13/09/2019 by Foysol Ahmed
A guide to the Party Wall process and basements
Party Wall Process
If you carry out building work to your property which will affect your neighbours then you will need to determine whether you need to notify them under the Party Wall Act 1996. These works include the following:
- If you work on an existing wall or floor structure that is shared with another property such as a loft conversion, supporting a beam on a Party Wall, removing walls in a flat or excavating for a basement.
- If you are building on or at the boundary with another property.
- If you are excavating near a neighbours building to a lower depth than their foundation.
In particular, this blog explorers the potential aspects to consider when carrying out a basement extension.
If the notice is served, the Adjoining Owner will be able to:
- Provide written consent with conditions within 14 days
- Refuse the consent which will start a dispute resolution
- Serve a counter-notice that mentions additional work to be done at the same time.
- They might decide to do nothing after 14 days have passed this will be recognised as a dispute.
- Give written consent after 14 days from the day of the notice.
Properties in London are generally condensed and form as terraced houses. The Party Wall process applies to these more than ever. The act has a couple of benefits, one being that you are able to complete the work in a timely manner. The second benefit is that you will be able to find a Party Wall Surveyor that can help you to review the work proposed and ensure sufficient access is granted under the Act to complete the works.
Before the works continue you must collect the relevant information:
- You must have all the calculations of the works and the engineering drawings (at times this can be produced whilist the Party Wall matters are on-going)
- You need to obtain architectural drawings.
- You will need the temporary works information, this will be the most important piece of documentation because it looks at how the basement will be dugout. The neighbours’ properties are most at risk when the basement will be dug out as it can affect the potential neighbours’ extension Party Wall.
- The soil conditions will need to be checked which include borehole information and trial hole information.
When carrying out this work you will need security for the expenses, in simple terms this is an amount of money put aside to an escrow account which is used in the event the works damage the neighbouring property and the building owner has no means to pay for the remedial works. This is quite common with high-risk works and in particular if the neighbouring property has already completed works to their property such as the neighbours loft conversion Party Wall. It is important to appoint a Surveyor to look after your interests and calculate the monies for the escrow account.
If there is damage found after the works have been completed, the Party Wall Surveyor will inspect the damage and reach a financial settlement that both parties agree on. This can be a legally binding document for all parties to adhere by.
Are you looking to carry out a basement conversion? Need to find a Party Wall Surveyor in London? Contact Seven One Associates to get help and support on how the works will be affected by the Party Wall Act.