The Costs of Repairing a Party Fence Wall
The costs of repairing a Party Fence Wall, which is a wall that separates the gardens of the building owner and the adjoining owner and stands astride the boundary line, are typically shared equally between the parties involved. If the wall is damaged and in need of repair, the building owner would need to communicate with the adjoining owner(s) to discuss the situation and obtain their agreement for the necessary repairs. Once an agreement is reached, the building owner can proceed to create a repair work plan, send it out for tender, and hire a contractor to carry out the repairs. The building owner is responsible for paying the contractor for the required repair work.
However, the process may not always be straightforward. If the adjoining owner disputes the need for the repairs or disagrees with the cost, issues can arise. In such cases, it is important to follow the procedures outlined in the Party Wall etc. Act. The building owner must serve a Party Wall Notice upon the adjoining owner, formally notifying them of the need for repairs and the shared responsibility for the costs.
Upon receiving the notice, the adjoining owner has two options:
1) Accept the Repair Work Needed: If the adjoining owner agrees to the repair work, the building owner and adjoining owner can engage in discussions to determine when the repairs will take place and what the costs will be.
2) Dispute the Requirement for the Repair Works: If the adjoining owner disputes the need for the repairs, they can dissent to the Party Wall Notice. In such cases, the building owner can appoint a Party Wall Surveyor to resolve the issue and agree upon a Party Wall Award.
The Party Wall Surveyor will assess the cause of the damage to the Fence Wall and determine the cost of repairing it. The surveyor will also allocate the surveying costs associated with agreeing to the Party Wall Award. It is worth noting that if the damage to the wall is caused by a large tree or any other structure in the respective gardens, the responsible owner may have a greater share of the costs or even be liable for the entire repair cost and the fee of the Party Wall Surveyor.
To avoid disputes, it is recommended to discuss the cause of the damage and the cost of repairs with the adjoining owners before serving the Party Wall Notice. It is advisable to engage a Party Wall Surveyor to formalise the process by creating a legally binding Party Wall Award. This ensures that both neighbours are bound by the terms of the award and equally responsible for the repairs.
If you have issues regarding a neighbour’s extension, loft conversion, or a Party Fence Wall, it is advisable to seek professional advice and assistance from a Party Wall Surveyor to help navigate the party wall process and resolve any disputes that may arise.