The Party Wall etc Act 1996

The Party Wall Act ect 1996

 If you are planning works (Extensions or New Builds) that fall under the Party Wall etc Act 1996, notice needs to be served to all parties concerned, e.g. leaseholders, freeholders.
Under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 there are certain timescales that you need to adhere to as both the Building and Adjoining Owner. (Detailed below)

[Obviously, serving Notice yourself is the first way to save money but if the Notices are incorrect in any way and a dispute arises they may be deemed invalid and new Notices will have to be served and the notice period will start again]

There are 3 types of Notices that may be served (dependant on the type of work you intend to carry out):

Section 1 Notice – Line of Junction Notice:

If you are planning to build a new wall either as a Party Wall or a Party Fence Wall (astride a boundary) subject to your neighbour’s consent, or up to the line of junction and wholly on your land, a Section 1 Notice must be served.

[If a proposed wall needs foundations to a lower depth than that of your neighbour’s foundations, a Section 6 Notice could also be required]

One month’s notice must be given before work can commence.

Section 3 Notice – Structure Party Notice

If you are planning to cut into a Party Wall to insert flashings or a damp-proof course, cut away chimney breasts or projections, raise, rebuild repair, underpin, expose the Party Wall to weather or enclose upon a wall on or at the line of junction turning it into a Party Wall – In such cases a Section 3 Notice must be served.

Two months’ notice must be given before work can commence.

Section 6 Notice – If you are planning to excavate within 3 metres of a neighbour’s foundations to a lower depth, or within 6 metres to a lower depth than a line struck at 45 degrees down from the underside of the neighbour’s foundations, then a Section 6 Notice must be served.

One month’s notice must be given before work commences and in addition, plans and sections of the proposed works must be provided with the notice.

A full version of The Party Wall etc 1996 can be found here, we have provided a basic outline of what the Act requires in relation to the work you are having done,

We would strongly encourage that you follow the legislation laid down but this act as failure to do so can result in a lengthy delay of the works you wish to start.

When serving a Notice to a neighbour they will have to pick one of two courses of action:

Consent to the Notice:

If the neighbour is to consent to your proposed works, without a Party Wall Award being produced, we recommend that you implicate a Party Wall Agreement. This is a document agreed to by the party having the works completed and their neighbours.

The purpose of this agreement is to provide both parties with a written detailed framework of the proposed works. It also includes a Schedule of Condition. (This can be documented by a Surveyor who will produce a record of the current condition of the adjacent property so that any damages incurred can be identified easily – this cost will be met by the party proposing the works).

Dissent to the Notice:

Your neighbour may be concerned that the proposed works may adversely affect their property and hence dissent to the Notice, if this happens a Party Wall Award will be required before the works could commence.

It is a fair and impartial report, prepared by the Surveyor which will deal with the right to execute the notifiable works, the time and manner of executing the work, and any other matters that arise between the parties concerned.

Dissenting to the notice is not a tool to delay or stop the proposed works.

You may concur on an Agreed Surveyor or each appoint an Independent Surveyor:

Agreed Surveyor – appointed by both parties, by the Building and Adjoining Owner, and is required to act impartially to administer the rights and duties of both owners. This process can be quicker and more cost effective.

Independent Surveyor – Your neighbour may appoint an Independent Surveyor of their choice. Their Surveyor’s reasonable fees in all normal circumstances will be met by the Owner, whom Is proposing the works.