Faulkners Surveyors As certified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every element necessary to advise upon and deal with Party Wall issues, such as:
- Preparing and serving legitimate Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Structure Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
- Undertaking and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are specialists and work in accordance with the guidelines set down by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to comply with this legislation may lead to 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 enabling Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a property the legal right to undertake certain works that might otherwise constitute trespass or nuisance.
However, it also looks for to protect the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the execution of any proposal so notified.
Specifically, such notification must be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to undertake any building and construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is only 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 already built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, which include party partitions, floors and walls (that separate buildings or parts of buildings), party fence walls (basically a boundary wall in between lands in separate ownership which is constructed astride a boundary) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Notices must supply in regard of works covered the above areas 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 connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is important to keep in mind that the validity of any notice not offering all the appropriate info or served in the inaccurate manner, could be open to challenge in Court.
There is no basic type of Notification although lots of people use those released by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Supplied all the info required by the pertinent area of the Act is present, a simple letter would be similarly valid.
Depending upon the circumstances of any offered task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom observe requirements to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be aside from an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to talk about the intended deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well discussed may alleviate concerns sufficient to prevent a disagreement emerging and avoid the necessity to appoint surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall might be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be normally considered not required and give as examples works not likely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, cooking area cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act supplied that written permission is gotten from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 types of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Section 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice must be served a minimum of 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notifications need to be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.
The compulsory info which Observes need to contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- A sign of the structure owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- 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 proposals.
- A declaration as to whether or not the building owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or safeguard the foundations of the building or structure of the adjoining 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 put up a building or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following information as a matter of course despite the kind of notice:
- The date of the notification.
- If various), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A declaration as to the beginning of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- 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 adjoining owner does not authorization in writing to works alerted by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties must either agree on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each designate their own property surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.
Where a job is straightforward, this might just involve factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, thought will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of aspects and undoubtedly appointed property 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 same procedure is used to fix any subsequent disagreements between neighbouring owners that might develop in relation to the notified works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not halt the statutory process. A conflict can emerge by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter arising out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, however if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have arisen in any event.
There is no considered 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 informed under that section however just as relates to real dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the consultation of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually emerged, whether actual or considered, both owners are lawfully required to designate an agreed surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment 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 designate 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 selected, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who may be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to figure out the disputed matters and make the essential award. The third surveyor is never ever appointed by anyone however the Act offers the individual so chose the same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most typically hired where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some particular point and often this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the property surveyor selected by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a 3rd property surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the whole works but might accompany one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need develops.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, but it must not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to guarantee that they adhere to the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is exclusively for the advantage of the building owner, then they will generally be needed to pay the charges and the expense of the works.
If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act permits access to the adjacent home for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, however they need to be offered 14 days notification.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notices and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The details that Notices must offer in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still emerge, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section however only as regards real dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for contesting Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the consultation of property surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single individual, a property 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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