Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm 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 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- A NOVICES GUIDE
We value that lots of people wishing to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. We likewise understand it can be an overwhelming procedure for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which aims to offer 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 includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to carry out certain 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 impacted by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise disputes by making sure homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act provides a mechanism for fixing disputes and enabling works to continue. It also requires that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will figure out the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally separate structures coming from different owners but could include garden walls developed astride a boundary– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 various size structures frequently only the part that is used by both 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 provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which stands on lands of various owners and is used or constructed to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and also a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached entirely by separate staircases or different entrances;
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 agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (but are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- placing a wet evidence course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if needed, cutting off any objects preventing this from happening.
- demolishing and reconstructing a party wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjacent building.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating foundations within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
Notifications are likewise required if it is proposed to construct a brand-new wall on the line of junction (boundary line). A party wall property surveyor will typically have the ability to validate which work is notifiable and recommendations the notice period and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to particular specific types of work and is liberal in nature. It needs to not be seen as an approach of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not intended to be applied to minor jobs that do not affect the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is generally agreed that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not require a notification.
The workings of the Act are always initiated by the of issuing notices. This is the first stage of the process and, without the problem of valid notifications, no more action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Written notification needs to be served on adjoining 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 should be served a notice and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent 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, notifications 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 likewise need a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Valid notices should include the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of strategies, sections and information of building techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is vital to consist of the appropriate information on a notification as, if they are considered invalid, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Reactions To Notifications.
On receipt of a notice, an adjacent owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works proceeding as explained. 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 property surveyor later on in the process.
- To dissent and appoint a surveyor. The Act allows the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or appoint their own different property surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out particular conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification need to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner wish to be included for his benefit.
Most of the times, if the adjoining does not respond within 2 week then a deemed dispute is said to have happened and the person performing the work must 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 need for party wall property surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notice is triggered, then no further participation is necessary.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work might proceed. The property surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the effect 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 typically record the condition of the relevant part of adjoining home before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about excellent practice and is duly provided by a lot of great surveyors). The award might also grant access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be safely performed and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress.
Typically, the structure owner who began the work spends for all expenditures of work and the sensible expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will consist of the surveyors charges for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that numerous people wanting to bring out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which aims to supply 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 offers a procedure to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to bring out certain specific works, consisting of work to the complete thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anybody else who may be impacted by that work. Written notification needs to be served on adjoining 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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