Party Wall Surveyor Kingston – What is a party wall?
If you live in a semi-detached or terraced house, you will share a wall with the adjoining neighbour. The wall that is shared is known as the party wall. There can sometimes be confusion over party walls, as our Party Wall Surveyor Kingston Team will explain.
Party walls can include garden walls (known as party fence walls). Please note – wooden fences or fences with concrete posts are not classed as party fence walls. A wall that stands completely on one owner’s land but is used by two separate buildings is still classed as a party wall. As with all party wall work, it is not a straightforward matter.
Why would party wall works be undertaken?
Party wall work can be undertaken for many reasons. This includes works necessary to maintain the structure of the building. It could also be an extension being built onto the party wall. This could be for additional living accommodation. Where required by code, the party wall could be a firewall. This is a fire resistant barrier used to prevent the spread of fire.
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 permits owners to carry out works. It also protects others that might be affected by the works.
The Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) states:
‘Since the Party Wall etc Act 1996 came into force, homeowners in England and Wales have had a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at boundaries’.
RICS represents professionals in the land, property and construction sectors. Founded in 1868, RICS is now a worldwide organisation. RICS protects consumers by maintaining the highest standard of professional practice and ethics among its members.
There are some things that you can only do to a party wall after you have informed your neighbour. The list is too extensive to put on here but please see visit our website at www.prinsegate.com for more information. Alternatively, take a look at the RICS guidance and information on party walls:
For some smaller items of work, these will not be covered by the Party Wall Act. These will include things like fitting electrical sockets, replacing electrical wiring etc. If you are unsure as to whether you need to obtain a party wall notice for intended works, please contact one of our chartered surveyors in the Party Wall Surveyor Kingston Team who will be happy to help.
Other Parties involved
What if the work you are doing involved the ceiling or floor? Does this mean a notice is needed? Before carrying out this type of work, you will have to give written notice to any adjoining owners and occupiers living above or below your property.
Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work to the adjoining neighbours. This should be done before serving the notice. The Party Wall Surveyor Kingston Team can help achieve solutions should disputes arise.
How do I know if the wall is a party wall?
Usually party walls will be declared in the deeds. But, it is not always that simple. Our Party Wall Surveyor Kingston Team are on hand to help you ascertain this. With terraced and semi-detached properties, usually it is safe to assume that the boundary runs along the centre of the party wall. Sometimes it can be evident from just viewing the outside of the building. It’s always best to seek advice before doing so. The Party Wall Surveyor Kingston Team have expertise in this field.
Party Wall Surveyor Kingston Summary
If you live in a semi-detached or terraced house that it is assumed that you will have a party wall. This is the wall that you share with the next door property. The work needs to be carried out legally. The correct notices need to be served.
If you are planning to undertake party wall works, our experienced team at Prinsegate can help you with this from start to finish.
For more information on the inconvenience surrounding party walls in Kingston, see our other blog post: https://prinsegate.com/party-wall-surveyor-surrey-team-serve-notice/