Types Of Party Walls & Everything You Need To Know In London

A picture explaining containing a party wall between two houses and define the query what is a party walls
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It is quite common in the United Kingdom for neighbors to share various properties. On certain occasions, problems related to party walls can become quite challenging, and in such situations, hiring a party wall surveyor might be necessary to resolve them amicably. 

What Is Party Wall?

A wall shared between two neighbors and considered mutual property by both parties is known as a party wall. According to the Party Wall Act 1996, both parties are obliged to seek permission before involving the shared property in any type of construction or renovation project. 

Types Of Party Walls

The primary definition of a party wall is a ‘shared boundary wall between two neighbors’, but further, it can be of different types depending on the context. Mainly there are two significant types of party walls depending on Party Wall Act 1996. These two significant types of party walls include the following.

Party Wall Type (a)

A wall that divides two adjoin buildings comes under the definition of party wall type (a). This type of party wall is built so that the thickness of the entire wall lies on both adjoining sides of buildings.

Party Wall Type (b)

Party wall type (b) is also pretty common in the United Kingdom. According to the Party Wall Act 1996, if one party built a wall on their land and the other party did not build their wall and used the same wall built by the first party as a separating object between two buildings, it is known as a party wall type (b). 

Party Wall Fence

Another type of party wall is a party wall fence that specifically doesn’t separate two adjoining buildings but separates the land of two parties. It is not a part of the building. If the wall sits on one side of the boundary, then according to the Party Wall Act 1996 it can not be considered a party wall fence, boundary wall, or garden wall.

If the owner wants to involve the party wall fence in the construction or any renovation project, they are obliged to follow the other owner’s consent to avoid the legal pitfall. 

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Party Structure

Other than walls, sometimes different properties can be shared between two neighbors and require the same protocol according to the Party Wall Act 1996. A party structure shares the same characteristics as a party wall or a party fence. It is defined as the physical division between two properties or lands.

Most party structures involve shared floors or ceilings that separate the buildings or properties. Order to carry on any type of construction or renovation project involving a shared floor or ceiling requires the legal consent of both parties. 

Party Wall Act 1996

Party wall issues have been pretty typical for a long time. To avoid the conflicts and make things more convenient, Party Wall Act was passed in 1996. This act describes all the relevant issues and narrates legal actions that people can follow. 

This act also identified which property or structure should be considered party wall or party structure. It provides a statutory framework for the neighbors to follow a procedure to carry on the construction or renovation projects without interruption and bad terms with neighbors. It also helps identify the extent of damage or risk to the adjoining building beforehand and avoid the legal pitfall.

What Should You Do Before Starting A Construction Project?

The Party wall act defines a complete framework to avoid any complexity. Before starting a construction project, you are obliged to send the legal notice to your neighbor to get their response. 

Party Wall Notice is supposed to send by you to your neighbor if you want to start a construction project that involves the party wall or party structure. The party wall notice response can be of three types, including,

  • Consent 
  • Dissent and hire a party wall surveyor.
  • Dissent and agreed on hiring a mutual surveyor.

In case of consent, you are good to go to initiate your project with complete privacy and without interruption. In case of a second response, you have to hire your own surveyor that can try to help you solve the dispute. In the case of the third type of response, you can hire a mutual surveyor who can get a Party Wall Award for you, which portrays a mutual agreement between both parties and identifies the extent of risk to the adjoining buildings.

Bottom Line

Messing with your neighbor with whom you shared property is not very nice. Your neighbors can be helpful at times watching your home or your pets. Seeking the consent of your neighbors beforehand is a good thing. In case of dissent, you can hire a well-reputed and verified Party Wall Surveyor London to bend the case towards you.

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