Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of structure surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to carry out certain works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it also seeks to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act provides for an obligatory conflict resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily appointed surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the application of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to carry out any building and construction work described in Areas 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 put up a new wall at a limit that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, which include party floors, walls and partitions (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a boundary wall in between lands in separate ownership which is developed astride a border) and, in some instances, 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 Discovers should offer in regard of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the credibility of any notification not providing all the pertinent details or served in the inaccurate manner, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard type of Notice although many individuals use those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory brochure provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Supplied all the details needed by the relevant section of the Act is present, an easy letter would be equally valid.
Depending on the circumstances of any given task there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom notice requirements to be served in respect of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be other than an immediate neighbour. It is always more effective to discuss the desired works with adjoining owners before serving them with formal composed notice – a proposition well discussed may minimize concerns enough to prevent a conflict developing and prevent the need to appoint surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory brochure states that some deal with a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be usually regarded as not essential and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or placing power sockets, and screws to support racks, cooking area cupboards, and so on.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act offered that written permission is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The three types of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served at least 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other 2 notices must be served at least one month prior to work commencing.
The necessary information which Notices need to consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- 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 structure owner’s propositions.
- A statement as to whether or not the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or protect the structures of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a structure or structure, its website.
The majority of the pro-forma notices in use include the following info as a matter of course despite the type of notification:
- The date of the notification.
- The name and addresses of both the building and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A declaration as to the commencement of works relative to the proper notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days, an advisory note discussing what occurs.
Area 10 of the Act states that where an adjacent owner does not consent in writing to works alerted by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties must either agree on the appointment of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each designate their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a project is straightforward, this might only involve factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, believed will need to be provided to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly 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 utilized to deal with any subsequent disagreements between neighbouring owners that may develop in relation to the notified works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory process. A disagreement can develop by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure 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 consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have developed in any event.
There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still emerge, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works notified under that area however just as relates to real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually arisen, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally required to select an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, instantly gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to appoint a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the challenged matters and make the necessary award. The 3rd surveyor is never appointed by anybody but the Act gives the person so selected the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third surveyors are most typically called upon where the two surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some specific point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Seldom will a 3rd surveyor be asked to prepare an award in regard of the whole works but may 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 surveyor, however it ought to not be the same person that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and assessment of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is solely for the benefit of the structure owner, then they will typically be required to pay the charges and the cost of the works.
Parties have 2 week to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act allows access to the adjacent residential or commercial property for the functions of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, however they should be offered 2 week notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic communications.
The details that Sees must supply in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still arise, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works notified under that section but just as concerns real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for contesting Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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