Party Wall Act Section 1 - New Building on Line of Junction Notice
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 refers to the 'line of junction'. You will probably refer to this as the boundary line between you and your neighbour. Practically it is easier to think of the two terms meaning the same. This section comes into play where an owner is intending to build a new extension and wants to build the wall either right against the boundary line or alternatively build the wall straddling the boundary line on both owner's land, whereby a new new party wall will be created. In this case, the owner who wants to build the wall will have to serve a section 1-'Line of Junction Notice' on the adjoining owner.
Whilst you have a right to build against the line of junction, you do not have a right to build over it and form a new party wall without express permission. It would be wise to discuss the options with your neighbour before you serve notice to see if they agree for you to build a new party wall that will become shared ownership. If they do agree, they have the right in the future to use the same wall if they build their own extension, subject to paying you a proportion of what the wall cost to build, when they come to use it.
If your neighbour does not want the new wall built half on their land, they have the right to refuse and you would have to build the wall completely on your own land. You have a right to do this without permission but you still have to serve a notice 1 month before you start work. to inform the adjoining owners of your intention. You do not however, need consent off an adjoining owner to build a wall wholly on your own land.
Whatever the case, the person doing the work should serve a section 1 Line of Junction Notice on the adjoining owner at least one month before the intended work begins.
Unlike other sections of the Party Wall Act, an adjoining owner cannot just appoint a surveyor on receiving a notice unless they can establish an actual dispute over the section 1 notice. Actual disputes are fairly limited and so it is unlikely that serving a section 1 notice will result in surveyors being appointed or a Party Wall Award needing to be made.
In conclusion, if you want to build a new party wall which straddles the boundary, you must serve a notice and get written consent from the adjoining owner within 14 days of when you served the notice. If the adjoining owner does not consent in writing, you must then continue to build the wall wholly on your own land BUT you do not need written consent from the adjoining owner to do this. If you want to build the wall wholly on your land from the start, you must serve a notice and after 1 month you can commence work without any consent.
If you want further advice on the procedures for building against or on the boundary then please contact us. This is one area of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 that is often misunderstood by both building and adjoining owners. We can serve the correct notice on your behalf for a nominal charge and at the same time explain to the adjoining owner the correct workings of section 1.
To safeguard your property or for advice about serving notice call now: