We are completely certified specialist Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Arrange of Condition reports and lawfully serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With workplaces in Central, South and North London it makes us perfectly positioned to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Building Owner preparing a brand-new job or a neighbour who has been served a Party Wall Notification our knowledge and experience ensures we are constantly best prepared to help with your Party Wall requirements.
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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- A NOVICES GUIDE
We value that many individuals wishing to carry out deal with their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a difficult procedure for those that have not experienced it before. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “novices guide” which intends to supply an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a procedure to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to carry out particular particular works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is created to avoid or minimise conflicts by ensuring homeowner notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act offers a system for dealing with disputes and allowing works to continue. It likewise needs that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls typically separate structures coming from various owners but could consist of garden walls developed astride a border– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size structures often just the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the individual or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of due to the fact that the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” means a wall (not being part of a structure) which stands on lands of various owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjoining lands, but does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached entirely by different staircases or different entrances;
What is covered by the Act?
There are specific products of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either receiving written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- inserting a wet proof course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if required, cutting off any items preventing this from occurring.
- restoring a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notifications are likewise needed if it is proposed to develop a new wall on the line of junction (border line). A party wall property surveyor will typically have the ability to verify which work is notifiable and recommendations the notification duration and type of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to particular particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be seen as an approach of challenging or avoiding works and it is not meant to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notice.
The operations of the Act are constantly prompted by the of providing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the issue of valid notices, no additional action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Written notice needs to be served on adjacent owners a minimum of two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners need to be served a notice and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjacent residential or commercial property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Works to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or floor, will likewise need a notification to adjoining owners living above or below.
Legitimate notifications need to consist of the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work consisting of plans, sections and information of construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is vital to include the right details on a notification as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Responses To Notifications.
On receipt of a notification, an adjoining owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To grant the works going on as described. A consenting Adjacent Owner keeps all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a surveyor later at the same time if there is a dispute at that stage.
- To dissent and select a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or select their own different surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out certain conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification ought to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner wish to be consisted of for his advantage.
If the adjoining does not react within 14 days then a deemed disagreement is said to have taken place and the person bring out the work should select a surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply written consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to deal with and no more requirement for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work earnings as detailed within no damage and the notification is triggered, then no further participation is required.
The property surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work may proceed. The surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notifications and structural information of the works and, after considering the impact of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically record the condition of the pertinent part of adjoining residential or commercial property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is thought about good practice and is appropriately provided by many good property surveyors). The award may likewise give access to both properties so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress.
Generally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all expenses of work and the reasonable expenses sustained by all parties as a result, this will include the property surveyors costs for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many people wanting to carry out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which intends to provide a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a procedure to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to bring out particular specific works, including work to the complete thickness of a party wall, whilst at the very same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who might be affected by that work. Written notification should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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