Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of structure property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the Home 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- A NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that many individuals wanting to carry out deal with their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction procedure. 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 “beginners guide” which intends to supply 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 provides a treatment to follow when developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to carry out particular specific works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is created to avoid or reduce disagreements by making certain property owners inform their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act provides a mechanism for resolving disagreements and allowing works to proceed. It likewise requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and method which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually different buildings coming from different owners but could include garden walls developed astride a limit– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures typically only the part that is utilized by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included because the arrangements of the Act are not limited to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not belonging to a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is utilized or built to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of structures approached exclusively by separate entryways or separate staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can only be done after informing the adjacent owners and either getting written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (but are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a damp evidence course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if needed, cutting off any objects preventing this from occurring.
- destroying 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 adjoining 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 structures.
If it is proposed to build a brand-new wall on the line of junction (border line), notifications are likewise required. A party wall surveyor will generally be able to confirm which work is notifiable and recommendations the notice duration and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It should not be seen as a technique of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to minor jobs that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not require a notification.
The workings of the Act are constantly prompted by the of issuing notices. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the problem of legitimate notifications, no more action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notification should be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners must be served a notice and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent residential or commercial property is divided 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 impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notice to adjoining owners living above or below.
Valid notifications should consist of the following info 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 construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is vital to consist of the right details on a notice as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Actions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works going ahead as described. If there is a disagreement at that stage, a consenting Adjoining Owner maintains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a surveyor later on in the procedure.
- To dissent and designate a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or select their own different surveyor.
- Issue a counter notification to set out specific conditions needed for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification need to set out what extra or customized work the Adjoining Owner wish to be included for his benefit.
If the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed dispute is said to have occurred and the individual bring out the work should designate a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply written grant the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to fix and no further requirement for party wall surveyors or, undoubtedly, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work earnings as detailed within no damage and the notice is caused, then no further participation is needed.
The surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work may proceed. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the strategies, notices and structural details 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 carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will usually tape-record the condition of the relevant part of adjoining residential or commercial property before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered great practice and is properly provided by the majority of excellent surveyors). The award might also grant access to both properties so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all costs of work and the reasonable costs sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors charges for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many people 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 property surveyors, uses his “beginners guide” which intends to provide an overview 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 involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to carry out particular particular works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. Composed notice should be served on adjoining owners at least two months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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