The Faulkners Surveyors is a professional Chartered Building Surveying Practice that runs throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors undertakes all aspects of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and offers the following services:
Impartial advice on all Party Wall Matters
Preparation and service of legitimate Party Wall Notices
Acting as Party Wall Property Surveyor for either Adjoining Owners or Building Owners
Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
Carrying Out Schedules of Condition studies
Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards (Arrangements).
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 believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, however it does impact the construction of border 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 offers you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Planning Consent for any work undertaken. Also, having Planning Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into impact if someone is preparing to do work on a relevant structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just suggest the wall in between 2 semi-detached residential or commercial properties, 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 utilized to separate the properties however is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, take a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly contract rather than resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is much better to informally discuss the designated work, consider the neighbours comments, and modify your plans (if suitable) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work requires a notice and consent.
The basic 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 may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be informed. If in doubt, advice ought to be looked for from a local Building Control Office or expert surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To destroy and/or rebuild/build a party limit wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party border 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 notice should be issued to all impacted neighbouring parties if the planned work on a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the property undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A complete 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 notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new boundary wall as much as or astride the border line the procedure of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to carry out the work should serve a composed notification at least one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party needs to react in writing giving consent or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of getting the notice, the impact is to put the notification into dispute. However no official agreement is required for a wall as much as the boundary line, the neighbour just needs not to object in writing.
- No work may commence on a wall astride the limit line up until all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notice (or a modified notice).
See listed below concerning what happens in the event 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 at least one month before the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations must offer written agreement within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have actually taken place.
See below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute emerges, what occurs.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to identify a reasonable and objective Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- Each party appoints their own Surveyor to represent the individual parties.
The person who is carrying out the work will generally have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. It needs to be kept in mind that any Property surveyor must act within their statutory duties and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all celebrations).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which must be impartial and fair to all parties.
- Once an Award has been made, all celebrations have 14 days to attract a County Court against the Award.
When you have agreement.
All work must comply with the notice as soon as you have agreement. All the agreements ought to be retained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the home may wish to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just given a brief summary of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government website for a more thorough explanatory brochure including example letters for actions and notices.
- If a notice shows up unexpectedly, discussing designated work with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which might occur.
- Your local Building Control Office might have the ability to give totally free recommendations regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
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