What is a party wall?
A party wall is the dividing wall that separates the building between two owners; it is usually the center of the wall. A party wall will always stand on two or more plots of land, where the party wall forms a part of the building on that land. A party wall can stand on the land without being a separator for any buildings, a garden wall is an example. Other separating methods such as wooden posts or fences will not count as a party wall.
What makes the party wall different to others?
As by the Party Wall Act, almost any work that is to be carried out on the party wall must be suspended until the neighbors have been given a proposal of the work; all neighbors must agree on the proposal before it can begin. If they do not agree with the proposal, you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor to create a party wall award. The only time that a party wall can have work done without an agreement or party wall act is if the work being done is very minor. If you are just wanting to do a simple task such as repairing some electrical wiring or plastering the wall, you can use a party wall agreement to log any work.
What is a party wall award?
A party wall award is what is required if an adjoining owner dissents to the proposal or has not given an answer within 2 weeks of the proposal. Each party will need to get a party wall surveyor. If the opposing party doesn’t respond to your proposal, then you can appoint a surveyor for them. If they do get a surveyor and there is not a joint decision, a third surveyor can be brought in to give the final decision on what work is to be done and who is to pay for it.
What work is covered by the party wall act?
- Building a wall which is going to connect to the party wall.
- Cutting into the party wall or changing its structure.
- Changing the height or the thickness of the party wall.
- Removing a chimney breast that is connected to the party wall.
- Rebuilding any part of the party wall.
- Digging below the foundation of neighboring properties.