As homeowners, it’s important to understand what party walls are and what they may mean if you want to do any building work on your property in the future, as many of you are sure to want to do given the pandemic and the fact that we are now having to spend much more of our time at home.

Party walls are those that stand on the land of two or more property owners and can either be part of the building itself or be something like a garden wall (although wooden fences are not included in this definition).

Walls on one person’s land that are used by other owners to separate buildings also count as party walls, however.

Communication is key when it comes to party walls and you will need to tell your neighbour if you plan to build on or at the boundary of your properties, dig below or near to the foundation level of their house or carry out work on an existing party wall or structure.

Work could be anything from removing chimneys and making party walls taller, shorter or deeper to building a new wall or knocking down and rebuilding a party wall.

You won’t need to tell your neighbour if you’re only carrying out small changes such as putting up shelves or cabinets, plastering and so on.

But if it is necessary to involve them, you have to give them notice of between two months and a year before building works can begin. You can discuss the matter with them but you will need to give them notice in writing.

For help and advice relating to party wall matters, get in touch with Cavendish Surveying today.