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party wall legislation

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  • gianmarcodelre
    here s some info about party wall legislation I got from the following website http://www.rics.org/Property/Propertymanagement/party_walls.htm It might be good
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 4, 2006
      here's some info about party wall legislation I got from the following
      It might be good to print this off and send it to Noel.

      What is a party wall?
      If you live in a semi-detached or terrace house you share a wall (or
      walls) with your neighbour - that is known as the party wall. It
      separates buildings belonging to different owners.

      Where a wall separates two different size buildings, only the part
      that is used by both properties is considered to be a party wall. The
      rest belongs to the person on whose land it stands.

      You must get your neighbour's agreement before you can start any
      building work such as:

      * Extensions
      * Damp proofing works
      * Some internal refurbishment
      * Structural alterations.

      In some cases, excavating or constructing foundations for a new
      building within three or six metres of neighbouring properties will
      also need written agreement.

      The Party Wall etc Act
      Since the Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force, homeowners in
      England and Wales have had a procedure to follow when building work
      involves a party wall or party fence wall.

      The Act is designed to minimise disputes by making sure property
      owners use a surveyor to determine the time and way in which work is
      carried out. You can use an 'agreed surveyor' to act for both property
      owners should problems arise.

      The Act allows you to carry out work on - or next to - a shared wall.
      At the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be
      affected by that work.

      What doesn't the Act cover
      The Act doesn't cover everyday minor jobs that don't affect the
      neighbours' half of a party wall including:

      * Fixing plugs
      * Screwing in wall units or shelving
      * Adding or replacing some recessed electrical wiring or sockets
      * Replastering your walls.

      What is covered by the Act?
      There are some things that you can only do to a party wall with the
      written agreement of the adjoining owner including:

      * Cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example
      for a loft conversion
      * Inserting a damp proof course all the way through a wall
      * Raising the whole party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any
      objects stopping this from happening
      * Demolishing and rebuilding the party wall
      * Underpinning the whole or part of a wall

      * Protecting adjoining walls by cutting a flashing into an
      adjoining building
      * Building a new wall on the line of junction between two properties
      * Excavating foundations within three metres of an adjoining
      structure and lower than its foundations
      * Excavating foundations within six metres of an adjoining
      structure and below a line drawn down at 45o from the bottom of its

      What do I do next?
      If you intend to do any of these things, you must give written notice
      to your neighbours at least two months before starting any party wall
      works. Or one month for 'line of junction' or excavation works.

      If a tenant or leaseholder is in the building next door, you will need
      to tell the landlord, as well as the person living in the property,
      that you want to carry out building work to the party wall.

      Where there is more than one owner of the property or more than one
      adjoining property, you must let them know too.

      Don't forget to give written notice to the owners and occupiers living
      either above or below your property.

      If possible, talk to your neighbours in detail about the work you want
      to do before giving them an official written notice. If you can sort
      out any potential problems in advance, they should give you written
      agreement in response to your notice, which they must do within 14 days.

      What if there's a dispute?
      The solution the Act provides is for both parties to each appoint a
      surveyor or 'agreed surveyor' who will act impartially.

      The surveyor will draw up a document called an 'Award'. This details
      the work to be carried out, when and how it will be done and records
      the condition of the adjoining property before work begins.

      It may also grant access to both properties so the surveyor can
      inspect work in progress. The Award will determine who pays for the
      work if this is in dispute.

      Generally, the building owner who started the work pays for all expenses.

      How RICS can help you
      As the world's largest professional body for chartered surveyors, RICS
      offers clear, impartial, expert advice on the issues raised here.

      Chartered surveyors cover all aspects of property: from conserving and
      restoring historic buildings; residential and commercial; industrial
      and retail to planning home extensions, homebuyer surveys and
      valuations, dilapidations, right to light and energy efficiency.

      Call the RICS Party Walls Helpline +44 (0)870 333 1600 for up to 30
      minutes free advice from an experienced RICS member in your area.

      Further information
      A series of questions and answers about party walls produced by RICS
      can be downloaded from the PDF Downloads panel located on the right.
      (PDF 16kb).

      The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has produced a useful booklet
      explaining the Party Wall etc Act 1996 in detail. This can be viewed
      via the link in the External Websites menu on the right.

      RICS books sell a number of publications dealing with party walls .

      Copies of the Party Wall etc Act 1996 can be obtained from the HMSO
      website via the link in the External Websites menu on the right.
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