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Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (sometimes parti-wall or parting wall surface, additionally recognized as usual wall or as a demising wall surface) is a splitting dividers between 2 adjacent structures that is shared by the owners of each house or organization. Generally, the building contractor lays the wall along a property line separating 2 terraced residences, to ensure that one half of the wall surface’s thickness rests on each side. This kind of wall surface is normally structural. Party wall surfaces can also be created by two abutting walls built at various times. The term can be additionally used to explain a department between separate units within a multi-unit apartment building. Very often the wall in this instance is non-structural yet designed to satisfy well-known criteria for audio and/or fire protection, i.e. a firewall software.
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, however it does affect the building of limit walls even if not part of buildings and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered 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 deal with 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 Planning Permission for any work undertaken. Having Planning Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into effect if somebody is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall in between 2 semi-detached properties, 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 utilized to separate the residential or commercial properties however is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in general, have a look at this page.
Just like all work impacting neighbours, it is always better to reach a friendly arrangement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally discuss the designated work, consider the neighbours remarks, and amend your plans (if appropriate) before serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and approval.
The basic 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 cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be alerted. Recommendations must be sought from a local Structure Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party 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 building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification needs to be issued to all affected neighbouring parties. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home undertaking the work.
- The address of the property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will usually be just a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position and so on
If the prepared work is a new boundary wall up to or astride the border line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to perform the work must serve a composed notification at least one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party offering details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in composing giving authorization or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of getting the notice, the impact is to put the notification into dispute. No formal arrangement is required for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See below concerning what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned 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 prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to give written arrangement within 2 week or a disagreement is considered to have happened.
See listed below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute emerges, what takes place.
If contract can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to figure out a unbiased and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will typically have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Surveyor. However it needs to be kept in mind that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which should be fair and objective to all parties.
- When an Award has actually been made, all celebrations have 14 days to attract a County Court versus the Award.
When you have agreement.
As soon as you have agreement, all work needs to adhere to the notice. All the agreements should be kept to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property may wish to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve only given a short outline of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work but have a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more extensive explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for reactions and notices.
- If a notice gets here unexpectedly, talking about desired work with neighbours is complimentary and can prevent misunderstanding which might arise.
- Your local Structure Control Workplace might have the ability to give complimentary suggestions regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
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