Party Wall Act ?!?

richjthorpe

Novice Member
Can anyone help on this one ?

I'm going to build an extension that is 6" away from the Party Fence Wall of the next door neighbours house. We live in a Victorian terrace by the way.

The next door neighbour has already an extension which is about 1.5m from the party wall fence and was built 15 years ago.

Under the Party Wall Act, I must give notice of any excavations that are within 3m of an adjoining owners property if the footings of my extension will be deeper than the adjoining owners footings.

I have been told by a person in the know that the original house does not come into play in this 3m rule (I don't know why at the moment but will find out) and so I wouldn't have to give party wall notice as I wouldn't be digging further than the footings of the neighbours extension.

If my person is wrong and the original house does come in to play, then I will certainly be diggin deeper than the footings (Victorian houses only have footings of about 0.5m where it is required nowadays for it to be a meter for extensions).

I've read the act and I haven't seen anything that backs him up on his statement and I can't find anything on the internet either.

Is there anyone who is a serveyor who knows about this at all ?

Thanks,

Richie.
 

Peridot

Well-known Member
richjthorpe said:
Is there anyone who is a serveyor who knows about this at all ?

Richie.
Rule No.1 of property - Surveyors (in general) make Estate Agents look like models of honesty and integrity, so don't look to them to give advice :lesson:.

From my (limited) knowledge of the Act, I believe your assessment to be correct (i.e. you will need to inform your neighbour).

There wouldn't be a lot of point to the Act if 'existing' buildings weren't protected.
 
C

Chumpy

Guest
A lot also depends on how far out from the house the extension is being built - I would suggest contacting your local council planning office for advice.
 

fortean

Active Member
Are you concerned that your neighbour would object to your plans?
If he won't object then you could inform him anyway; then it won't matter if the law requires it or not.
 

richjthorpe

Novice Member
I have more information of the reasoning. The weight distribution of a wall spreads out at 45 degrees down on either side of the wall. Meaning that if the extension wall is perpendicular, the original wall doesn't count because we wouldn't be breaking the 45 degrees spread. The only walls that would come into it are opposing walls where the footings would spread towards each other.

Peridot, the guy this information came from is a structural engineer, so I would normally agree with that statement but this guy does this kind of thing for a living.

Fortean, not concerned about the neightbour objecting, she's seen the plans and everything and to be honest, she cannot object because it's under permitted development. The problem is that if we need to serve a Party Wall Notice, she wants to get Surveyors in to take photos of her internal walls so that if anything I did made her internal plaster crack, then I would have to rectify it. I have already said that anything I damage, I would repair. It's just that we are doing this extension on a shoestring as it is so paying £2k for a person just to take pictures seems completely insane if you can do it yourself. Take away the need for a Party Wall Act and there wouldn't be a need for the surveyor.

Richie.
 

SanPedro

Well-known Member
Firstly... don't the local planning office know what the regulations are? I'd get their advice first of all.

What about insurance?

Can you extend your existing cover or get some new cover to set against any damage?

And why do you need to pay a surveyor to get pictures done? Is it not up to her to cover the costs of having someone photograph the walls etc.
 

richjthorpe

Novice Member
Hi Chris,

Chris Lamle said:
Firstly... don't the local planning office know what the regulations are? I'd get their advice first of all.
I'm waiting for a guy at the planning office to give me a call back, he's been out all afternoon looking at other peoples sites.
Chris Lamle said:
What about insurance?

Can you extend your existing cover or get some new cover to set against any damage?
Not sure whether that would work as my insurance is for my house only. I'll be giving the insurance company a call to tell them that work will be commencing though.
Chris Lamle said:
And why do you need to pay a surveyor to get pictures done? Is it not up to her to cover the costs of having someone photograph the walls etc.
Unfortunately not. The reason why a surveyor is needed at all is because of me doing building work. If it was on the neighbours head for the surveyor then they could have 2 sets of costs if neighbours on either side both decide to build extensiond that could damage the property.

Richie.
 

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