Building New Walls at the Line of Junction

Building New Walls at the Line of Junction

Chris BeltonBy Chris Belton|November 23, 2023|In Party Wall Advice

Introduction

In the world of construction and property development, a nuanced understanding of legal frameworks is essential for fostering smooth progress and maintaining positive relationships with neighbours. The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 serves as a crucial guide, especially when constructing new walls along the line of junction. In this blog post, we will delve into the nuances of Section 1(2) and Section 1(5) notices, exploring the rights of entry that accompany these processes. Additionally, we’ll shed light on the implications for an adjoining owner who does not consent to a Section 1(2) notice and the potential ramifications for future construction plans.

Understanding the Party Wall etc. Act 1996

Enacted in the United Kingdom, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 establishes a framework for preventing and resolving disputes between property owners concerning party walls, boundary walls, and excavations near neighbouring buildings. When constructing new walls along the line of junction, compliance with legal procedures is crucial to ensure adherence to the Act.

Section 1(2) Notices

Section 1(2) of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 mandates serving notice to adjoining owner(s) where one owner intends to build a wall on the boundary line. That is, partly on their own land, and partly on their neighbour’s land.

This notice must include essential details such as the name and address of the building owner, the nature and particulars of the proposed work, the start date of the work, and its expected duration. Providing comprehensive information in the Section 1(2) notice is crucial to ensuring that adjoining owners are well-informed about the upcoming construction and can raise any concerns they may have.

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Section 1(5) Notices

In addition to Section 1(2) notices, Section 1(5) notices may be required under specific circumstances. Section 1(5) pertains to cases where building owners intend to carry out work solely on their side of the party wall or within their land.

If an owner intends to build a wall up to the boundary line, but entirely on their own land, then they need to serve a notice on their neighbour.

Rights of Entry

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 grants certain rights of entry to building owners to facilitate the construction of new walls along the line of junction. These rights include access to the adjoining owner’s land for the purpose of carrying out the necessary work. However, these rights are not absolute and must be exercised with due consideration for the rights and interests of the adjoining owner. Furthermore, if a notice is not served, then there is no right to enter on to the adjoining owner’s land to construct the wall.

Implications for an Adjoining Owner Who Does Not Consent to a Section 1(2) Notice

If an adjoining owner does not consent to a Section 1(2) notice, there are important implications to consider. In such cases, the wall must be built entirely on the building owner’s land. However, if the wall is built wholly on one owner’s land, then it is not a party wall, and the adjoining owner forfeits the ability to enclose upon or use that wall for their own construction in the future.

This decision can have significant consequences, particularly if the adjoining owner envisions erecting their own extension down the line. If the wall is built entirely on one owner’s land, it may create challenges in the future concerning waterproofing the gap between the two extensions, as well as potential maintenance issues. In contrast, consenting to a wall being built partly on the adjoining owner’s land may offer more flexibility and collaboration for future construction projects.

Conclusion

Building new walls along the line of junction under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 involves a meticulous and considerate process. Section 1(2) and Section 1(5) notices play pivotal roles in informing adjoining owners about the proposed work, while the rights of entry provided by the Act ensure that building owners can carry out their construction activities efficiently.

To find out more about Building New Walls at the Line of Junction and much much more, dive into our latest blogs to get the lowdown on party walls. Whether you’re dealing with construction or legal stuff, we’ve got you covered.

For even more insights and updates, explore our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Stay connected with us for the latest in all things party wall related!

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Understanding the Rights of Entry

Understanding the Rights of Entry under the Party Wall act 1996

Chris BeltonBy Chris Belton|November 6, 2023|In Party Wall Advice

Introduction

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a crucial piece of legislation that governs the rights and responsibilities of property owners when carrying out building works that may affect party walls, boundaries, or structures shared with neighbors. One of the fundamental aspects of this Act is the provision for “Rights of Entry” under Section 8. In this blog post, we will delve into the intricacies of Section 8 and explore the rights and procedures associated with it.

Section 8: A Legal Framework

Section 8 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 lays down the legal framework for the rights of entry for building owners, allowing them access to adjoining properties in certain circumstances. These rights of entry are an essential aspect of the Act, ensuring that building work can proceed smoothly and without unnecessary delay.

Rights of Entry: When are they required?

Rights of entry may be necessary when carrying out work in the following circumstances:

  1. Excavations adjacent to a neighbouring property.
  2. Building or repairing a party wall or party fence wall.
  3. Constructing new walls on the line of junction.
  4. Cutting into a party wall for various purposes.
  5. Inserting a damp-proof course into a party wall.

It is important to note that these rights of entry are only applicable to the extent necessary for the work in question and should be carried out with minimal inconvenience to the adjoining owner. It is also important to remember that the rights of entry only apply to notifiable works under the Act and that a compliant party wall notice must first be served in order for the rights to be available.

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Notifying the Adjoining Owner

Before exercising any rights of entry, the building owner is legally required to serve a formal notice to the adjoining owner. The notice must contain specific details about the proposed works, including their nature, timing, and the extent of the rights requested. This notification provides the adjoining owner with an opportunity to consent or dissent from the proposed works.

Consent or Dissent: Adjoining Owner’s Response

Upon receiving the notice, the adjoining owner has several options. They can either:

  1. Consent to the proposed works: In this case, both parties should agree on the terms and conditions for the rights of entry. This may include discussions on access times, compensation, and the provision of additional safeguards to protect their property.
  2. Dissent: If the adjoining owner disagrees with the proposed works or the terms of access, they have the right to dissent. This disagreement can trigger the appointment of a surveyor or surveyors to resolve the dispute.
  3. No Response: In some instances, the adjoining owner may choose not to respond to the notice. In such cases, the Act provides a mechanism for resolving disputes. In such cases, if no response is received within 14 days, the adjoining owner is deemed to have automatically dissented, and a dispute begun, which will be resolved by surveyor through an award.

Rights of Entry: Key Considerations

When exercising rights of entry under Section 8 of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, several key considerations should be kept in mind:

  1. Access Times: The building owner should schedule access times that are reasonable and minimise disruption to the adjoining owner.
  2. Compensation: If the adjoining owner’s property is damaged or they incur expenses due to the work, they may be entitled to compensation. This should be addressed in the agreement between the parties.
  3. Safeguards: Both parties should agree on measures to protect the adjoining owner’s property during the works. This may include reinforcing structures, providing insurance, or taking other precautionary steps.
  4. Surveyors: In cases of disagreement or dissent, the appointment of surveyors may be necessary to resolve disputes and ensure a fair and impartial assessment.

Notice Requirements for Rights of Entry under Section 8

Where entry onto an adjoining premises is required under Section 8, the person carrying out the works must give at least 14 days’ written notice to the adjoining owner. The only exception to this is in the case of an emergency, in which case such notice as may be reasonably practicable should be given. Admittedly, this could be very brief, and therefore consideration needs to be given to the urgency of access. Where there is potential risk to the adjoining property, or people, then it may be reasonable for immediate access to be given.

What if a neighbour refuses entry?

If an adjoining owner refuses entry, they should also be aware of their legal obligations and the consequences of preventing ass.

There may be cases where an adjoining owner does not want people accessing their property. In such cases, where appropriate notice has been given under the Act, then it is an offence for them to prevent entry, and this is confirmed in Section 16(1) & (2) of the Act.

What if there is no one in and the property is locked up?

In the event that you cannot gain access onto the adjoining property having served notice under Section 8, then you may break open any fences or doors in order to enter the premises so long as you are accompanied by a police constable.

Conclusion

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 plays a vital role in safeguarding the interests of both building owners and adjoining owners when undertaking construction work that affects party walls or shared structures. Section 8, outlining the rights of entry, is a crucial component of this legislation, ensuring that necessary access to adjoining properties is obtained with due consideration for the rights and concerns of the neighbours.

By following the procedures set out in Section 8, both building owners and adjoining owners can work together to reach mutually agreeable terms and minimise disputes, fostering a spirit of cooperation and understanding while maintaining the integrity of the built environment. It is essential for all involved parties to be aware of their rights and responsibilities under this Act to ensure that building projects proceed smoothly and in compliance with the law.

To find out more about understanding the Rights of Entry under the Party Wall act and much more, dive into our latest blogs to get the lowdown on party walls. Whether you’re dealing with construction or legal stuff, we’ve got you covered.

For even more insights and updates, explore our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn. Stay connected with us for the latest in all things party wall related!

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