A party wall is a shared wall that divides two homes, typically between a terraced or semi-detached home.
It includes garden walls that are built over a boundary, and excavations within three to six meters of a neighbor’s property depending on the depth.
Party Wall Agreements are required for most home-related building works, such as loft conversions, damp proof courses, and digging new foundations (as is the case with an extension).
Permission to build party walls.
Before any party wall construction can begin, the homeowner (Building owner) must have a written Party Wall Agreement signed by all adjoining owners (Adjoining owners).
To prepare a Party Wall Award, a surveyor must be appointed. This is the document that outlines how the works should proceed. Find qualified Party Wall Surveyors in London with our free Party Wall Surveyor
The homeowner must serve a Party Wall Notice to their neighbors in writing about the proposed party wall works.
Party wall notice
You can serve notice for free by using standard forms, or pay a flat fee to a party wall surveyor. A letter of acknowledgement is required for the neighbor to sign and return.
For any building work that will affect a boundary or party wall, the homeowner must give at least two months notice. A notice of one month is required for excavations. Planning permission does not need to be granted to serve a Party Wall Notification. The homeowner has up until one year to begin work after the notice is served.
After notice has been served, the neighbor has 14 days to reply. There are then three options:
i) If the neighbor agrees in writing, the homeowner will correct any problems
These cases are simple enough that there is no need for a Party Wall Surveyor to be appointed or for a Party Wall Award.
The homeowner should take photos of the party wall that are at least two years old and agree to write notes detailing cracks.
A surveyor can be hired to evaluate the property and create a schedule of conditions in order to reduce disputes down the road. This should be done before any work begins.