Removing a Chimney Breast and why you need a Party Wall Award (agreement)
When removing a chimney breast, it can potentially impact the party wall, which is a shared wall between two adjoining properties. As a result, it may be necessary to obtain a party wall agreement before proceeding with the removal. Here’s why a party wall agreement is often required in such cases:
1. Shared Structure: The chimney breast is often built within the party wall, meaning it is part of the wall that separates two properties. By removing the chimney breast, you are modifying the shared structure, which can affect the stability and integrity of the party wall.
2. Potential Damage and Disruption: Removing a chimney breast can involve structural alterations, such as demolition, cutting or reinforcing of the wall, or removal of supporting elements. These activities can cause vibrations, cracks, or other damage to the party wall and neighbouring properties. It can also lead to noise, dust, and general disruption that may impact the adjoining owner’s property.
3. Legal Requirement: In many jurisdictions, party wall legislation exists to protect the rights and interests of both building owners and adjoining owners. The legislation typically requires serving a Party Wall Notice to the adjoining owner, providing them with the opportunity to review and respond to the proposed works. If the adjoining owner dissents or raises concerns, a party wall agreement may be necessary to resolve any disputes and ensure proper safeguards and compensation for potential damage.
4. Professional Assessment: In some cases, a party wall surveyor may need to be involved to assess the potential impact of removing the chimney breast on the party wall and neighbouring properties. The surveyor can review the proposed plans, conduct inspections, and provide professional advice on the necessary precautions, including the need for a party wall agreement.
A Party Wall Award (agreement) is a legally binding document that outlines the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved. It addresses issues related to the proposed works, such as the method of construction, access arrangements, the handling of potential damage or disputes, and the provision of compensation or safeguards for the adjoining owner. It helps ensure that the removal of the chimney breast is carried out in a manner that respects the rights and concerns of the neighbouring property owner and minimizes any potential risks or disputes.
It is important to consult the relevant party wall legislation and, if required, engage a qualified party wall surveyor or seek legal advice to understand the specific requirements for obtaining a party wall agreement in your jurisdiction.