Why must I serve Party Wall notices on my neighbour?

I live in a detached house, so why must I serve Party Wall notices on my neighbour regarding the proposed excavations for my new extension?


In the case of a detached house, it is important to understand that while an Adjoining Owners’ house is supported by it’s own foundations, those foundations will receive some lateral support from the adjacent land belonging to the Building Owner. This means that the stability of the Adjoining Owners’ property could be affected by the excavations on the Building Owner’s land.

The Party Wall etc Act 1996 takes this into account and requires a Building Owner to serve a notice of excavations on any neighbours where proposed excavations will be within 3 metres of their property, including any structure on their land such as a garage of a boundary wall. (Notice is required within 6 metres for deeper excavations, such as piled foundations).

It is usual to employ safeguards when undertaking excavations in close proximity to an Adjoining Owners’ foundations, to minimise the risk of damage being caused. An example of this would be that proposed excavations may need to be undertaken in a “hit & miss” sequence, to avoid removing all of the lateral support provided to the Adjoining Owners’ foundations at the same time.

Please contact David Vizard AssocRICS MFPWS who is an experienced Party Wall Surveyor and can advise in more detail and answer any questions you may have. 

Woodward Chartered Surveyors cover an area from East of Oxford, High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Amersham, Berkhamsted, Watford, Rickmansworth and into London, Northwood, Uxbridge, Harrow, Ealing and Mayfair. 

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