Faulkners Surveyors As certified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every element necessary to recommend upon and deal with Party Wall problems, such as:
- Preparing and serving valid Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Structure Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Carrying out and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are specialists and operate in accordance with the regulations set down by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to adhere to this legislation might result in works being illegal.
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 an allowing Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a home the legal right to carry out particular works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
It also looks for to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act offers a necessary dispute resolution treatment mediated by a statutorily designated surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the execution of any proposition so informed.
Specifically, such notice should be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the structure owner’) plans to undertake any building and construction work described in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to erect a brand-new wall at a border that is not already built on.
- Section 2 concerns existing party structures, that include party walls, floorings and partitions (that different structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a border wall in between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers must offer in respect of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice associating with Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is very important to keep in mind that the credibility of any notification not supplying all the appropriate information or served in the inaccurate way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notification although many individuals utilize those released by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory brochure released by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Offered all the info needed by the relevant area of the Act is present, an easy letter would be equally legitimate.
Depending on the circumstances of any given job there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom see needs to be served in regard of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be other than an immediate neighbour. It is always more suitable to go over the designated works with adjoining owners before serving them with official composed notification – a proposition well explained may reduce concerns sufficient to prevent a dispute occurring and prevent the necessity to designate property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall might be so small that service of notification under the Act would be typically considered not needed and give as examples works unlikely to affect 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 wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen area cabinets, and the like.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act offered that written permission is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The 3 types of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served a minimum of two months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices should be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.
The mandatory info which Observes must consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s propositions.
- A declaration regarding whether the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or protect the structures of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying sections and strategies showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a structure or structure, its site.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following information as a matter of course despite the type of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement regarding the beginning of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 14 days, an advisory note explaining what happens.
Section 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not approval in writing to works notified by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties should either settle on the appointment of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each designate their own property surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this might just include consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, believed will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of aspects and certainly designated surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same procedure is used to deal with any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that might arise in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory process. A disagreement can arise by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting 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, but if he remains silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually emerged in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still develop, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section however only as relates to real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, 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 request being served. Failure to comply, automatically offers the owner making the request the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are selected, they are required to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might 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 third surveyor is never ever selected by anyone but the Act gives the person so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most frequently hired where the two property surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the costs of the surveyor appointed by the adjoining owner. Rarely will a third surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the entire works however may accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the requirement develops.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, however it ought to not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to make sure that they adhere to the works, and who will pay for the works. They will usually be needed to pay the charges and the cost of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the structure owner.
If they disagree with the award, celebrations have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act allows access to the adjacent home for the functions of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, however they need to be offered 14 days notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 implies that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The details that Observes must supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still develop, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section but only as relates to actual dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s reasons for contesting Section 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the visit of property surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally required to designate a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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