The Faulkners Surveyors is a specialist Chartered Building Surveying Practice that runs throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors carries out all elements of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and provides the following services:
Impartial recommendations on all Party Wall Matters
Preparation and service of legitimate 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 settlement of Party Wall Awards (Contracts).
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 simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, nevertheless it does impact the construction of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and gives you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Permission for any work undertaken. Having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect if someone is preparing to do deal with a pertinent structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just suggest the wall in between two semi-detached homes, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the properties but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring home.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in general, take a look at this page.
Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly much better to reach a friendly contract rather than resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is much better to informally talk about the desired work, think about the neighbours comments, and change your strategies (if suitable) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notice and approval.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have a result upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be notified. Guidance must be looked for from a local Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To destroy and/or rebuild/build a party boundary wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring structure.
- 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 structure.
If the prepared work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be provided to all affected neighbouring parties. The notice should include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property undertaking the work.
- The address of the home.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will generally be simply a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a brand-new border wall up to or astride the boundary line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to perform the work must serve a written notice a minimum of one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in composing giving authorization or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notification, the result is to put the notification into conflict. No official contract is needed for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in writing.
- No work might begin on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring celebrations have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a revised notice).
See listed below regarding what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served at least one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to give written contract within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have taken place.
See below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a disagreement develops, what occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to identify a fair and impartial Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will normally need to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Surveyor. It must be kept in mind that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory duties and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- 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 been made, all celebrations have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
Once you have agreement.
When you have arrangement, all work must abide by the notification. All the contracts should be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the property might want to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only offered a short summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government website for a more thorough explanatory booklet including example letters for notices and responses.
- If a notification gets here all of a sudden, discussing desired work with neighbours is free and can avoid misunderstanding which might arise.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace might have the ability to provide free guidance regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific scenarios.
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