Everything you need to know about party walls | CPS Homes

Everything you need to know about party walls

Marie, Maintenance Manager at CPS Homes in CardiffMarie, Maintenance Manager at CPS Homes, highlights the important things homeowners need to know about party walls when carrying out home improvement projects...

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes.

Do you have plans to carry out work on your property that affects a wall that’s shared between you and your neighbour? If so, you need to make sure you’re familiar with the details of the Party Wall Act.

The Party Wall Act is something all homeowners need to be aware of if they plan on embarking on homebuilding work in a semi-detached home, flat/apartment, or terraced property.

In fact, the Party Wall Act is something all homeowners should be aware of period, as even if you’re not the one carrying out work that affects a party wall, your neighbours could do so in the future.

So, what is the Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall Act is legislation that exists in Wales and England designed to provide a legal framework that prevents and resolves disputes that arise in relation to party walls that are shared between properties before any building work has commenced.

Serving a Party Wall Agreement

If you live in any of the properties mentioned above, chances are you share a wall with a neighbouring building and an agreement will be required regarding this party wall before building work commences.

This doesn’t solely relate to extensive homebuilding projects, either. You should check if you need this agreement for all works that involve a party wall, such as home improvement projects ranging from a loft or basement conversion to an extension etc.

It’s in your best interest to make your neighbour aware of the work you plan on carrying out at the soonest opportunity by serving them what’s known as a Party Wall Agreement, and ensure a qualified surveyor is instructed to oversee any potential problems that could arise.

Read: Purchasing a property for a renovation project

What exactly is a party wall?

A party wall is a wall that separates adjoining properties. Owners of the property on each side have a legal interest in the party walls between their properties, and from a legal standpoint, the owner of either property commits trespass should they carry out works to the wall without first gaining consent from their neighbour.

With that said, the legislation surrounding party walls is quite a complex area of law that covers several different types of walls.

The most common type of party wall is one that physically separates adjoining properties in terraced or semi-detached houses.

How the Party Wall Act may affect your renovation plans

The Party Wall Act may affect your renovation plans if you live in a house or flat that has neighbouring properties attached next door, or even if you live in a detached property that’s within close proximity to neighbouring properties.

It’s important to be aware of which walls constitute being a party wall and the type of work that’s subject to the Act.

Walls and other such built elements include:

  • Floors and ceilings that separate flats
  • Boundary walls that are shared, such as walls between semi-detached and terraced houses
  • Any other walls that touch the boundary between properties

Which building work is covered by the Party Wall Act?

Extensive home building work is covered by the Party Wall Act, so if you’re carrying out work, it’s important you check to see if your plans would require a Party Wall Agreement.

The main home building and renovation works that are covered by the act include:

  •  Loft conversions that may also involve cutting into boundary walls for support beams
  • Inserting a damp-proof course
  • New walls built as part of an extension
  • Underpinning
  • Excavation work for new foundations
  • Demolishing and rebuilding an existing party wall
  • Extending above a storey that lies on the boundary
  • Increasing thickness

It can be difficult to fully grasp the legalities surrounding party walls and it’s vital you get things right, so if you’re in any doubt, don’t hesitate to contact reputable builders with the correct expertise to help you navigate everything correctly and legally.

Read: 10 ideas to help sell your home

If you’re looking to buy or sell a property in Cardiff, our knowledgeable sales team here at CPS Homes have the property market expertise to help you every step of the way. To find your dream property or to achieve the best possible sale price, get in touch with us today by calling 02920 668585, e-mailing enquiries@cpshomes.co.uk or by popping into one of our three Cardiff based branches.

15 June 2022


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