Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the House 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a home the legal right to undertake specific works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it likewise looks for to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act offers a mandatory dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the implementation of any proposal so informed.
Particularly, such notice must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to undertake any building and construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 applies where it is proposed to erect a brand-new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party walls, partitions and floors (that different structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a border wall between lands in different ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The info that Sees must supply in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to keep in mind that the credibility of any notification not providing all the relevant info or served in the incorrect way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no basic type of Notification although many individuals use those released by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory pamphlet released by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Provided all the details required by the relevant section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the situations of any given project there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom observe needs to be served in regard of the exact same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be besides an instant neighbour. It is constantly preferable to discuss the designated deal with adjoining owners before serving them with formal composed notification – a proposal well described may alleviate concerns enough to prevent a disagreement occurring and prevent the need to select property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall may be so small that service of notice under the Act would be typically considered not needed and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or placing power sockets, and screws to support shelves, cooking area cupboards, and so on.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act supplied that composed consent is obtained from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification must be served a minimum of two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices should be served at least one month prior to work beginning.
The mandatory info which Notices should include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indication of the structure owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise enhance or secure the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans revealing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following details as a matter of course despite the kind of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement as to the beginning of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days, an advisory note discussing what happens.
Section 10 of the Act states that where an adjoining owner does not consent in writing to works notified by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations should either settle on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (referred to as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each designate their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only include consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, believed will have to be given to a commensurately greater number of elements and undoubtedly designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same treatment is used to resolve any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might develop in relation to the notified works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A disagreement can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are trivial, however if he remains quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have actually arisen in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still develop, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that section however just as concerns real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally required to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, immediately provides the owner making the request the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are designated, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in composing, of a third property surveyor who might be called upon by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the challenged matters and make the needed award. The third surveyor is never designated by anyone but the Act gives the individual so picked the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most typically hired where the two property surveyors have reached a deadlock in their considerations over some particular point and typically this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a 3rd property surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the whole works however might join with one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need develops.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, however it needs to not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and assessment of the works to make sure that they adhere to the works, and who will pay for the works. If the work is entirely for the benefit of the structure owner, then they will typically be required to pay the costs and the expense of the works.
If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act enables access to the adjacent property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner permits or not, nevertheless they need to be provided 2 week notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notices and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The information that Observes must offer in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still emerge, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section but just as concerns real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally required to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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