What you Should Know About Party Wall Agreements

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Party Wall Agreements Explained

Renovating, repairing or developing a property needs careful consideration. The effect on your neighbours is of particular concern, especially in a city or densely populated urban areas where the intended work may interfere with a shared wall or boundary.

A Party Wall Agreement specifies the intended works and the construction method, and most importantly, who is responsible if damage occurs. A Schedule of Conditions can also help to protect you against a spurious claim for damage.

Suppose the works to your property are near or on your shared property boundary (the Party Wall); as the building owner, you should inform all the affected neighbours (the adjoining owners) and provide them with a Party Wall Notice and a written Party Wall Agreement.

What Are Party Wall Agreements?

A Party Wall Agreement, also known as a Party Wall Award, is an agreement between you and your neighbour regarding any building works conducted near or to the party wall.

The agreement helps mitigate any disputes between you and your neighbour(s) property. It covers the project’s scope and the methods used to complete the work. It also includes a ‘Schedule of Conditions‘, which records the condition of the ceilings, walls, floors and external elevations within proximity to the areas identified in the Party Wall Notice before the commencement of work.

Is the Party Wall Agreement a Legal Requirement?

The Party Wall Act. 1996 is a legally binding agreement that protects both you and your neighbour(s) – a must when carrying out building works that could affect the adjoining property. Without a ‘Schedule of Conditions’, your neighbour could make spurious claims for damage to their property. And, without an agreement in place, a judge can award compensation for any perceived loss or damage, plus legal costs.

When Do You Need a Party Wall Agreement?

If you’re going to complete any building work near or on the boundary, it is best to have Party Wall Agreement to help mitigate any disputes between you and your neighbour.

What Kind of Building Works Need a Party Wall Agreement?

The Party Wall covers the area jointly owned between you and your neighbour. So, for example, if you try and make changes to an adjoining wall, do something that will affect it, or perform underground works that influence the wall, you need a Party Wall Agreement.

Examples of notifiable works include: 

  • Excavation within 3 or 6 meters of your property
  • Cutting into the shared Party Wall
  • Removal of a chimney breast
  • Increase/decrease the height of a Party Wall

Why Do You Need a Party Wall Surveyor?

Appointing a Party Wall Surveyor can help simplify the process and mitigate disputes between you and your neighbour, ensuring both properties are protected.

Looking for a Party Wall Surveyor in North London?

Are you considering any works to your North London property but are unsure if it will trigger the Party Wall Act? Contact our Chartered Party Wall Surveyors in Barnet who are on hand to help simplify and guide you through the Party Wall process – the first consultation is FREE!!

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