If you own a property that shares a wall with a neighbour, this is called a Party Wall. Whether the party wall is a supporting wall, or not, any work you or your builder does to it could have an effect on the neighbouring property.
If you’re planning any building work in your property that could have structural implications on that wall, you will need to formally issue a notice to the owners of the other properties.
What is a Party Wall Notice?
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996, protects the rights of your neighbours on the other side of the wall and means that you have to give them official Notice if you are going to undertake any work to it. The law states that you have to give a minimum of two months’ notice before you start any work.
Before sending them any formal notices, we recommended talking to your neighbours and letting them know that you are planning to undergo some refurbishment work/extension, and that in due course you will let them know in writing of any work that you plan to undertake. This conversation will quickly let you know how they feel about the work and pave the way to hopefully making the formalities easier to get the green light.
What types of work need a Party Wall Notice?
The types of work that require you to serve a Party Wall Notice includes: inserting a damp-proof course, underpinning a party wall, cutting into a party wall to take the bearing of a beam, raising the height of a party wall, extending a party wall downwards, demolishing and rebuilding a party wall and cutting off projections from a party wall, such as removing a chimney breast.
What has to be included in the Notice?
There is no actual official Party Wall Notice form that you can use, however you need to make sure that it is a clear to them that it is a Notice under the provisions of the Act. You must also include these points:
Party Wall Notices aren’t complicated, but if it is not written correctly, the whole process would need to start again, as it wouldn’t be valid.
There are a lot of people giving advice but not all of it is accurate. We recommend seeking the advice of a qualified Party Wall Surveyor. If you don’t know one, feel free to get in touch with Essex Building and Carpentry Services we can advise you of one that covers Havering, Brentwood, Chelmsford and Billericay. Call us today on 01708 578 014.