Building owners work on existing party walls section (2 of the ACT)

HomeBuilding owners work on existing party walls section (2 of the ACT)

Building owners work on existing party walls section (2 of the ACT)

party-wall-surveyor-merton-and-mitcham


What are my rights under the Act if I want to do work on an existing party wall? 
The Act provides a Building Owner, who wishes to carry out various sorts of work to an existing party wall surveyor Merton, with additional rights going beyond ordinary common law rights. 
Section 2 of the Act lists what work can be done. The most commonly used rights are: 
to repair a party wall 
to insert a damp proof course 
to underpin the whole thickness of a party wall (for example, to prevent settlement) 
to cut into a party wall to take the bearing of a beam (for example for a loft conversion). 
to raise the height of a party wall (for example, adding another storey). 
to extend a party wall downwards (for example, to form a basement) 
to demolish and rebuild a party wall (for example, if it is structurally defective). 
to underpin the whole thickness of a party wall (for example, to form a basement) 
to cut off projections from a party wall (or from an adjoining owner’s boundary or external wall) if necessary to build a new wall adjacent to that wall (for example, removing a chimney breast). 

What are my duties under the Act? 
If you intend to carry out any of the works mentioned in section 2 of the Act, you must inform all Adjoining Owners. You must not even cut into your own side of the wall without telling the Adjoining Owners of your intentions.
 
The Act contains no enforcement procedures for failure to serve a notice. However, if you start work without having first given notice in the proper way, Adjoining Owners may seek to stop your work through a court injunction or seek other legal redress. 

An Adjoining Owner cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act but may be able to influence how and at what times the work is done.
 
The Act also says that a Building Owner must not cause unnecessary inconvenience. This is taken to mean inconvenience over and above that which will inevitably occur when such works are properly undertaken. 

The Building Owner must provide temporary protection for adjacent buildings and property where necessary. The Building Owner is responsible for making good any damage caused by the works or must make payment in lieu of making good if the Adjoining Owner requests it. 11 

Where party walls and structures are modified, repaired, or demolished and rebuilt (s.2(2)(a) and (b) of the Act) section 11(4) and (5) provides that the cost of the work shall be shared where the work is necessary on account of defect or want of repair, in proportion to the use each party makes of the structure or wall and the responsibility of each for the defect or want of repair concerned. 

Where use is made of party walls surveyor Mitcham previously built at the cost of the Adjoining Owner, the Act makes provision for a fair payment to be made to the Adjoining Owner.


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