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The Party Wall Act

 

What Exactly Is a Party Wall Agreement?

The Party Wall Act states there are two types of party wall, as follows:

Party Wall type A – This is a “party wall” if it stands astride the boundary of land belonging to two (or more) different owners.  For example, if a wall;

  • is part of one building (see diagram 1),
  • separates two (or more) buildings (see diagram 2),
  • or consists of a “party fence wall” (see diagram 3).

A wall is a “party fence wall” if it is not part of a building, and stands astride the boundary line between lands of different owners and is used to separate those lands but excluding hedges and timber fences.

Party wall type B – This is also a “party wall” if it stands wholly on one owner’s land, but is used by two (or more) owners to separate their buildings (see diagram 4).  Only the part of the wall that does the separating is “party” – sections on either side or above are not “party”.

The Party Wall Act also uses the expression “party structure”. This is a wider term, which could be a wall, floor partition, or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached by separate staircases or entrances, for example flats (see diagram 5).

 

What does the Act cover?

  • Work that is going to be carried out directly to an existing party wall or party structure
  • New building at or astride the boundary line between properties
  • Excavation within 3 or 6 metres of a neighbouring building(s) or structure(s), depending on the depth of the hole or proposed foundations

 

Do You Require a Party Wall Agreement?

If you intend to carry out work that falls within the above categories, you must inform all Adjoining Owners in writing about what you intend to do. You will need to engage a Party Wall Surveyor and you must serve the notice at least two months in advance of any planned work. The Adjoining Owners are within their rights to also instruct a PW Surveyor and you will need to cover this cost in order to agree with the proposed building works. A Schedule of Condition will also be required. If no agreement is reached, a dispute is deemed to have arisen and a surveyor must be instructed to resolve the dispute with an award which is final and binding.

 

A party wall agreement will need to be in place, if required, where a building warranty is required for the new works. For further information please contact Ed or Kelly on Tel: 01284 365345 or email ed@granitebw.co.uk / kelly@granitebw.co.uk.

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Granite Building Warranties is a company registered in England and Wales (Company Number 11497543) with its registered office at 1st Floor, 5 Century Court, Tolpits Lane, Watford, WD18 9PX.”