Quick Guide to Not Getting Blocked by a Party Wall

27 Apr 2018

Party walls can be a much maligned source of contention during building works. But they need not be so. By adhering to the Party Wall Act, any work involving party walls or structures can be formally agreed with your neighbour well before the actual works begin. This will help ensure your home build, extension, or renovation progresses in a straightforward and timely manner. 


What is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act is a legal requirement put in place to prevent and resolve disputes regarding party walls, party structures or excavations near a neighbouring property.


The Act states that you must serve a correct and valid Notice to your neighbour at least eight weeks in advance of your proposed building work.


At BetterLivingSpace we can advise on how to ensure your Notice is correct, valid and served at the appropriate time. 


When does the Party Wall Act apply?

You will need to serve Notice to your neighbours if you are:

  • Building a new building or building a wall on the boundary or line of junction.

  • Carrying out work on an existing shared wall.

  • Excavating within 3 metres of your neighbour’s building, and to a depth lower than the bottom of their foundations.

  • Excavating within 6 metres of your neighbour’s building, if any part of that excavation intersects with a plane drawn downwards at an angle of 45 degrees from the bottom of their foundations, taken at a line level with the face of their external wall. In this scenario it will normally mean that your neighbour is using piled foundations.


When may I not need to serve Notice?

You may not need to serve Notice to your neighbours, if:

  • The boundary wall is built exclusively on your land

  • You are only carrying out minor works to an existing party wall such as rewiring, replastering etc.


In most instances of an extension, redesign or new build the Party Wall Act will apply and you will need to serve Notice to your neighbours.


For further information contact BetterLivingSpace for an informal chat about your particular works. The government website also provides a valuable source of information on party walls and building work: https://www.gov.uk/party-walls-building-works.

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