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  • What is a party wall?
    A party wall is a shared wall or structure that separates two adjoining properties, such as townhouses or semi-detached houses. It stands on the land of two or more different owners and is subject to specific rights and obligations.
  • What is the purpose of a party wall agreement?
    A party wall agreement, also known as a party wall award, is a legal document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of the property owners concerning the party wall. It helps avoid disputes and provides a framework for carrying out construction work or renovations near the party wall.
  • Do I need a party wall agreement for minor works?
    Not always. Minor works like drilling into the party wall for small fixings or cosmetic changes may not require a party wall agreement. However, it's best to check with your local building authority or a qualified surveyor to determine whether your proposed works are covered by the Party Wall Act.
  • How do I inform my neighbour about my construction plans?
    It is essential to serve a party wall notice to your neighbour detailing the planned works and their potential impact on the party wall. This notice should be provided in writing at least two months before the construction starts (or one month for excavation works). Maintaining open communication and discussing your plans can help foster a positive relationship during the process.
  • What if my neighbour dissents to the party wall notice?
    If your neighbour dissents to the party wall notice, a dispute arises, and you'll need to appoint a party wall surveyor to create a party wall agreement. The surveyor will act impartially and ensure the rights of both parties are protected while facilitating an amicable resolution.
  • Who pays for the party wall surveyor's fees?
    Usually, the person initiating the construction project is responsible for paying the party wall surveyor's fees. However, in certain circumstances, the costs can be shared between both property owners, depending on the specifics of the works and the party wall agreement.
  • Can I make changes to the party wall during construction?
    Making changes to the party wall during construction is generally not allowed without prior agreement. Any modifications that affect the structural integrity or support of the party wall require additional consent and must be addressed in the party wall agreement.
  • What if there is damage to the party wall or my neighbour's property during construction?
    If any damage occurs to the party wall or your neighbour's property during construction, it's crucial to notify your neighbour and the appointed party wall surveyor immediately. The party wall agreement should outline the procedure for dealing with damages and the responsibility for repairs.
  • Is there a time limit for completing the construction work?
    While there is no specific time limit stated in the Party Wall Act, it's essential to carry out the construction work promptly and efficiently to minimise any inconvenience to your neighbour. A party wall notice is only valid for twelve months, so if works begin later than this, a new notice will be required. Keeping your neighbour informed about the progress can also help maintain a positive relationship during the process.
  • What happens if I ignore the Party Wall Act and start construction without a party wall agreement?
    Ignoring the Party Wall Act can lead to legal repercussions and disputes with your neighbour. They may seek an injunction to stop the construction, and you might be liable for any damages caused. It's crucial to follow the proper procedures and obtain the necessary agreements to avoid unnecessary conflicts and legal issues.
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