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Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

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Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby IKB_formerly » Fri Feb 02, 2018 8:43 pm

I have had to re-register again, was locked out - but a few of you (e.g. theycantdothat) may remember me as originally 'IKB' years ago, then I became 'formerly_IKB' when the forum reconfigured itself, ...now this. I also lost my old avatar photo.

Anyway. Here is the scenario.

Two typical Victorian terraced houses, with side returns along the length of identical rear kitchen extensions. The side returns are not, however, exposed to the elements. Unusually, they are divided by a conservatory-style, ceiling-height glazed partition (with obscure glass) supported by a low concrete wall astride the boundary. Both sides are crudely roofed over with transparent corrugated plastic. (Probably all of this constructed c.1980 when the rear extensions were built).

House A’s owner has enclosed the area with a door at the garden end, and has installed a washing machine, i.e. it is completely enclosed and weather-proof. Next door at House B, there’s no door so it’s open to the garden.

I’ve looked at the definitions of party wall v party fence wall in PWA1996. The essential difference seems to be that the former is part of a ‘building’, and the latter is not.

But this scenario seems to me a little grey, and could perhaps be argued either way. I’m leaning towards party wall, because it’s not just functioning to delineate the boundary between land; 1) there are roofs, 2) there’s a joint conservatory-style partition (which functions to maximise light on both sides) and 3) House A has enclosed the space with a door and is using it as a utility ‘room’. Then again, it’s less clear cut from the POV of House B.

It may be relevant to note that at the end of the glazed partitioning, beyond the rear extensions, the wall which divides the gardens at the boundary is inarguably a party fence wall, being the usual red brick with wooden fencing/trellis above.

Opinions invited, especially those which argue the case for party fence wall (because I’d like to know how House B’s owner might lose the argument, if he were to argue it’s a party wall under Section 1 PWA).
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby theycantdothat » Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:10 pm

Any chance of a photo?
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby IKB_formerly » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:14 pm

theycantdothat wrote:Any chance of a photo?

Yes, but could I email it to you? I am reluctant to post anything identifying online, and as a 'new' member I'm not allowed to PM you on the forum as yet.
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby atticus » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:19 pm

Password for other username reset. See your pms.
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby formerly_IKB » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:24 pm

Thanks Atticus, testing I'm actually in in my former guise...
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby diy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 7:42 am

What does B want to do? That bit is missing.

From the description you seem to have a combination of party wall and party structure.
My suggestions are not legal advice
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby theycantdothat » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:10 am

IKB_formerly wrote:
theycantdothat wrote:Any chance of a photo?

Yes, but could I email it to you? I am reluctant to post anything identifying online, and as a 'new' member I'm not allowed to PM you on the forum as yet.


Yes. I think you have my email address.
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby theycantdothat » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:11 am

IKB_formerly wrote:
theycantdothat wrote:Any chance of a photo?

Yes, but could I email it to you? I am reluctant to post anything identifying online, and as a 'new' member I'm not allowed to PM you on the forum as yet.


EDIT. Just seen your pm. That email is no longer active. Advised of another.
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby formerly_IKB » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:28 pm

diy wrote:What does B want to do? That bit is missing.

From the description you seem to have a combination of party wall and party structure.


Mr A wants to widen his kitchen extension and build the external side wall of it astride the boundary, instead of the glazed partition wall and part of the garden wall.

Mr B wants to find out whether section 1 PWA applies as that would mean (I think?) that Mr A could not build astride the boundary without B's consent (and could only build on their own land). If this were the case, then it'd give B some bargaining power, and hopefully encourage A to negotiate a more considerate, mutually acceptable design.

Section 1 says:
(1) This section shall have effect where lands of different owners adjoin and—
(a) are not built on at the line of junction; or
(b) are built on at the line of junction only to the extent of a boundary wall (not being a party fence wall or the external wall of a building),and either owner is about to build on any part of the line of junction.


The more I look at it the more confused I get. The conservatory-style wall/glazed partition can't be an external wall as it's shared by both houses; and it either is or isn't a party fence wall. So the question is whether it's a party fence wall or a boundary wall - ?? (not party wall v party fence wall?). But what is a boundary wall? There's no definition of it in Interpretation. And what if it's a party structure? Argh!
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Re: Difference between party wall / party fence wall PWA1996

Postby Michael » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:49 pm

3 Basic types of party wall

The thing you need to determine is, is it sitting astride the boundary and therefore either a party fence wall or party wall type A but it can get complicated especially if its not sitting astride the boundary and is a Party wall type B

a) A party fence wall is basically a garden wall that sits astride the boundary of two properties separating their gardens . Both neighboring properties jointly own it and can raise or enclose upon it.

b) A party wall type A again sits astride the boundary but divides two structures like the walls inside your house. Both neighboring properties jointly own it and can raise it or enclose upon any part not currently enclosed upon. .

c) It may be a Party wall type B which sits wholly on one persons land and is owned by the party whos land it sits on but it is enclosed upon by a neighboring structure . If it is a party wall type B the adjacent owner only gains rights under the party wall act to the parts of the wall that is actually enclosed upon or supports the enclosed part. Not all walls that are enclosed upon by a neighboring structure are a party wall type B and have the rights associated with a party wall as sometimes they are enclosed upon without permission or knowledge of the land owner who owns the wall. After a period of time it is possible to gain prescriptive rights in such circumstances.


It sounds like this wall may have started out as nothing more than a garden wall. It may have been a party fence wall in joint ownership or a wall standing wholly on one persons land and therefore not any form of party wall . If it is a party fence wall both neighbours can enclose upon it and raise it if required , it may be possible to work if it sits astride the boundary by looking at the double skin party wall that divides the houses internally and see if it is a continuation of it . If it is not sitting astride the boundary then it is not a party wall and only the owner of the land it sits on has a right to enclose upon it.

But then again I maybe confused by your description so a diagram or photo would help
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