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When two or more property owners share a boundary, the wall separating their properties is called a "party wall." Walls separating terraced or semidetached homes, or those defining the space between two gardens, are prime examples (party fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
Houses in England and Wales are covered by the Party Wall Act of 1996, which was created to prevent damage to party walls and neighbouring properties during construction. When utilised properly, the Party Wall Act can prevent and even help resolve disagreements between neighbours.
In Scotland and Northern Ireland, party wall disputes are resolved in accordance with common law rather than the Party Wall Act of 1996.
if the 2 designated surveyors fall short to concur upon any of the problems in dispute they can make a reference to a formerly chosen Third Property surveyor.
People frequently discover they do not require services of a party wall surveyor. Once your neighbour answers to your notice by granting written approval for the commencement of construction, there is typically no need to hire a surveyor.
In either case, you are responsible for repairing any damage caused by the construction. Before beginning work, inspect the wall with your neighbour and capture and share images of the wall to avoid future arguments, such as over existing cracks. Some individuals choose to hire a surveyor to do a condition survey at this stage in order to reduce the likelihood of disagreements.
If your neighbour refuses to grant permission, you will require a Party Wall Award and, consequently, a party wall surveyor. Typically, you and your neighbour will use a single surveyor (a good idea as it means only one set of fees).
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If you propose to build next to or on a shared wall, you must first get a party wall agreement from all affected parties. You have a legal obligation to inform your neighbours, serve them with a Party Wall Notice, and work with them to create a written Party Wall Agreement. The contractor or architect you choose should be able to advise you on this, but they won't actually serve the notice for you. Party Wall Solution Abertillery can help you with this.
A Party Wall Agreement is needed for the following types of construction:
Between two months and one year prior to the commencement of the proposed work, you have to provide the ajoining residents with a Party Wall Notice informing them of the proposed alterations to the party wall in question.
Planning clearance is not necessary to serve a party wall notice, and since you have up to a year to begin work after the notice has been served, it is advisable to serve the notice as soon as possible to minimise delays. Prior to delivering written notice, you should speak with your adjoining house residents in person to reassure them that you are following the correct procedure and taking the necessary safeguards. This should aid in avoiding disagreements and misunderstandings and expedite the drafting of a contract.
You may even give the adjoining household with information regarding the Party Wall Act to assist them in understanding the procedure; direct them to the Party Wall information part of the Government's website.
To legally serve notice, you should write to your affected neighbour(s) and include your contact information, complete details of the proposed work, the date on which the work will commence, and any access requirements over their land (perhaps to get materials or equipment onto site). In the case of contiguous leased properties, you must provide notice to the building's owners as well as the tenant(s) residing there.
On the Government's website, you may get a useful tutorial as well as templates for Party Wall Notices. It is prudent to include a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to sign and return, which, if discussed beforehand, should not come as a surprise.
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Handling of party wall concerns on a professional level will ensure that you are in compliance with the Act and help you prevent delays.
You can rely on Party Wall Solutions Abertillery to provide you with a professional and skilled service.
They have several options:
You must await a response; your neighbour should notify you in writing within 14 days if they agree. The best-case situation is if they agree to all the work in writing, in which case you won't need a party wall agreement, which will save you money.
A counter-notification must be issued within one month after receipt of your notice. If your neighbours do not answer within the specified timeframes, the process of resolving the dispute will commence.
While failing to get a Party Wall Agreement is not technically illegal, you will be in violation of a'statutory responsibility' and run the possibility of having to pay for damage that is not your fault. Your neighbour may assert that your work has caused damage to their property, and since you have have no specifics or evidence of the former state of the land, there would be nothing you could do
Failure to serve a party wall notice is typically seen negatively by the courts, and you may be required to pay for repairs that are not your obligation. Also, your neighbours could bring a civil case against you and get an injunction prohibiting further construction until a party wall agreement is negotiated. This will cause the project to be delayed and may increase expenditures.