When you’re planning to extend your property, there are plenty of things you need to consider before starting work. One such consideration is whether or not you need a party wall agreement. But what exactly is a party wall, and when is an agreement necessary?

What is a party wall?

A party wall is a shared wall between two properties. It could be the wall that separates your house from your neighbour’s, or it could be a boundary wall that sits on the boundary line between two separate properties. The term ‘party wall’ also includes any other structure that sits on the boundary line, such as a fence, hedge, or garden wall.

When do you need a party wall agreement?

If you plan to carry out any work on a party wall, you may need a party wall agreement. This is a legal document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of both you and your neighbour when it comes to the proposed works.

In most cases, you`ll need a party wall agreement if you’re planning to do any of the following:

– Cut into the party wall to install beams or joists

– Remove a chimney breast that is shared with your neighbour

– Build a new wall or extension that is close to or on the boundary line

– Change the height or thickness of an existing party wall

– Carry out any excavation work, such as digging foundations, within 3-6 metres of your neighbour’s property, depending on the depth of the excavation.

If you’re unsure whether you need a party wall agreement, it’s important to seek professional advice from a surveyor or solicitor.

What does a party wall agreement involve?

A party wall agreement must be prepared and agreed upon before any work begins. It should be signed by both you and your neighbour, and will typically include the following:

– The details of the proposed works

– A schedule of condition of the properties before work begins

– A plan of the proposed works and how they will affect the party wall

– Details of any access required to complete the works

– A method statement outlining how the works will be carried out

– The responsibilities and rights of both you and your neighbour

– Arrangements for resolving any disputes that may arise.

It’s important to note that a party wall agreement is a legally binding document, so it’s crucial that it’s prepared and signed off correctly.

In conclusion, if you’re planning to extend your property and have a party wall, it’s highly likely that you will need a party wall agreement. Seek professional advice and make sure that you follow the correct procedures to ensure that the works are carried out smoothly and legally.