Faulkners Surveyors As qualified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every element required to encourage upon and resolve Party Wall issues, such as:
- Preparing and serving legitimate Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Building Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Undertaking and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are professionals and operate in accordance with the policies set down by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act and so on 1996 is law, failure to adhere to this legislation may lead to works being illegal.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall, also known as common wall or as a demising wall) is a dividing partition between two adjoining buildings that is shared by the occupants of each residence or business. Typically, the builder lays the wall along a property line dividing two terraced houses, so that one half of the wall’s thickness lies on each side. This type of wall is usually structural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting walls built at different times. The term can be also used to describe a division between separate units within a multi-unit apartment complex. Very often the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to meet established criteria for sound and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is easy to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building, nevertheless it does affect the construction of border walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered into force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Authorization for any work carried out. Having Preparation Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into result if someone is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply mean the wall in between 2 semi-detached homes, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the properties but is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in general, have a look at this page.
Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is much better to informally go over the designated work, think about the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if suitable) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and approval.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an effect upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be informed. If in doubt, recommendations should be looked for from a regional Structure Control Office or professional surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
If the prepared deal with a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice should be provided to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notice should consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home carrying out the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence detailing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new limit wall up to or astride the border line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person meaning to carry out the work must serve a written notice a minimum of one months before the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party offering information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party ought to react in writing giving approval or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of receiving the notice, the result is to put the notification into disagreement. No official contract is required for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring parties have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a modified notice).
See below regarding what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written agreement within 14 days or a disagreement is deemed to have actually taken place.
See below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute arises, what occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to identify a impartial and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is performing the work will normally need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Surveyor. It should be kept in mind that any Surveyor must act within their statutory obligations and propose a neutral and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which should be reasonable and neutral to all parties.
- When an Award has been made, all parties have 14 days to attract a County Court versus the Award.
When you have arrangement.
All work needs to comply with the notification as soon as you have agreement. All the contracts should be maintained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property might wish to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just offered a brief outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more comprehensive explanatory brochure consisting of example letters for reactions and notices.
- Talking about desired deal with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which might arise if a notice arrives all of a sudden.
- Your local Structure Control Office might have the ability to give free recommendations relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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