Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed 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 effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does impact the building of border walls even if not part of structures and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered into 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 work on a pertinent structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Authorization for any work carried out. Having Planning Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if someone is planning to do deal with a pertinent structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just indicate the wall in between two semi-detached 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 used to separate the residential or commercial properties but is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects structure operate in basic, take a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is much better to informally discuss the desired work, think about the neighbours comments, and change your strategies (if appropriate) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notice and consent.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be alerted. If in doubt, recommendations ought to be looked for from a regional Building Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party limit wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
A notification must be released to all affected neighbouring parties if the planned work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will typically be just a single sentence detailing 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 revealing the depth, position and so on
If the prepared work is a new border wall up to or astride the limit line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person intending to perform the work should serve a written notice a minimum of one months before the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party needs to respond in composing giving permission or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 14 days of receiving the notice, the effect is to put the notice into dispute. Nevertheless no formal agreement is needed for a wall as much as the boundary line, the neighbour just requires not to object in writing.
- No work might begin on a wall astride the boundary line up until all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notification (or a modified notification).
See below regarding what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned 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 before the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties should give written agreement within 14 days or a conflict is considered to have occurred.
See listed below regarding what occurs in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute arises, what happens.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to identify a reasonable and impartial Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party selects their own Surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The individual who is performing the work will generally have 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 should be noted that any Surveyor needs to act within their statutory obligations and propose a fair and objective Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the specific Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which must be fair and objective to all celebrations.
- Once an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to attract a County Court versus the Award.
When you have contract.
All work must comply with the notification as soon as you have agreement. All the contracts must be maintained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home may wish to develop that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just offered a quick overview of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government website for a more thorough explanatory brochure including example letters for responses and notifications.
- If a notification shows up all of a sudden, discussing intended work with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which might emerge.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace might have the ability to provide free advice relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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