Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of building surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Property Surveyor throughout London and the House Counties.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a home the legal right to carry out particular works that may otherwise make up trespass or annoyance.
Nevertheless, it likewise looks for to protect the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially negative effects that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory dispute resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposition so notified.
Particularly, such notice must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (referred to as ‘the structure owner’) means to undertake any building work described in Sections 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:
- Area 1 applies where it is proposed to put up a brand-new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, which include party walls, partitions and floors (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a limit wall in between lands in separate ownership which is constructed astride a limit) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers must supply in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice associating with Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is important to note that the validity of any notification not offering all the appropriate details or served in the incorrect way, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notification although many people use those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory brochure provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Nevertheless, supplied all the info required by the appropriate section of the Act exists, a basic letter would be equally valid.
Depending upon the circumstances of any offered project there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom notice needs to be served in regard of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to talk about the desired deal with adjacent owners before serving them with official composed notice – a proposal well discussed may relieve issues enough to prevent a disagreement developing and prevent the necessity to designate property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory brochure says that some works on a party wall may be so small that service of notification under the Act would be typically considered not required and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cabinets, and the like.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act supplied that written permission is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served a minimum of two months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices need to be served at least one month prior to work starting.
The obligatory details which Sees need to include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign of the building owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- 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.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the building owner’s proposals.
- A declaration as to whether the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use include the following info as a matter of course no matter the type of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected.
- A declaration as to the commencement of works relative to the appropriate notice period.
- An advisory note discussing what takes place if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to respond within 2 week.
Area 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not authorization in writing to works alerted by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties should either agree on the visit of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (referred to as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each designate their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only involve consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, believed will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly appointed property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The very same procedure is used to deal with any subsequent conflicts in between neighbouring owners that might arise in relation to the informed works, including 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 conflict can occur by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are trivial, however if he stays quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have occurred in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still emerge, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works informed under that section but just as regards real dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are seldom defined prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, 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, immediately gives the owner making the demand the statutory authority to designate a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd surveyor who might be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to determine the disputed matters and make the essential award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever selected by anybody but the Act offers the individual so chose the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most typically hired where the two property surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and often this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the surveyor selected by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a third surveyor be asked to draw up an award in respect of the entire works however might accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need occurs.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, but it must 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 costs for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to make sure that they abide by the works, and who will spend for the works. They will typically be needed to pay the charges and the expense of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the structure owner.
If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act allows access to the adjoining property for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, however they should be given 2 week notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 implies that from 6 April 2016, notices and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The details that Discovers must supply in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still arise, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works alerted under that section however only as concerns real dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the visit of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single person, a property 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.
Around the Web