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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.

Party Wall act

How The Party Wall and so on.

Act 1996 Functions In simplified terms, the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 can be divided into two phases; to start with the Notifying Stage and second of all, if required, the Disputed Phase. The first stage is where the Structure Owners have a legal responsibility to serve an official Notice detailing the proposed works upon the Adjacent Owners. If the Adjacent Owners are satisfied that the Structure Owners’ proposed works will be of no trouble or, posture no danger of damage to their residential or commercial property, the Adjoining Owners only require to verify, in writing, that they grant the works and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 could end there. The 2nd stage would only be triggered if the Adjacent Owners had any concerns relating to the Building Owners’ proposals or selected to disregard the Notice served by the Building Owners.
A disagreement would then be deemed to have actually arisen and, the framework provided by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 allows a resolution so that the Structure Owners might carry out works whilst providing protection to both celebrations. At the point of a “conflict” having emerged, both the Building Owners and the Adjacent Owners have to select a Party Wall Surveyor to proceed with dealing with the conflict. This could be by means of different property surveyor appointments or, by agreeing to a single surveyor, called the Agreed Surveyor.
Party Wall Surveyors are duty bound to administer the Act impartially as they are, in essence, representatives of the Court. Prior to any disagreement occurring, Structure Owners and Adjoining Owners do not always need the services of a Party Wall Property Surveyor. However, The Party Wall Company are typically commissioned to provide recommendations on the Act and to serve the appropriate Party Wall Notices, ensuring they are legally legitimate. When designated, the Surveyors will consider the proposed works and agree a Party Wall Award which would information the building works and how they ought to be carried out. The rights given within the Party Wall Award go through the Building Owners making good any damage or, the payment of damages in lieu of making good.

What is a Party Wall Notice?

Structure Owners preparing to carry out any of the works defined within the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 have a legal obligation to serve written Notice on any Adjoining Owner who may be affected by the Building Owners proposed works. There is no main template for a Notice. Sufficient detail of the proposed works, legal names of all Owners, and when the proposed works will begin are all important to ensure the validity of the Notice.
The case of Lehmann vs Herman (1993) shows the significance of serving a valid Notice. Mr and Mrs Lehmann and Mr and Mrs Herman owned adjoining residential or commercial properties. Mr Herman wished to fix the Party Fence Wall that divided the two gardens and served a Notice on Mr and Mrs Lehmann. Nevertheless, as Mr Herman just served the Notification in his name, Mr and Mrs Lehmann refused to accept the Notification as standing and argued that as both Mr and Mrs Herman would be considered Structure Owners under the Act, Mrs Herman should likewise be included on the Notification. The dispute wound up in court and the judge agreed with the Lehmanns that the Notice was void.

What is a Party Wall Award?

A Party Wall Award is a lawfully binding file in between Building Owners and Adjoining Owners, which has actually been concurred by the designated surveyor( s), authorising the execution of building work in accordance with the Act. An Arrange of Condition survey of the Adjoining Owners property, although not a specific requirement of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, is popular and forms a reference file within the Award.

I Currently Have Preparation Authorization And/ Or Structure Control Approval. Do I Still Required To Follow The Party Wall Act?

The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an absolutely different piece of statute legislation to the Town and Nation Preparation Act 1990 or the Structure Act 1984. Therefore, if your prepared works would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act then yes, you would have to follow the treatments set out within the Act. No Local Authority consent or approval would remove the legal commitment to serve a Party Wall Notice upon your neighbour( s).

Does The Party Wall Act Cover Garden Fences?

The Act does cover “Party Fence Walls” which are considered to be a wall of strong structure that sits astride a border and not belonging to a building. Any works to such walls that would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also use to Party Fence Walls. Timber fencing, precast concrete posts with infill panel fencing, etc would not be deemed to be a Party Fence Wall, whether astride a border or not.

If the Adjacent Owners are pleased that the Building Owners’ proposed works will be of no hassle or, position no threat of damage to their property, the Adjoining Owners only need to verify, in composing, that they consent to the works and the Party Wall etc. At the point of a “dispute” having emerged, both the Building Owners and the Adjoining Owners have to designate a Party Wall Surveyor to proceed with fixing the conflict. The Party Wall Business are typically commissioned to provide guidance on the Act and to serve the appropriate Party Wall Notices, ensuring they are legally legitimate. A Party Wall Award is a lawfully binding file between Building Owners and Adjoining Owners, which has actually been agreed by the designated property surveyor( s), authorising the execution of building work in accordance with the Act. Any works to such walls that would be deemed notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also apply to Party Fence Walls.

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