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 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.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, however it does affect the building of boundary walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work undertaken. Likewise, having Planning Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters impact if someone is planning to do work on a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just mean the wall between 2 semi-detached properties, as far as gardeners are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes however is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in basic, take a look at this page.
Similar to all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly agreement rather than turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the designated work, consider the neighbours remarks, and modify your plans (if proper) before serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and authorization.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have a result upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be informed. If in doubt, advice ought to be sought from a local Structure Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To destroy and/or rebuild/build a party limit wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
A notification needs to be issued to all affected neighbouring celebrations if the planned work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notification must consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will generally be just a single sentence laying out the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position and so on
If the prepared work is a brand-new boundary wall up to or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to perform the work must serve a written notification at least one months prior to the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in composing offering authorization or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of getting the notification, the effect is to put the notification into disagreement. No official contract is required for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour just requires not to object in writing.
- No work might commence on a wall astride the limit line until all neighbouring parties have actually concurred in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See below concerning what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served a minimum of one month prior to the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to offer written agreement within 14 days or a disagreement is deemed to have actually taken place.
See listed below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute arises, what takes place.
If agreement can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the process is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to determine a neutral and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- Each party selects their own Surveyor to represent the specific parties.
The individual who is performing the work will usually need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. It must be noted that any Surveyor should act within their statutory duties and propose a objective and reasonable Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the specific Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which should be reasonable and neutral to all celebrations.
- When an Award has been made, all celebrations have 14 days to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
As soon as you have agreement, all work must adhere to the notification. All the arrangements need to be kept to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the residential or commercial property might wish to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually only offered a brief overview of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however have a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more extensive explanatory brochure including example letters for reactions and notifications.
- If a notice gets here all of a sudden, talking about designated work with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misunderstanding which may develop.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace might be able to give totally free guidance relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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