If you’re doing some building work that affects the boundary line and walls that you share with your neighbours, you may find out that you need to issue a Party Wall Notice to ensure that your work goes off without a hitch in the correct manner. There are three different notices you can serve, and here’s a guide to what you need to know about each one.
Line of Junction Notice
This type of notice is usually needed if you plan on building right up to the boundary line of your property, which applies in situations such as if you’re building a garden wall, or plan on putting an extension on your property. You cannot build astride the property line without your neighbour’s consent, so if you want to do this, you must get written approval from them. You must give at least one month’s notice before doing any work.
Party Structure Notice
Historically this is the most common notice and gives your intention of doing work on a wall that you share with your neighbour. This is usually delivered in circumstances such as if you want to add structural support to the wall, or if you would like to remove a chimney breast. You must give at least two months’ notice for this.
Adjacent Excavation Notice
This notice is for if you’re going to excavate within 3 metres of your neighbour’s property at a depth greater than the neighbouring building’s property, or if the excavation cuts through a line drawn at a 45 degree angle from the base of your neighbour’s foundations. Instances where you may need to issue this notice are if you’re building a swimming pool, or if you’re extending your property.
In some cases you may need to serve a combination of two of these notices, depending on the type of work you are doing. There is no formal process for the way you should be giving notice, and you will not get penalised if you do not give notice; however if your neighbours do not agree to the building work you propose this can lead to difficulties if you haven’t issued a notice to inform them of your plans. There are many places where you can download a party wall agreement template, including Collier Stevens amongst others.
It’s important to remember that you may need a notice even if you don’t share any physical walls with your neighbours. If you live on a detached property, you may need to issue a Line of Junction or Adjacent Excavation notice depending on the work that is being carried out, so you should get in touch with a surveyor to find out for sure which documents you require.
Whatever you’re planning to do, just make sure that you get the notices sent as early as possible – usually building work cannot commence straight away, so getting your paperwork sorted in the meantime is a good way to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
About the Author
Ursula Jones writes on various topics including property and surveyors. Here she looks at the consent needed to put up a party wall and draws on advice from party wall surveyors