislation that protects homeowners who have a property that is adjoined to another. These properties include terraced houses, semi-detached homes, flats or apartments. 

The Party Wall Act can help to resolve any disputes between neighbours that involve boundary walls and fences, structures and excavation work. 

Hence, if you intend on carrying out any work on or near a wall that adjoins to another, a Party Wall Notice should be drawn up and presented to the neighbour. 

Once the notice is served, the neighbour has the chance to permit or reject the work. Only when consent is given can an Agreement be drawn up. 

Types Of Work

  • Work on garden walls and fences
  • Any repairs to adjoining walls
  • Demolishing an adjoining wall or rebuilding it
  • Excavation work
  • Loft or basement conversions
  • Garage conversions
  • Damp proof courses
  • Building a second-storey extension to a party wall

The likes of replastering, drilling and cutting in or channelling out walls are often considered too minor to consult the neighbour about. 

Issuing A Party Wall Notice

The homeowner should discuss the planned works with the affected neighbours. Hence, doing so will prevent misunderstandings and disputes.

Once they are aware of the plans, a Notice can be issued alongside the Agreement. Including a copy of the Party Wall Act 1996 may also be beneficial. 

Within the documents, the homeowner’s contact information, a detailed report of the planned works, the date for commencement and any access requirements should be included. 

The Notice should be served between two months and one year of the work being carried out. Moreover, the Notice is valid for one year from the date it is served too. Otherwise, a new Notice will need to be issued. 

Receiving A Party Wall Notice

The adjoining homeowner can provide consent in writing, serve a counter-notice requesting some changes, refuse to consent or do nothing. 

When Can Work Begin?

Once consent has been given from the adjoining homeowner or an agreement has been made, work can begin. 

However, if the Notice is rejected then a dispute resolution needs to be actioned.

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