What is a Party Wall and a Party Fence Wall?

A Party Wall is simply a structure that stands upon the land owned by two or more owners and distinguishes between the properties of the various owners. If it is part of one building or is being used to separate two or more buildings, it is simply referred to as a Party Wall. However, if this structure is not a part of the building, it is called a Party Fence Wall.

What does the Party Wall Act Etc. of 1996 cover?

The Party Wall Act of 1996 lays down a legal framework that govern all Party Wall Agreement disputes in England and Wales. Anyone who might be considering building new or restoring an existing Party Wall, a Party Fence Wall, or a Boundary Wall is subject to following the laws stated in the Act.

What do I need to consider before rebuilding a Party Fence Wall?

Before a Building Owner sets about to restoring a Party Fence Wall or building a new one from scratch, he or she must consider some important points – dictated by the Party Wall Act of 1996.

Some of these matters are discussed in the following paragraphs.

1. Appointing a Party Wall Surveyor:
The first and foremost thing that you should be bearing in mind when thinking of rebuilding an existing Party Fence Wall or constructing a new one is appointing a Party Wall Surveyor to help you serve the formal notices required under the Act and where applicable resolve all the Party Wall Act disputes that may occur.

A Party Wall Surveyor is generally from a Building Surveying background or other Surveying professions who is experienced and well versed in all Party Wall Act Matters – including those involving Party Wall Act Compensation. Your appointed Party Wall Surveyor will be on hand to follow the correct notification procedures as stated within the Act.

2. Notifying the parties involved:
Before beginning construction/repair works on the Party Fence Wall, you must make sure that you have duly notified all the involved parties of your plans. Your Party Wall Surveyor will draft formal Party Wall to notice for your neighbors and subsequently serve these. Should they fail to respond to the notices then your Surveyor will follow up with a ten-day letter. 

3. The costs incurred by the rebuilding:
The third thing to bear in mind before attempting to repair or rebuild Party Fence Wall is the costs. This includes the fee that your appointed Party Wall Surveyor will charge, in addition to all the construction work.

If the restoration of the Party Fence Wall only works for your benefit, it is you who will be subjected to all these costs – including the other parties’ Party Wall Surveyor’s charges, if they choose to appoint one. In addition to this cost, you will also be cover the costs of any damages – if occurred – during the construction works , as well as the actual costs of the works

However, if the rebuilding of the Party Fence Wall has become necessary or works in favor of more than one party, the Party Wall Surveyor will be able to determine the split liability of costs between the two or more parties. The Act also provides specific enforcement should the neighbor fail to contribute the necessary sum as deterimined by the Surveyor/s, however, it is important that a Party Wall Surveyor/s formalises this within a Party Wall Award to have any basis of enforcement.
Are you looking to rebuild a Party Fence Wall? Not sure how many parties are affected or need help about Party Wall Act dispute? Find out more about the Party Wall Act and get some free advice from the Surveyors at Seven One Associates.

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