Party Wall Act & Notices
This link is to a booklet that has been produced by the Government to explain in simple terms how the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (the Act) may affect someone who either wishes to carry out work covered by the Act (the Building Owner), or receives notification under the Act of proposed adjacent work (the Adjoining Owner).
As part of Luke Williamson Architect's typical service, general advice will be given when the Party Wall Act applies, and clients will be directed to this booklet to either notify adjoining owners themselves or appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to do so on their behalf.
Typical Notifications Required for Domestic Extension:
Extensions within 3m of neighbours building:
- If a new foundation/excavation is proposed within 3m of a neighbour's foundation and is likely to be lower than the neighbouring foundation a Party Wall Notice is required.
- Depending on the age of each building and the relative ground levels it is fairly likely that new foundations for an extension will go deeper than the neighbours foundation. In this case Example letter 8 (3/6 metre notice) should be used to serve notice on the neighbour.
- A 6 metre notice is unlikely to occur in a standard extension unless a neighbours wall had shallow foundations. In this case advice from a Structural Engineer and Party Wall surveyor is likely to be required.
- Standard notice period of a 3/6 metre Notice is 1 month.
Loft Conversions in an attached house:
- If structural work is proposed to a shared Party Wall a Party Wall Notice is required.
- It is normal for a loft conversion to require new beams to be built into a Party Wall. In this case Example letter 1 (Party Structure Notice) should be used to serve notice on the neighbour who shares the Party Wall.
- Standard notice period for a Party Structure Notice is 2 months.
If a Party Wall Notice is served and a positive reply is received, it is still a good idea to agree with your neighbour to take photos of both properties alongside the Party Wall to have a joint record of the state of each side before starting work.
Although neighbours can agree to work on a Party Wall immediately, there are standard notification periods of 1 month (3/6 metre) or 2 months (Party Structure).
Party Wall Surveyors:
If the Party Wall situation is complex, or if the neighbour gives a negative response to a Party Wall Notice we would alway recommend speaking to and appointing a Party Wall Surveyor. We have good working relationships with local surveyors who we can suggest.