Although the party wall is a familiar term for businessmen, the average person may not know what it is. A party wall is a wall that lies on the land of two or more holders, and it then forms a part of the building part. It also may not be a part of a building, for example, a garden wall. Floor partitions used to separate different parts of the building can also be called party walls. Some factors need to be recognized concerning a simple party wall agreement.

1. Party Wall Act, 1996
This Act guides us as to how building works are constructed involving party walls. It includes building a new structure at or on the boundary of two properties, excavation below or near the foundation of the neighboring buildings, or work to an already built party structure or wall. This construction includes making the party wall shorter, deeper or taller, building a new party wall, or cutting into an already built wall.

2. When should the party wall agreement take place?
It is better to agree early rather than delaying it for later. With any planning applications, there are many factors which can cause a delay. Therefore, it is good to start early. For most buildings, the notice is served just after the decision to be constructed, but it is suggested to send or serve the notice a minimum of months before. Excavation work is an exception and notifiable under the Party Wall Act, as there is a need for drawings to be presented.

3. Ownership Changes
If there was no business conducted like the sale of the property before issuance of the notice, then there is a case of a change in ownership. There is no particular guidance provided by the Act related to this matter. The decision will need to be issued by the court. It mainly depends on what rights the new owner has, as given by the previous owner. The decision is made based on work status, whether construction or work has started or not.

4. Solving disputes between owners sharing land
The adjoining owners may agree with the owner's proposal regarding the building. They can also give their consent according to the party wall surveyor. The owners can inspect for themselves to see how the construction or work is being done. If any dispute occurs regarding a new party wall, or there is no availability of written consent to change in already built-party wall in 14 days after the notice is served, the surveyor will settle the matter.

5. Adjustments that do not need the notice to serve
Party wall agreements also include a part where adjustments are made that do not need the other party's approval. Small adjustments can be done like removing or renewing old plasters, replacing and repairing electrical sockets and wiring, drilling walls for fixing screws and plugs for units and shelves. These are some of the works which do not require that a notice be served to the other party.

6. Duties and right of building owners
There are some rights which can be carried out by building owner after the party wall agreement like repairing of the party wall, altering the height of the party wall, demolishing or rebuilding a party wall, inserting a course (damp proof), and cutting into party walls for bearing the beam's weight. Adjoining owners should be informed when this work takes place.

7. Cost of party wall agreement
Party wall agreement cost generally includes the surveyor's cost and adjoining owner’s surveyor’s cost. The cost of the party wall agreement differs from project to project. It depends on the type of project being carried out. The total cost depends on the surveyor’s hourly rate and the amount of time taken to formulate the agreement. Most of the surveyors charge a fixed rate, and the range is between $132-$275 per hour.

Above are some of the factors which need to be kept in mind while compiling and acting on a party wall agreement. It should be taken care of at the earliest to avoid conflicts or delays.

Author's Bio: 

Dfpartywalls party wall experts examine the law in relation to party walls and explain both your rights in London.