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A Brief Introduction of Party Wall

A party wall is a wall that divides two distinct regions or structures. Condos, apartments, town homes, and industrial properties are common places to find them. Both residents and occupants on each side of the wall are responsible for their maintenance and upkeep.

Party structures aren’t always vertical surfaces or walls, they can also sometimes be called as a common wall or firewall. Additionally, they include flooring that separates occupied spaces, foundation walls, or possibly dividing walls into warehouses or retail spaces in malls. Party walls can be seen in basements and attics as well.

The Party Wall Act is a piece of legislation that, before any construction work has started, puts a stop to and settles disputes involving shared party walls between homes. If you live in one of the properties listed above, you likely share a wall with a nearby building, therefore, a wall-related agreement will be required before construction work begins.

It is in your best interest to notify your neighbour as soon as possible about the work you intend to finish by serving them with a document known as a party wall agreement and ensuring that a qualified surveyor is trained to oversee any potential concerns that may occur.

Icon Surveyors are the best Party Wall Surveyors that handle residential scrutiny work throughout England and Wales. Apart from the party wall, they also survey boundary walls and evaluate a building. Their main office is in Central London, but they also have offices in North London, East London, and Surrey. Check their website to know more about their services.

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Party Wall Agreements

Party wall agreements exist as two parties usually possess and maintain an equivalent wall and they serve to ensure that everyone is benefiting equally. These contracts lay out the fundamental rules and conditions around who is responsible for taking ownership of and maintaining the shared wall. A party wall agreement often contains the following:

Dispute Mitigation -They claim that the party is responsible for maintenance as well as any possible consequences of allowing the wall to be structurally unstable. The agreement may also specify noise limitations.

Maintenance and renovations – Additional content governing how to manage possible alterations and repairs may also be included in party wall agreements. This could mean obtaining the adjacent owner’s legal approval before moving forward with a project. In that situation, several days’ notice under the party agreement is required.

Jobs Requiring Party Wall Agreement 

  • Any work performed on the party walls that divide terraced homes from semi-detached dwellings.
  • Party structures that are shared, such as the floors between apartments.
  • Work on the garden’s perimeter walls.
  • Excavation work or underpinning close to or adjacent to the party wall (within 3-6 meters).
  • Conversion of a loft requiring removal of a party wall.
  • The installation of a damp-proof course in a party wall.
  • Building higher or thicker party barriers.
  • Constructing an extension over a shared wall.
  • Adding a new wall or removing it from the party wall.

There is usually no need to appoint a surveyor if your neighbour reacts to your notice by granting permission in writing that work will begin. In either case, you are still responsible for ensuring that any damage that arises from the construction is fixed.

To prevent future problems, inspect the wall with your neighbour before work begins and capture and exchange images of the area.