Can a Neighbors build a wall

17 October 2023by timberlandry.com0

Authored by Adele MacGregor on May 9, 2023 (Last updated on July 10, 2023), this 6-minute read explains that neighbors have the right to build on their land up to the boundary line without seeking permission. However, they must obtain your consent to develop across the boundary line.

Since this situation falls under the jurisdiction of the Party Wall Act, your neighbors are obligated to serve an official written notice. This notice should outline their proposed plans, the start date of the project, and a request for access permission. This aspect must also be included in the information if they require financial contributions from neighboring property owners.

The article also explores your rights as a neighbor regarding boundary lines, party walls, and the implications of the Party Wall Act. It covers extension work, maintenance of neighboring structures, and various other building projects.

What rights do my neighbors have under the Party Wall Act?

Regarding Party Wall matters and boundaries, specific rules and regulations are designed to safeguard homeowners. The Party Wall Act 1996 is a protective framework for all parties involved. Any homeowner has the right to build up to the boundary line and extend their construction onto the party line, provided they obtain permission from adjacent neighbors.

The permissible types of work outlined in the Act encompass

  • Raising, underpinning, or thickening an existing boundary wall and repairing, demolishing, or reconstructing a boundary wall when necessary.
  • They are installing a damp-proof course into a shared wall, as exemplified in terraced houses.
  • They are elevating a boundary wall, Constructing an independent vertical wall of a building, either up to or spanning the shared boundary.

Even while the Act enables such work, it is essential to remember that a neighbor cannot start building on a boundary line without first notifying or getting permission. Before the work may begin, a minimum of two months’ written notice is necessary.

What is the permissible proximity for my neighbor to build about my boundary wall?

According to the Party Wall Act, neighbors can construct up to the party wall line without explicit permission. This is applicable as long as the construction on their land does not harm neighboring properties. While it’s considered courteous for neighbors to inform you about their plans, they are not obligated to notify you about house extensions or any work on their property.

Any construction along the boundary or affecting a shared wall must be formally documented in a written notice. Illustrative examples of such buildings include

  • An extension on the ground floor that impacts or utilizes a shared wall, such as a kitchen extension.
  • A single-story extension that relies on an existing fence.
  • The removal of a chimney breast.
  • Loft conversions and extensions.
  • Construction work on basement party walls.
  • The installation of a reinforced concrete foundation.

It’s important to highlight that the regulations do not categorize wooden fences and screens as Party Walls. However, garden walls fall within the purview of the Party Wall Act.

Consider consulting with a qualified RICS or RPSA Surveyor for cost savings on your Party Wall survey.

What can be done if a disagreement arises regarding the boundary?

Every property is defined by a legal boundary line, which delineates the limits of your and your neighbor’s property. This boundary exists even if no physical or visible structures are in place. Conflicts may emerge when there is ambiguity or uncertainty concerning these boundary lines.

In the event of a disagreement or dispute, the involvement of a boundary surveyor may become necessary. They possess the expertise to ascertain the boundary line’s precise location through examining historical records, deeds, and on-site visits.

Furthermore, a party wall surveyor will be essential to draft a Party Wall Agreement.

Can I prevent the construction work from proceeding?

You must ensure construction that falls within the parameters of the Party Wall Act.

Nevertheless, you do have the option to initiate a dispute. Upon receiving a Party Wall notice, you can challenge it or submit a counter-notice.

Your counter-notice can incorporate proposed modifications to the planned construction. In such a scenario, a surveyor’s involvement will be necessary to formulate a Party Wall Agreement. It’s crucial to be aware that if you disagree with the agreement, your recourse is limited to initiating a dispute in County Court.

Save on Your Party Wall Survey

Get in touch with an RICS or RPSA Surveyor today.

Get in touch with an RICS or RPSA Surveyor today.

Before commencing any construction, adjacent neighbours must be served with notice. There are three types of messages, which are as follows:

  • Section 1 – Line of Junction (requiring one month’s note).
  • Section 2 – Party Structure Notice (requiring two months’ notice).
  • Section 6 – Adjacent Excavation (requiring one month’s message).

The initial Party Wall notice must be documented in writing and can be conveyed either in person or through postal delivery.

Additionally, if agreed upon or requested, it can be transmitted electronically. The responsibility for preparing and delivering the notice lies with the building owner, although they can enlist a surveyor’s assistance.

What duties must my neighbor adhere to?

Certain obligations towards their neighbours bind the homeowner proposing the construction work. These obligations must be followed when working on a boundary or shared wall. As previously discussed, they are required to serve notice well in advance of commencing the work.

Furthermore, the work must begin within 12 months of the notice being served and align with the terms agreed upon in the initial statement or the Party Wall Agreement. They are also responsible for ensuring minimal disruption to their neighbors and must cover the costs of any damage incurred to your property during the construction process.

Throughout the process, they must exercise reasonable care regarding your neighbor’s property and land, and they cannot compromise the structural integrity of any party walls. In exchange for these considerations, you are obligated to grant access to your property as agreed upon, provided it is for the specified works.

What happens if my neighbors construct beyond the boundary without obtaining permission?

If your neighbor commences construction without obtaining the necessary consent or license, it is highly advisable to seek legal counsel. In the most extreme cases, legal action may become necessary.

The boundary line delineates the specific territory of each homeowner, and it is imperative to understand that neighbors are only permitted to initiate construction activities on the boundary line if they obtain consent.

Additionally, they can only erect a new wall on the boundary or the land of a neighboring property with the requisite permission. Any modifications or actions to the boundary line should involve consultation and agreement with the adjoining property owner.

Is it necessary for me to engage a Party Wall Surveyor?

Hiring a Party Wall Surveyor is at your discretion as a neighbor to someone planning work on a shared wall or boundary. However, if you require clarification on your rights within a Party Wall matter, it is crucial to consult with a specialist.

Being well-informed is essential to address your Party Wall concerns effectively.

In cases where you disagree with the proposed work, seeking the expertise of an expert is advisable for those seeking a second opinion or needing clarification. They can initiate the dispute resolution process.

At Compare My Move, we can connect you with up to 6 local RICS or RPSA surveyors who can assist with your Party Wall matters. Whether you are the homeowner planning the work or the adjacent property owner, our surveying partners can help you. We ensure that we only collaborate with top professionals in the field, and our dedicated Partner Support Team closely monitors them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us now to get quote

Contact us now to get quote

Contact Us
United Kingdom

Emergency Service