Line of Junction
The Line of Junction is the boundary between properties owned by different people. Section 1 of the act allows for an owner when wishing to build on the Line of Junction to serve notice of his intention. This allows the adjoining owner the opportunity to challenge and discuss the location of the boundary.
Where a wall has been built on the boundary line as a boundary wall the adjoining owner may have in the past built a new structure which utilises the existing boundary wall as part of their structure. This enclosure upon the adjoining owner’s boundary wall changes that section of the boundary wall to a party wall known as a type (b) party wall.
The boundary between two properties sounds straightforward but is often complex. The fence line may have been altered over the years and sometimes before a new structure can be constructed it will be necessary to ascertain and clarify the location of the boundary. Section 1 of the act deals with Line of Junction notices allowing the adjoining owner the opportunity to agree the location of the boundary prior to the commencement of the work.
Section 6 of the act has two parts. The first part deals with excavation on or near the boundary to a depth below the adjoining owner’s foundations within three metres. Section 2 is more often used where piling is involved. Piling within six metres of an adjoining owner’s property will require notification under the act.
When carrying out excavation on or near the party wall it may be necessary to underpin the party wall to protect the adjoining owner’s property. The Act provides the building owner with a right to underpin even if the adjoining owner does not wish this to occur. Underpinning can be contentious and should only be carried out where absolutely necessary.
The act includes a specific definition of special foundations which requires consent by the owners not the surveyors.
‘Special foundations’ means foundations in which an assemblage of beams or rods is employed for the purpose of distributing any load.