You won’t be surprised to learn it’s a common question.
The first thing you need to understand is what exactly is a party wall?
It can be quite complicated but most commonly it is a wall that divides two terraced or semi detached houses.
The legal definition according to the Party Wall etc Act 1996, extends the definition of a party wall to encompass other structures. For example a garden wall that sits on or across the boundary of two properties may be considered a party wall under the Act. Additionally, a floor structure that separates two flats could be a party wall.
Another confusion is the “Etc.” in the Act. It covers matters such as excavations for foundations and removal of chimney breasts.
If an excavation is within 3m of a neighbouring property’s structure, including anything from walls to houses to standalone garages, and if they are to be deeper than those of the existing structure’s foundations, they are covered by the Act.
If works include removing a chimney breast from one side of a party wall, a Party Wall Notice is also required.
If the proposed works are covered by the Act you will need to serve a Party Wall Notice. A document describing the proposed works. To be valid the Notice must include key information as outlined in the The Party Wall etc Act 1996
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.
A good Party Wall Surveyor aims to maintain or even improve neighbourly relations before, during and after your building works are complete.
If you wish to verify the status of a wall on your property call us for FREE NO OBLIGATIONS ADVICE on 077300 18236 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Why risk it?
Karmjit Grewal MFPWS
Coburns Party Wall
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