We are fully qualified specialist Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Arrange of Condition reports and legally serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With workplaces in Central, South and North London it makes us perfectly positioned to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Building Owner planning a new task or a neighbour who has been served a Party Wall Notice our knowledge and experience guarantees we are always best prepared to assist with your Party Wall requirements.
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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- A BEGINNERS GUIDE
We appreciate that many individuals wishing to perform works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late phase in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a challenging procedure for those that have actually not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior property surveyors, uses his “novices guide” which aims to supply a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a procedure to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out certain specific works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is designed to prevent or reduce disagreements by ensuring homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act offers a system for resolving disputes and enabling works to continue. It likewise requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls typically different structures coming from various owners but could consist of garden walls constructed astride a border– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 various size buildings often just the part that is used by both homes is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of because the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” means a wall (not belonging to a building) which bases on lands of various owners and is used or built to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” means a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of structures approached solely by separate entrances or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain products of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjacent owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (but are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- placing a damp proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any objects preventing this from occurring.
- demolishing and reconstructing a party wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjacent structure.
- excavating foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notifications are also needed if it is proposed to develop a new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall surveyor will normally have the ability to confirm which work is notifiable and recommendations the notification period and type of notification required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain specific types of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be viewed as a technique of objecting to or preventing works and it is not meant to be applied to minor jobs that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is normally agreed that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notification.
The workings of the Act are always instigated by the of providing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the issue of valid notifications, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notice needs to be served on adjacent owners a minimum of 2 months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners should be served a notification and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjoining residential or commercial property is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Works to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or flooring, will also require a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Legitimate notifications should include the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of strategies, sections and information of building and construction methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is important to include the proper information on a notice as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Reactions To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjacent owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To grant the works proceeding as described. If there is a conflict at that phase, a consenting Adjacent Owner retains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a surveyor later in the process.
- To dissent and appoint a property surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or select their own separate property surveyor.
- Provide a counter notification to set out specific conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification ought to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be included for his advantage.
If the adjacent does not respond within 14 days then a deemed disagreement is said to have actually occurred and the individual carrying out the work should appoint a surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer written grant the works as set out within the notices, then there is no conflict to fix and no additional need for party wall property surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work profits as detailed within the notice and no damage is triggered, then no additional involvement is required.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may continue. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the plans, notices and structural information of the works and, after thinking about the impact of the works, will draw up an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will usually tape the condition of the relevant part of adjacent residential or commercial property prior to work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about great practice and is duly offered by the majority of excellent surveyors). The award might also grant access to both homes so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can check operate in progress.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all costs of work and the sensible expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will consist of the property surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that many people wanting to carry out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “newbies guide” which intends to supply a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to bring out certain particular works, including work to the complete thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time safeguarding the interests of anyone else who may be affected by that work. Written notification needs to be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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