Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of structure 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a property the legal right to undertake particular works that might otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
However, it also seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse results that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a mandatory dispute resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposition so informed.
Particularly, such notification must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (called ‘the structure owner’) plans to carry out any construction work explained 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 new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Section 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party floorings, walls and partitions (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a border wall between lands in different ownership which is constructed astride a boundary) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The information that Notices need to provide in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification associating with Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is important to note that the credibility of any notification not supplying all the appropriate info or served in the inaccurate way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notice although lots of people utilize those published by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory brochure issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Offered all the details required by the pertinent section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be equally legitimate.
Depending upon the scenarios of any offered task there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom see requirements to be served in respect of the exact same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be aside from an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to go over the intended works with adjoining owners prior to serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well explained may reduce concerns sufficient to prevent a dispute arising and avoid the necessity to designate surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet states that some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be typically regarded as not required and give as examples works unlikely to affect 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 wiring or placing power sockets, and screws to support racks, cooking area cabinets, and so on.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act provided that written consent is obtained from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The three types of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification must be served at least two months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notifications must be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.
The necessary information which Notices must include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator 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 details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether or not 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 website and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its site.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following information as a matter of course regardless of the type of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement as to the commencement of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- An advisory note explaining what takes place if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjacent owner does not permission in writing to works informed by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties must either settle on the visit of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute in between the parties.
Where a project is straightforward, this might only include factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, believed will have to be given to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly appointed 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 resolve any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that may arise in relation to the informed works, consisting of 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 halt the statutory process. A dispute can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter arising out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, however if he stays quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 2 week after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have emerged in any event.
There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still emerge, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that area however only as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for contesting Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the consultation of property surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a single person, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a third property surveyor who might be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the challenged matters and make the essential award. The third property surveyor is never appointed by anyone but the Act gives the person so picked the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most commonly hired where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some specific point and often this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the charges of the property surveyor selected by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a third surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the whole works but may accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need arises.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, however it needs to not be the same individual that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will spend for the works. They will normally be needed to pay the fees and the expense of the works if the work is solely for the advantage of the building owner.
Celebrations have 2 week to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjoining property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, however they must be offered 2 week notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic interactions.
The info that Observes need to supply in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still arise, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works alerted under that area but only as concerns actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for contesting Area 2 and Area 6 works are rarely 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 select an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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