We are Party Wall Surveyors specialising in party wall problems in UK. We have over twenty five years experience of working in UK, acting for experts, companies, as well as for individuals.
Each brief is unique, and our devoted team of party wall surveyors is experienced in handling all manner of problems connecting to party walls. We are proud to provide a bespoke service to match the varying requirements of our clients.
This site is developed to offer fundamental information in addition to using you the opportunity to contact us straight with your problems and requirements, hence enabling our expert Party Wall Surveyors to recommend you appropriately.
The existing legislation dealing with 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, surrounding excavations and/or foundations (including piled structures).
Our group of Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall Surveyors provides a special specific niche service, which allows you to have the very best quality service at competitively priced costs.
For more information contact among 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 etc. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to carry out certain works that might otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
It likewise looks for to secure the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially unfavorable effects that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be offered prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act offers a necessary disagreement resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposition so alerted.
Particularly, such notification must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (called ‘the building owner’) intends 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 uses where it is proposed to erect a brand-new wall at a limit that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party partitions, floors and walls (that different structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a border wall in between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Observes must supply in regard 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 areas but the requirements of a Notice connecting to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is important to keep in mind that the credibility of any notification not offering all the relevant details or served in the inaccurate way, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no standard kind of Notification although many individuals utilize those published by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory brochure provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, provided all the info needed by the relevant section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be equally valid.
Depending on the situations of any provided project there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom discover needs to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be besides an instant neighbour. It is always more suitable to discuss the desired works with adjoining owners prior to serving them with official written notice – a proposition well explained may alleviate concerns sufficient to prevent a disagreement developing and prevent the requirement to select property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory brochure states that some works on a party wall might be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be normally regarded as not required and give as examples works not likely 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 placing power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen cupboards, and so on.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act offered that composed approval is obtained from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notification are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification need to be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notices should be served at least one month prior to work commencing.
The necessary information which Notices should contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- 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 building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- A sign of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or protect the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying areas and strategies revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a structure or structure, its site.
The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following details as a matter of course no matter the kind of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- 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 regarding the commencement of works relative to the suitable notification period.
- An advisory note discussing what occurs if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to respond within 2 week.
Section 10 of the Act states that where an adjoining owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties should either agree on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each appoint their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute in between the celebrations.
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, thought will need to be given to a commensurately greater number of factors and certainly selected 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 very same procedure is used to fix any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that may occur in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory process. A disagreement can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter developing out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are not important, but if he remains quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually emerged in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A valid conflict can still develop, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that area but only as regards actual dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Area 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of property surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a bachelor, 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. Failure to comply, immediately gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to designate a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are appointed, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a 3rd surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to figure out the challenged matters and make the required award. The 3rd property surveyor is never appointed by anyone however the Act gives the individual so chose the exact same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the fees 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 might join with 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 should not be the same person that will monitor 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 examination of the works to make sure that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. They will typically be needed to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is entirely for the advantage of the building owner.
Parties have 2 week to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjacent property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjoining owner gives permission or not, however they must be provided 14 days notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notices and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The details that Observes should offer in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still develop, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works alerted under that section however just as relates to real dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for contesting Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom specified prior to the consultation of property surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to select an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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