Access Rights Under The Party Wall Act
Access to undertake party wall works refers to the right of a property owner or their appointed contractor to access a neighbouring property in order to carry out construction, repairs, or other works that may affect a party wall or boundary. The access is granted under the provisions of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 in the United Kingdom and similar legislation in other jurisdictions. Here are some key points regarding access to undertake party wall works:
Giving notice: Before any access can be obtained, the property owner intending to carry out the works must serve a party wall notice to the affected neighbouring property owner(s). This notice informs them about the proposed works, the potential impact on the party wall or boundary, and the need for access to their property.
Response from the neighbouring property owner: Upon receiving the party wall notice, the neighbouring property owner has the right to either provide consent or dissent to the proposed works. If they consent, access can be granted without further delay. However, if they dissent, a dispute arises, and the parties may need to appoint party wall surveyors to resolve the matter.
Agreeing on access arrangements: If a dispute arises, the party wall surveyors appointed by both parties will work to reach an agreement. They will assess the proposed works, consider the concerns raised by the neighbouring property owner, and determine the appropriate access arrangements. The agreement will be documented in a party wall award.
Access rights under the party wall award: The party wall award specifies the access rights granted to the property owner undertaking the works. It outlines the time and manner of access, the areas of the neighbouring property that can be accessed, and any specific conditions or limitations imposed. The award ensures that access is granted in a reasonable and controlled manner to minimize inconvenience and potential damage to the neighbouring property.
Compensation for access: In some cases, the property owner carrying out the works may be required to compensate the neighbouring property owner for granting access to their property. This compensation typically covers any inconvenience, disruption, or potential damage caused by the works. The party wall surveyors will determine the appropriate compensation amount, if applicable, as part of the party wall award.
Notifying in advance: Before accessing the neighbouring property, the property owner or their contractor must provide advance notice to the affected property owner. This allows them to make necessary arrangements, secure their belongings, and prepare for the access. The notice period may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the works.
Carrying out the works: Once access has been granted, the property owner or their contractor can proceed with the approved works within the agreed-upon timeframe. They must adhere to any conditions or restrictions outlined in the party wall award and take appropriate measures to minimize disturbances and protect the neighbouring property.
It’s important to note that the specific rules and procedures for access to undertake party wall works may vary depending on the jurisdiction. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the relevant legislation and seek professional advice, such as from a party wall surveyor, to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.