Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Property Surveyor throughout London and the House Counties.
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 effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building, however it does impact the construction of limit walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Approval for any work carried out. Likewise, having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into impact if someone is planning to do deal with an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the residential or commercial properties however is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in general, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly much better to reach a friendly contract rather than resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is better to informally talk about the desired work, think about the neighbours remarks, and amend your strategies (if appropriate) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notification and approval.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an effect upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be alerted. If in doubt, guidance should be sought from a regional Structure Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party limit 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 building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be released to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notice needs to include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the property carrying out the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will typically be simply a single sentence laying out 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 involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a new border wall approximately or astride the boundary line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to carry out the work should serve a composed notification a minimum of one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party should react in composing giving approval or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of receiving the notice, the result is to put the notification into dispute. No formal agreement is needed for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in writing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the border line up until all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notice (or a revised notice).
See below concerning what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice needs to be served a minimum of one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written agreement within 14 days or a conflict is considered to have actually taken place.
See below concerning what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
What occurs if a conflict emerges.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to figure out a unbiased and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the specific parties.
The individual who is carrying out the work will generally have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. Nevertheless it needs to be kept in mind that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory obligations and propose a unbiased and fair Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the individual Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which needs to be reasonable and unbiased to all parties.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 14 days to interest a County Court against the Award.
Once you have agreement.
As soon as you have agreement, all work needs to abide by the notice. All the arrangements should be kept to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the home might want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve just offered a quick summary of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but take a look at the Neighborhoods and City government website for a more extensive explanatory pamphlet including example letters for responses and notices.
- If a notification gets here unexpectedly, discussing intended work with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which may develop.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace might have the ability to offer free guidance concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
Around the Web