Is a Wall Built on a Party Wall also ‘Party’?

by The Party Wall Surveyor

Question

About 20 years ago, our then neighbours and us decided to build adjoining garages between our properties which the middle of the garages are on the boundary line.  Also at that time we decided to go for planning permission (and gained) for an extension above our garage.  We understand that the garages share a party wall,  but does the extension above still mean it is also party?

Our new neighbours now want to use this part of the wall to build an extension themselves which will make both houses terraced.  In our naivety we still believe the “top” section of the extension is not party but would like confirmation if possible please.  Also, IF this section of the wall is termed as party wall, can we ask for compensation from our neighbours as we obviously paid for this wall ourselves?

Answer

If the upper section of wall is built astride the boundary then it will be a party wall. As such your neighbour does have a right to make use of it but must first serve you with notice under section 2(2) of the Act.

Compensation would indeed be due to you. The part of the Act that deals with this situation is 11(11) –

‘Where use is subsequently made by the adjoining owner of work carried out solely at the expense of the building owner the adjoining owner shall pay a due proportion of the expenses incurred by the building owner in carrying out that work; and for this purpose he shall be taken to have incurred expenses calculated by reference to what the cost of the work would be if it were carried out at the time when that subsequent use is made.’