What is a Party Wall?
The Party Wall divides the buildings of two owners, with a boundary between the properties. This is usually but not always positioned at the centre of two attached properties.
The Party Wall Act 1996 looks at two different types of Party Walls:
- Type A is when a wall stands astride the boundary of the land which belongs to two or more different owners. This can include walls which are separating terraced or semi-detached houses (known as the party wall) or between two gardens in masonry (known as a party fence wall).
- Type B is when the wall stands on one owners land but is used by two or more owners to separate their building. For example this includes where one neighbour has a building structure that leans against a wall that is owned by the other neighbour.
There are different types of notices that a Party Wall Specialist can issue:
- The Party Structure Notice is usually used when alterations directly affect the Party Wall and this can also include removing chimney breasts, cutting holes to insert beams and padstones.
- Line of Junction Notice is when there is construction of a new wall that is adjacent to the boundary wall or construction of a new wall astride a boundary.
- The Notice of Adjacent Excavation is for when you are excavating within 3 or 6 metres of your neighbour’s building.
It is important to have a Party Wall Agreement in place because usually a Party Wall is the shared wall between a terrace and semi-detached house and divides the homes of two separate owners. You are obliged by law to serve a notice on your neighbours. They can either consent or dissent, if they dissent then you can get a Party Wall Surveyor London to help. If there is no Party Wall Agreement, the dispute can get really messy and result in court proceedings.
If your neighbours are building a new wall which is built equally on the boundary then you will have the right to enclose upon it in the future should you wish to build an extension. The total cost of building the wall includes the materials and labour costs of the wall and its foundations will have to be paid to the property owner whom built the wall in present-day costs at due proportion. The cost is usually at 50% of the proportion of the wall that is being enclosed upon calculated by the Surveyors. Of course, this naturally leads to a 50% saving as the flank wall is being utilised dispite the payment of 50% to the neighbour.
If the wall is built on your neighbours land then you won’t be allowed to enclose it without their consent.
Why do you have to pay for your neighbour’s wall? Are you looking for a party wall specialist? We at Seven One Associates are here to help from our specialist Party Wall Surveyor in London.