My neighbour is planning or
is already doing some building work done
What do I need to know?
I get on well with my neighbour but I am a little worried...
When you first hear that your neighbour is planning to have building works you may be a little worried. Perhaps you get on well with your neighbour but being realistic, you are aware that accidents do happen... How can you protect yourself?
One way is by requesting a Schedule of Condition is carried out on your property prior to your neighbour starting building works. A Schedule of Condition is basically a documented statement of the condition of your property prior to works being carried out. With a schedule of condition you can prove if damage to your property was not there prior to anything that occurs during or after the building works. You can ask your neighbour to have a schedule of condition and as they are the ones having the building work done it is usually at their cost. Call us on 020 3633 7833 or email us for further advice.
My neighbour has served a notice on me. What are my options?
The term 'served notice' may sound intimidating, but when its with regards party wall works it is just simply part of the process of carrying out certain building works in a legal and proper manner. Basically there are three key types of work that, should your neighbour be planning on carrying out, they should serve you notice of their intentions. The three key areas are highlight in the diagrams below but they include certain types of demolition, excavation, loft conversion or work on the boundary between your properties ( known as the line of junction).
When you have been served notice you should reply to it in writing within 14 days. You can do this yourself or you may wish to have a professional party wall surveyor such as ourselves to ensure everything is as it should be legally and that your rights and interests are protected. This is often worth just a consultation with a professional even if you agree to the works. As stated above a Schedule of Condition is very much recommended in even agreed consented works. Additionally any party wall surveyor fees and Schedule of Condition costs are most often at the expense of the person planning to have the building works done. We would be happy to give you some free advice if you have any concerns, just give us a call or email us.
I know my neighbour is planning or has already started building what should I do?
Depending on the types of works they plan or actually carrying out it is prudent to ensure they have met their party wall legal requirements. The drawings below illustrate some of the works that are notifiable under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996. If your neighbour is planning or carrying out any works that are covered below please do not hesitate to contact us for some free advice.
Understanding 'Notifiable works' covered by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996
Building Along the Line of Junction (Boundary)
Section 1 of the Act
If you are building on your property you have rights to build right up to the boundary (line of junction). By serving your neighbour Notice under the Party Wall etc. Act you can gain additional rights such as access to build.
Works physically affecting
the Party Wall
Section 2 of the Act
Works such as removing a chimney, a chimney breast and cutting into the Party Wall to allow enable insertion of support lintels, steels or beams all require Notice to be provided to your neighbour under th Party Wall etc. Act.
Excavations Near a
Section 6 of the Act
If you plan to excavate within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure you will likely have to serve Notice under Section 6. Most rear extensions to semi-detached, or terraced properties, will require such excavation for foundations etc.