We are Party Wall Surveyors specialising in party wall problems in UK. We have more than twenty five years experience of operating in UK, acting for professionals, services, as well as for people.
Each short is unique, and our devoted team of party wall surveyors is experienced in dealing with all manner of concerns connecting to party walls. We are proud to offer a bespoke service to match the varying needs of our customers.
This website is developed to supply standard details in addition to offering you the chance to contact us straight with your requirements and issues, hence enabling our expert Party Wall Surveyors to encourage you appropriately.
The current legislation handling party walls and associated matters is the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, which governs the rights and obligations of those proposing work to party walls/structures, and/or underpinning thereof, nearby excavations and/or foundations (consisting of piled foundations).
Our team of Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall Surveyors provides an unique specific niche service, which enables you to have the very best quality service at competitively priced fees.
For additional information contact one of our Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall surveyors on 03300100262.
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 and so on. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to carry out specific works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
It likewise seeks to protect the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be offered prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act offers a necessary dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the application of any proposition so informed.
Particularly, such notification needs to be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the building owner’) plans to carry out any construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Area 1 applies where it is proposed to set up a new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, which include party floors, partitions and walls (that separate structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a boundary wall between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The details that Observes should supply in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the credibility of any notice not supplying all the relevant information or served in the inaccurate way, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no standard type of Notification although many individuals use those released by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory pamphlet issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, provided all the information needed by the pertinent section of the Act is present, a basic letter would be equally valid.
Depending upon the scenarios of any provided task there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom notice needs to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be other than an instant neighbour. It is constantly preferable to talk about the designated deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official written notification – a proposal well explained might relieve issues adequate to prevent a conflict emerging and prevent the need to designate property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory brochure says that some works on a party wall might be so small that service of notice under the Act would be generally considered not required and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or support 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, kitchen cupboards, and the like.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act supplied that composed approval is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three types of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 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 begin that work. The other 2 notices must be served a minimum of one month prior to work starting.
The mandatory info which Observes should contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- 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 structure owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A declaration regarding whether the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or secure the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying plans and areas showing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a building or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following details as a matter of course regardless of the type of notice:
- 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 various).
- A declaration as to the beginning of works relative to the proper notice period.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 14 days, an advisory note discussing what happens.
Section 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not authorization in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties should either agree on the appointment of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (referred to as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each appoint their own property surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute in between the celebrations.
Where a task is straightforward, this may just involve consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and certainly selected 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 very same treatment is utilized to fix any subsequent disputes in between neighbouring owners that may develop in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A dispute can occur by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building 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 stays quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually developed in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still develop, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section however only as concerns real dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally required to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives the owner making the demand the statutory authority to select a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the choice, in composing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the challenged matters and make the necessary award. The third property surveyor is never appointed by anybody but the Act provides the individual so picked the very same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
Third surveyors are most typically hired where the two surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their deliberations over some specific point and often this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works however might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need occurs.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, however it should 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 evaluation of the works to ensure that they adhere to the works, and who will pay for the works. They will typically be needed to pay the fees and the expense of the works if the work is entirely for the advantage of the building owner.
Parties have 14 days to interest the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act allows access to the adjoining home for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, nevertheless they need to be given 14 days notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notices and other files can be served by electronic communications.
The information that Notices must supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid dispute can still develop, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works notified under that section however just as relates to real dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Area 2 and Area 6 works are rarely specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to select a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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