Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm 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 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
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building, however it does affect the building and construction of limit walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and obligations 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 Authorization for any work undertaken. Similarly, having Preparation Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if someone is planning to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the homes however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure operate in general, have a look at this page.
Similar to all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly contract rather than turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is better to informally talk about the designated work, consider the neighbours comments, and amend your strategies (if proper) before serving the notification.
What garden work requires a notice and approval.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an impact upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be notified. Guidance must be looked for from a regional Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish boundary wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
If the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice must be issued to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notice should 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 residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a brand-new boundary wall as much as or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to perform the work needs to serve a written notice a minimum of one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party must react in composing giving permission or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notification, the result is to put the notification into conflict. However no official contract is required for a wall approximately the limit line, the neighbour just needs not to object in writing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the boundary line up until all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notification).
See listed below regarding what occurs in case 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 prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must give written contract within 14 days or a disagreement is considered to have actually happened.
See listed below regarding what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute arises, what happens.
If agreement can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to identify a fair and impartial Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all parties).
- Each party selects their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will typically need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor unnecessarily – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. It should be noted that any Property surveyor needs to act within their statutory obligations and propose a fair and objective Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the individual Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which must be unbiased and fair to all celebrations.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 14 days to attract a County Court against the Award.
Once you have agreement.
All work should comply with the notice as soon as you have contract. All the arrangements need to be maintained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the home might wish to develop that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just offered a short outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more extensive explanatory brochure including example letters for notifications and actions.
- If a notification gets here suddenly, going over desired work with neighbours is complimentary and can prevent misconception which might emerge.
- Your local Structure Control Office might have the ability to provide complimentary suggestions regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific scenarios.
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