Organising a Party Wall Agreement: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you are planning on carrying out building work on a property that shares a wall with your neighbour`s property, you may be required by law to organise a Party Wall Agreement. This agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties and aims to prevent disputes arising from the building work.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you organise a Party Wall Agreement:
1. Determine if you need a Party Wall Agreement
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to building work that involves any of the following:
– Building a new wall on or at the boundary of two properties.
– Cutting into a party wall (for example, to insert a beam for a loft conversion).
– Making a party wall taller, shorter or deeper.
– Removing chimney breasts that are shared with a neighbour`s property.
– Excavating near a neighbour`s property (for example, for a basement conversion).
If your building work falls into any of these categories, you will need to organise a Party Wall Agreement.
2. Serve a Party Wall Notice
The next step is to serve a Party Wall Notice to your neighbour(s) at least two months before you intend to start the building work. You can either serve the notice yourself or use a Party Wall Surveyor.
The notice should include the following information:
– Your name and address.
– The address of the property where the building work will take place.
– The type of work you plan to carry out.
– When you plan to start the work (this should be at least two months after the notice is served).
– A statement explaining that the notice is being served under the Party Wall Act 1996 and why.
3. Wait for a response
Once you have served the notice, your neighbour(s) will have 14 days to respond. They can either:
– Agree to the building work and provide written consent.
– Disagree with the building work and appoint their own Party Wall Surveyor.
– Do nothing, in which case a `dispute` is deemed to have arisen and you will both need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor.
4. Appoint a Party Wall Surveyor
If your neighbour(s) disagree with the building work or do not respond to the notice, you will need to appoint a Party Wall Surveyor. This can either be a `Agreed Surveyor` who is agreed upon by both parties, or each party can appoint their own surveyor.
The surveyor(s) will assess the proposed building work and create a Party Wall Agreement that outlines the rights and responsibilities of both parties.
5. Agree on the Party Wall Agreement
Once the surveyor(s) have created the Party Wall Agreement, you and your neighbour(s) will need to agree on its contents. The agreement should include details such as:
– The extent of the building work.
– The time and manner of the building work.
– The responsibilities of each party in relation to the building work (for example, who will cover the cost of any damage caused by the building work).
– Any access requirements (for example, if scaffolding needs to be erected).
– Details of any insurance that needs to be taken out.
6. Finalize the Party Wall Agreement
Once you and your neighbour(s) have agreed on the Party Wall Agreement, it should be signed and dated by all parties. You should then keep a copy of the agreement and provide one to your neighbour(s).
In conclusion, organising a Party Wall Agreement can seem daunting, but it is an important legal requirement when carrying out building work. By following these steps and seeking advice from a Party Wall Surveyor if necessary, you can ensure that the building work goes ahead smoothly and without any disputes with your neighbour(s).