Party walls can be tricky things, tricky in the sense that they’re either a breeze for the homeowner, or a legal nightmare. If you’re worried your party wall might go down the latter path, here’s some frequently asked questions we’ve helped answer in the past.
We’ve also covered the basics of party walls in another advice article, so if you haven’t read that already, we recommend you start there!
Do you always need a party wall agreement?
No, but you do always need written consent from the households involved.
A party wall agreement is only needed if your neighbour doesn’t give consent, or doesn’t respond to, your notice within 14 days. Only then will you need to go about arranging a party wall agreement, and look into getting surveyors onboard.
This process doesn’t come cheap, so it’s worth buttering up your neighbours and giving them a heads up before you send out your notice.
When does a party wall agreement apply?
The party wall act covers three things…
- Building along the boundary between two properties.
- Excavating within prescribed distances of shared or adjoining structures.
- Altering a party structure.
While it can be quite easy to spot a shared party structure, such as a wall between two terrace properties, it can be difficult to spot shared boundaries. For this reason, we always recommend having an architect on board, who will be able to spot this issues ahead of time, and advise you when to act.