When and Why Do You Need a Party Wall Agreement?: Anyone who plans to begin a project that would have an impact on a bordering property absolutely needs to have a Party Wall Agreement in place.
However, even residences that are extended under Licensed Innovation rights may still be required to have a Party Wall Agreement even if the planning rules for additions have been greatly relaxed in recent years.
One of the potential drawbacks of this more lax regulatory framework is that it is possible that residents will no longer benefit advance warning from planners alerting them to proposed extensions next door. The Party Wall Act was created specifically for situations like this one.
What exactly are these “Party Wall Agreements,” though?
Party Wall Agreements ensure that your neighbour won’t suffer loss or damage to their property due to your project, and it lets them limit disturbance by influencing operating time and access.
Poorly executed structural alterations are a common cause of crack initiation and movement, and have even, on occasion, been implicated in the collapse of adjoining buildings. This is one reason why the Party Wall Act is such a serious issue; it is one of the reasons why the Party Wall Act is such a serious issue.
Both the Act and the agreement are in place to safeguard the properties of nearby residents and to resolve any conflicts that may arise as a result of the construction work.
When is it necessary for me to have a Party Wall Agreement?
Before beginning any kind of physical work on the property, the very first thing that you are required to do is to hand the adjoining property owner (or owners) a formal written notification that is referred to as a Party Wall Agreement.
This is something that, in most situations, needs to be done a few months before work may begin (in some cases one month is sufficient, but the more notice you can provide the better).
It is possible to have this initial notice submitted on your behalf by employing a solicitor or surveyor; nevertheless, it is typically preferable to maintain control over the situation during this initial stage.
Before you or your surveyor files the required notice, the best strategy is to first have a conversation with your neighbours about your intended extension to allay their concerns and set their minds at ease.
If any of your neighbours are leaseholders or renters, you will additionally be required to give notice to the freeholder or landlord.
In general, lawyers who specialise in this field will advise adjoining owners not to give consent to a party wall notice. As a result, even if the neighbour is completely content with your proposals, they may be convinced to act in a manner that gives the impression of being uncooperative if you make the initial approach yourself. This is another reason why it is a good idea to make the initial approach yourself.
This is due to the fact that if the friend who consents to the extension later finds that they need to hire a surveyor to safeguard their position, they will be responsible for paying the charge (if the neighbour does not consent, the person who is extending will be responsible for paying).
Is it Necessary to Have a Party Wall Agreement in Order to Satisfy the Law?
If your planned project includes repairs to a shared party wall or structure, you are obligated by law to deliver notice on all affected neighbours at at least two months before work begins.
Party Wall Surveyor West Yorkshire
Before beginning work on any of the following projects, you will almost certainly be required to have a Party Wall Agreement in place:
1. Building foundations: if the excavation site is less than three metres away from the adjoining property, or if the depth of your new trench is greater than the depth of their existing foundations.
2. Loft conversions: if you need to rest a new structural beam within the party wall in order to convert your loft, then you will need to comply with this regulation.
3. When constructing an addition or new wall: if you build straight up to or astride the garden boundary wall, or if you modify a party wall when constructing an addition.
4. Adding a basement: if you need to cut through the party wall to place beams, you are digging deep foundations, or you are underpinning the party wall.
5. If your chimney stack is divided with a neighbour, be aware that whatever masonry you remove will become a component of the party wall before you can remove the chimney stack.
Is It Possible for You to Draft Your Own Party Wall Agreement?
If the Act applies to your project, you have the option of serving a Party Wall Notice on your neighbours yourself or having a Party Wall Surveyor do it for you.
Although it does not need to be an official legal document, it must include some crucial pieces of information along with drawings and specifics of the job. This may come as a surprise to some.
The specific kinds of forms that you have to distribute will be determined by the kinds of work that you want to do. You are able to obtain the necessary Party Wall Notice forms to download online (opens in new tab).
You give the Notice by sending a letter to all of the owners of every neighbouring property that will be affected, in which you detail your intentions and give them notice of what you intend to do.
This brochure on the Party Wall Act includes a template for a letter that you can use (opens in new tab).
Don’t forget to add all of the important details, including the following:
date when the Notice was served to the recipient
the date on which construction will begin all of the names and addresses of the parties involved
an explanation of the work that is being proposed
Is a Verbal Agreement Possible for Party Walls?
Due to the fact that the formal Party Wall Act has not yet been served, a verbal Party Wall Contract will not be recognised. It will be necessary to obtain written confirmation of either acceptance or disapproval; but, if your neighbours do not respond within the allotted amount of time, you are free to proceed with the construction work.
How Much Does it Cost to Enter Into a Party Wall Agreement?
The expenses are expected to be in the range of £1,000-2,000 in addition to VAT for an uncomplicated job that is located outside of London and involves an adjacent property owner who is opposed to the renovations.
The kind of work that is being done and how difficult it is, as well as the number of adjacent property owners, will all factor into the fees that will be charged. In addition, there is no guarantee that the individual who initiated the job will be the one to pay the expenses of all involved parties.
Consult a survey who has their RICS license to acquire an exact estimate. It is also in your best interest to get in touch with them if you have been served with a Party Wall Notice.
Is it required to give notice of a party wall?
If your relationship with your neighbour starts to deteriorate and they have reason to believe that the work being done on your property will have a negative impact on their property, they have the legal right to petition the court for an injunction to prohibit you from carrying on.
If you have not complied with the Act and you cause significant damage to the property of your neighbour, the judge has the authority to order you to pay compensation for any loss or damage caused by the works, including the legal fees associated with the case.
The only thing that can stop this from happening is a properly authorised Notice.