Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of building surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Property Surveyor throughout London and the House 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 a making it possible for Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to undertake specific works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it likewise seeks to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially unfavorable results that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be offered prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act offers an obligatory disagreement resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposal so notified.
Particularly, such notification needs to be served where the owner of a home (referred to as ‘the building owner’) means to undertake any building and construction work described in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 applies where it is proposed to erect a brand-new wall at a border that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, which include party partitions, floors and walls (that different structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a boundary wall in between lands in different ownership which is built astride a border) 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, subject to depth requirements 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 Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification associating with Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the credibility of any notification not offering all the appropriate details or served in the incorrect manner, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no standard type of Notification although many people use those released by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory booklet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, supplied all the info required by the appropriate area of the Act exists, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending upon the circumstances of any given job there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom see requirements to be served in regard of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be aside from an immediate neighbour. It is always more effective to talk about the designated works with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official written notice – a proposal well explained might alleviate concerns sufficient to prevent a conflict developing and prevent the need to designate property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet states that some deal with a party wall may be so minor 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 wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cupboards, and so forth.
- Functions under Area 2 of the Act offered that composed authorization is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Section 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice need to be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notices must be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.
The necessary details which Notices must contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- 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.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s propositions.
- A statement as to whether the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or secure the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying plans and areas revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its website.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following information as a matter of course regardless of the kind of notification:
- The date of the notification.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement as to the start of works relative to the appropriate notice period.
- 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 states that where an adjacent owner does not approval in writing to works informed by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties must either agree on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each designate their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this may only include factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, thought will have to be offered to a commensurately greater number of factors and undoubtedly designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The same procedure is utilized to deal with any subsequent conflicts in between neighbouring owners that may arise in relation to the informed 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 halt the statutory process. A disagreement can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are trivial, but if he stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a period of 2 week after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have emerged in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still arise, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but just as regards real dissent on specific premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for contesting Section 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the consultation of property surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has arisen, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are designated, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the disputed matters and make the essential award. The third surveyor is never ever appointed by anyone however the Act provides the person so selected the very same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most frequently hired where the two surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the charges of the surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Seldom will a third property surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the entire works however might accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need develops.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it must not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to make sure that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. If the work is exclusively for the advantage of the building owner, then they will typically be required to pay the fees and the cost of the works.
Parties have 2 week to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjacent residential or commercial property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner permits or not, nevertheless they must 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, notices and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The information that Notices must offer in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still emerge, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that area but only as relates to actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if requested 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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