Section 1 Party Wall Act
Introduction – Jason Edworthy
The section 1 of the Party Wall Act came into force on 1 July and it applies throughout Wales and England. However, it does not apply to Scotland or Northern Ireland. The Act gives an outline which plays a role in preventing or resolving disputes concerning party walls, excavations and boundary walls near neighbouring buildings. A party wall is a wall that stands across the boundary of land belonging to two or more owners, or if it is on one owner’s land but it is used by two or more owners to separate their buildings.
What the Act covers
The Party Wall Act covers three things: Any work that is to be carried out directly to a party wall, excavation within 3 or 6 meters of a neighboring building or structure depending on the depth of the hole and a new building at or across the boundary line between properties. The section affects where the lands of different owners adjoin.
This article will deal with these notices and where a notice is required regarding any construction or even repairs of a line of junction by either of the owners.
- If a building owner wants to build a party wall or party fence on the line of junction, one month prior the work begins he or she should serve the adjoining owner a notice concerning the intended wall.
- After being served a notice the adjoining owner serves the building owner a notice showing their consent to build a party wall. The wall shall then be build half on the land of the two owners or the position agreed by both of them. The cost is to be shared in proportion to the use of the wall to be made by each of them.
- In any case if the adjoining owner fails to consent, the building owner may build the wall but at their own expense and it should be placed entirely on their land. A notice should be served and consent given within 14 days.
- If a building owner decides to build on the line of the junction a wall that is wholly on his land, he or she should serve the adjoining owner a notice one month before about the intended wall. If the owner does so, work can begin one month after the notice was served and ends twelve months afterwards.
- In any case there is damage on the adjoining owner’s property or even an adjoining occupier after the building owner decides to construct a wall wholly on their land, they are to compensate for the loss. This is if the damage is caused by the building of the wall or placing of foundations and footings.
- If any dispute should come under this section up between the building owner and the adjoining owner or occupier, section 10 should be used to determine. This means looking for surveyors to act for the parties involved.
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