Before undertaking any building work close to your neighbour’s property you must consider the need to comply with the Party Wall etc Act 1996. This gives rights to building owners to undertake certain works to their property whilst protecting the interests of anyone who might be affected by the works. You may have to serve notice on your neighbours informing them of your proposals.
Notices are required for:
- Work to a wall or structure separating two properties;
- The erection of a new structure up to the boundary between two properties;
- The formation of foundations or other excavations close to your neighbour’s building – within 3 metres if deeper than his foundations and within 6 metres in some other cases.
Notices must be correctly served; all owners of both properties should be shown on the notices with a full explanation of the works to be undertaken given. Drawings of the works are likely to be required.
Having received a Notice, your neighbour can:
- Agree to the work or
- Agree to the appointment of a single surveyor who acts independently of both you and your neighbour or
- Appoint his own Surveyor
If surveyors are appointed he or they must publish an Award. The Award sets out the work that is to be carried out, when and how the work is to be undertaken and includes measures necessary to protect your neighbour’s property. It will include a schedule of the current condition of the relevant part of the neighbour’s property. The Award will also allow access for the surveyor(s) to inspect the work whilst it is being undertaken to ensure that the Award is being complied with.
If you wish to build close to or against your neighbour’s property we can advise you how to proceed. If you receive a Notice from your neighbour we can protect your interests at no cost to you. Alternatively, we can act for both parties on an impartial basis.
Our surveyors have been administering Party Wall legislation for over forty years. Don’t hesitate to call us for free advice at any time.