Advisory notes for Protection of Adjoining Property pursuant to Regulation 113 of the Building Regulations 2018 and Section 84 of the Building Act 1993.
Guide to developers, builders, architects and designers
The nature and location of the proposed building work may mean that you need to take measures to prevent damage to adjoining properties (usually 'underground' protection and / or 'overhead' protection).
What is an adjoining property?
An adjoining property means land (including any street or right of way) which is so situated in relation to the site on which building work is to be carried out as to be at risk of significant damage from the proposed building work.
Protection work, whether permanent or temporary, includes underpinning, the provision of vertical support, lateral support, protection against variation in earth pressures, provision of ground anchors and other support for adjoining property.
Protection work includes shoring up, overhead protection of adjoining property and any other work designed to maintain the stability of adjoining property or to protect property from damage from building work on the adjoining property.
Insurance requirements (Section 93 Building Act 1993)
The Building Act 1993 requires that the owner of the land on which building work is to occur must purchase insurance to protect against damage to adjoining property and other liabilities arising out of that building work.
The required period of insurance is the period of the actual building work plus a further period of 12 months after completion of the building work.
There are two typical types of insurance:
- Home Building Insurance
- Contract Works Liability Insurance
Generally, the builder should already be carrying one of these forms of insurance.
Where protection work is required, the building owner should ensure that:
- their name is specifically mentioned on the policy
- the policy includes the 12 month extension beyond works completion (this provision is not a standard clause in these policies)
- the policy is specifically endorsed to include protection of adjoining property and Part 7 of the Building Act 1993 (many policies are not specific in relation to these matters).
Procedure for serving protection work notices
An owner who is required by the relevant building surveyor to carry out protection work, is required to serve protection work notices (Form 7 and Form 8) on the adjoining owner/s in the following manner:
Prepare a cover letter.
The following matters are suggested for inclusion:
- mention the adjacent property affected by the building work;
- describe the extent of the building work;
- describe the building work methods to be adopted so that the extent of protection measures proposed can be related to the nature and manner of the proposed building work;
- mention that a dilapidation report has been or will be carried out (photos, written description of existing conditions, etc.) and make reference to the builder holding adequate insurance;
- state the program for the works and give approximate commencement and duration;
- list all protection measures including any temporary hoardings to be erected and confirm that safe building procedures will be adopted to ensure protection of persons and property and;
- include relevant attachments to enable the proposals to be assessed - plans, structural details, computations, soil reports etc.
Include the following documents as relevant:
- a set of structural drawings (showing bulk excavation, site retention, footings, etc), soil report, computations, architectural drawings (town planning drawings should suffice) and details of protection measures proposed;
- details of any overhead protection measures such as hoarding plans, scaffolding
- details, catch fans, roof planking plans, etc;
- completed Form 7, listing all the relevant documents.
Send the package along with three copies of a blank Form 8 to each adjoining owner (three copies so that one copy can be kept by the adjoining owner, one copy returned to you, and one copy returned to relevant building surveyor)
Send a duplicate of the entire package to the relevant building surveyor (include proof of service by completing the enclosed Statutory Declaration as evidence that the documents have been served and on what date)
The adjoining owner completes the Form 8 and sends one to you, one to the relevant building surveyor and keeps one for their own records.
If the adjoining owner does not respond within 14 days it will be taken that they have consented, that is: they will be deemed to have consented on the basis of the documents presented to them.
- For adjoining property comprising multiple strata titles it is suggested that one set of complete documents be served on the Body Corporate Agent and a cover letter sent to each individual strata unit owner advising of the protection notices and indicating that plans and specifications of the proposal are available for viewing from the Body Corporate Agent.
- Further information is available in practice note 20-2018 'Protection Work Process' on the VBA website