The Faulkners Surveyors is an expert Chartered Structure Surveying Practice that operates throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors undertakes all elements of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and provides the following services:
Neutral advice on all Party Wall Matters
Preparation and service of valid Party Wall Notices
Acting as Party Wall Property Surveyor for either Adjacent Owners or Building Owners
Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
Carrying Out Schedules of Condition studies
Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards (Agreements).
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 NEWBIES GUIDE
We value that many people wishing to perform works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction process. We likewise understand it can be a daunting procedure for those that have not experienced it before. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “novices guide” which aims to offer an outline 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 treatment to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to perform particular specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anybody else who might be affected by that work. The Act is developed to avoid or reduce disputes by making sure property owners inform their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act offers a mechanism for resolving disagreements and allowing works to continue. It likewise requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will determine the time and method which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually separate structures belonging to various owners however might include garden walls developed astride a border– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size structures frequently only the part that is used by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the individual or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which bases on lands of different owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached entirely by separate entrances or separate staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either receiving written agreement 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 evidence 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 taking place.
- restoring a party and destroying wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjacent building.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to construct a new wall on the line of junction (boundary line), notifications are likewise needed. A party wall surveyor will typically be able to validate which work is notifiable and recommendations the notice duration and kind of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular specific kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It should not be seen as a method of challenging or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is generally agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notice.
The functions of the Act are constantly instigated by the of providing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the problem of valid notices, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification needs to be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners must be served a notice and there are most likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining home and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjacent property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or floor, will likewise need a notice to adjoining owners living above or below.
Valid notifications should contain the following details as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of strategies, areas and information of building and construction methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is essential to consist of the correct details on a notice as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Actions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notification, an adjacent owner has three possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going on as explained. A consenting Adjoining Owner keeps all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a surveyor later on in the process if there is a dispute at that stage.
- To dissent and designate a property surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or select their own different surveyor.
- Issue a counter notification to set out particular conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification must set out what extra or customized work the Adjoining Owner want to be included for his advantage.
Most of the times, if the adjacent does not react within 2 week then a deemed dispute is stated to have actually taken place and the person performing the work needs to appoint a property surveyor to act upon the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply composed grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no disagreement to resolve and no further need for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work profits as detailed within the notice and no damage is caused, then no further participation is required.
If adjacent owners dissent to the works (or if no action is received and a deemed dissent has developed) then a dispute has happened which should be resolved under the requirements of Section 10 of The Act. It deserves reiterating that the Act is one of enablement, it is not there to prevent works from taking place and it offers a route to end conflicts at every phase. Where composed agreement is not provided, the solution the Act provides is for both celebrations to appoint an ‘agreed property surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to appoint a property surveyor who in turn designate a 3rd property surveyor. The property surveyors then collaborate to concur the terms under which work might continue. The property surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notices and structural information of the works and, after considering the impact of the works, will prepare an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will generally tape the condition of the appropriate part of adjacent residential or commercial property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered good practice and is appropriately provided by the majority of excellent surveyors). The award might likewise approve access to both homes so that the works can be safely performed and the surveyor/s can examine work in development.
Usually, the structure owner who began the work spends for all expenditures of work and the sensible costs sustained by all parties as a result, this will consist of the property surveyors costs for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that numerous individuals wanting to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which aims to offer 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 constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to carry out certain particular works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time securing the interests of anyone else who may be impacted by that work. Written notification must be served on adjacent owners at least two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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