We are completely qualified specialist Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Schedule of Condition reports and lawfully serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With offices in Central, South and North London it makes us perfectly positioned to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Structure Owner preparing a brand-new task or a neighbour who has been served a Party Wall Notification our knowledge and experience guarantees 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 NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that lots of people wishing to perform works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a daunting procedure for those that have not experienced it before. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which intends to provide an outline 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 includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act allows owners to perform certain particular works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or minimise disagreements by making sure homeowner notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act offers a mechanism for fixing conflicts and allowing works to continue. It also requires that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and method which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls typically different structures coming from various owners however could consist of garden walls developed astride a border– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures frequently just the part that is used by both residential or commercial 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 included because the provisions of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” suggests a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which bases on lands of different owners and is utilized or constructed to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached exclusively by separate entrances or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular products of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjacent owners and either getting written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (but are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- inserting a wet evidence course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if essential, cutting off any objects avoiding this from occurring.
- rebuilding 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 structure.
- excavating foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating structures within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notices are likewise required if it is proposed to develop a brand-new wall on the line of junction (boundary line). A party wall surveyor will typically have the ability to confirm which work is notifiable and advice the notice duration and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain specific types of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be seen as a technique of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to minor tasks that do not affect the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally agreed that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notice.
The operations of the Act are always prompted by the of providing notices. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the issue of legitimate notices, no additional action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notice must be served on adjacent owners a minimum of two months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners need to be served a notification and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjacent residential or commercial property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Works to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or floor, will also need a notice to adjoining owners living above or listed below.
Legitimate notifications should include the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of strategies, sections and details of construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is necessary to include the appropriate information on a notice as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Responses To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has 3 possible courses of action:.
- To consent to the works proceeding as explained. If there is a disagreement at that phase, a consenting Adjacent Owner maintains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to select a surveyor later in the procedure.
- To dissent and appoint a surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or appoint their own different property surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out specific conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice should set out what additional or customized work the Adjoining Owner want to be consisted of for his benefit.
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 must select a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer composed grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no dispute to deal with and no additional need for party wall property surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notification is triggered, then no more involvement is essential.
If adjoining owners dissent to the works (or if no reaction is received and a considered dissent has emerged) then a dispute has taken place which should be solved under the requirements of Area 10 of The Act. It deserves repeating that the Act is one of enablement, it is not there to prevent works from taking place and it offers a route to end disputes at every phase. Where written arrangement is not provided, the solution the Act offers is for both celebrations to select an ‘concurred property surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to designate a property surveyor who in turn appoint a third property surveyor. The property surveyors then interact to concur the terms under which work might proceed. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the plans, notifications and structural information of the works and, after considering the effect of the works, will draw up an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically tape the condition of the pertinent part of adjacent property before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered excellent practice and is properly supplied by most great 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 operate in progress.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work pays for all expenditures of work and the reasonable expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the surveyors costs for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many people wishing to carry out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “newbies guide” which aims to offer 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 treatment to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to carry out particular specific works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who may be impacted by that work. Written notice needs to be served on adjoining owners at least two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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