Jem undertakes work in connection with the Party Wall etc act 1996 including acting as Surveyor for the Building owner and / or adjoining owner. The Party Wall etc. act 1996 provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings.

A Building owner proposing to start work covered by the act must give the adjoining owners notice of their intentions in the way set down in the act. Adjoining owners can agree or disagree with what is proposed. Where they disagree the act provides a mechanism for resolving disputes through a Party Wall award.

The act is separate from obtaining Planning permission for Building regulations consent.

A party is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings to be shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically the builder lays the wall along the line dividing to terraced houses so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side.

This type of wall is usually structural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting walls built at different times. The term can be also used to describe a division between separate units within a multiunit apartment building. Very often the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to meet established criteria for sound and/or fire protection i.e. a firewall.

Party Wall Work

Party Wall Distances

There are two specified distances contained in the Party Wall etc. act 1996, 3 m and 6 m. Most domestic work will come within the 3 m rule although deep excavations such as those necessary for basements or piling that are between 3 m and 6 m may also trigger the requirements to serve notice. The section 6 excavation notice must be accompanied by plans and sections giving the size and the depth of any excavation you propose and the site of any proposed structure.

Party structure notices are served under section 3 of the act although they cover works described in section 2 (2) subsections (a) to (n). Generally speaking these are alterations that directly affect the party wall and include common jobs such as cutting holes to insert beams and pad stones, cutting in weathered flashings and removing chimney breasts.

The act is commonly relevant to building works such as extensions, alterations and loft conversions.

Party Wall Guidance

Jem is able to guide individuals and companies through the requirements of the act to ensure that all necessary notices are served at appropriate times so that complications do not arise in the build as a result of due procedure not having been followed.

The requirement to serve to notice comes into play on a number of building projects including domestic and commercial extensions and alterations and Jem is able to include in his fee proposal for any design work a separate fee for undertaking party will walk if required. Jem also commonly acts the Party wall Surveyor for projects where he hasn’t been involved in the design.

If appointed to act as Surveyor for the Building owner Jem is able to assist by serving notice on the Adjoining owner as required under the act. When the notice is served the adjoining owner is required to either assent or dissent within a defined period and if dissention occurs Jem is able to assist by liaising with the Adjoining owners appointed Surveyor as necessary to resolve any dispute in accordance with the requirements of the act.

A Party Wall award commonly includes an agreed schedule of condition formulated by the two Surveyors so that the condition of the affected structure and adjoining parts of the building are noted pre-construction and then reviewed again at the end of the project to check if any deterioration has occurred. If the latter is the case there are remedies within the process to facilitate resolution of issues to with the agreement of all parties.