Basement Party Wall Awards
Party Wall agreements are an essential part of planning your basement conversion. Due to the architecture in Central London, it’s almost always necessary to put a party wall agreement in place – most properties require two to ensure that both adjacent neighbours are protected.
The Party Wall Act 1996
There are two main parts of the Party Wall Act that are relevant to basement conversions ; Section 2 applies to work that is done to a wall (including underpinning, cutting away projections, and downward extensions), while Section 6 applies to excavation work within 3 or 6 meters of a shared wall. The statutory notice period is 1 month, but it is best to tell your neighbours as soon as possible to ensure that your party wall agreement doesn’t hold up work.
Putting an Agreement in Place
Once you have presented your neighbour with a notice, they can either consent to the works, or dissent and appoint a surveyor. If a surveyor is appointed, you will be responsible for the fees and not the dissenting neighbour. This process can take several months, so our recommendation is to always approach your neighbours in person and discuss this in person before presenting notices or appointing surveyors. In most instances, an amicable agreement can be reached quite quickly.
We work with a highly experienced party wall surveyor and can provide a referral if necessary.
Changing Your Basement Design
We recommend that you approach your neighbours to casually discuss the work before the design process is completed – if a surveyor is appointed you may need to rethink certain aspects of your design and pay for it to be amended. For example, if your underpinning is thicker than the wall above it, it will restrict your neighbour’s use of their own basement space and this will need to be amended (surveyors will not accept these designs). While our team work to pre-empt any issues and create a basement conversion that does not encroach upon your neighbours’ space, some objections can not be predicted.