Faulkners Surveyors As qualified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every element needed to advise upon and deal with Party Wall problems, such as:

  • Preparing and serving legitimate Party Wall Notices
  • Acting as the Building Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
  • Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Property 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 experts and work in accordance with the regulations set down by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors.

The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to adhere to this legislation may result in works being unlawful.

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.

wall party

Party Wall Act

The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to undertake specific works that might otherwise make up trespass or problem.

It likewise seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse results that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notice of them.

In addition, the Act offers a compulsory disagreement resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily designated surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the implementation of any proposal so alerted.

Specifically, such notification should be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the building owner’) intends to undertake any building work explained in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:

The details that Notices need to provide in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice associating with Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is important to note that the validity of any notification not offering all the relevant info or served in the incorrect way, could be open to challenge in Court.

There is no standard form of Notification although many individuals utilize those published by the RICS or versions added to the explanatory brochure released by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, offered all the details needed by the pertinent area of the Act exists, a basic letter would be equally valid.

Depending upon the circumstances of any given task there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom notice needs to be served in respect of the same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be besides an immediate neighbour. It is always preferable to discuss the intended deal with adjoining owners prior to serving them with formal written notice – a proposition well discussed might relieve concerns enough to prevent a dispute occurring and avoid the requirement to select property surveyors.

There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:

  1. De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some deal with a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be normally considered not required and give as examples works not likely to affect the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cabinets, and so on.
  2. Works under Area 2 of the Act provided that composed approval is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.

The three kinds of Notification are understood, respectively as:

A party structure notice should be served at least two months prior to 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 starting.

The obligatory details which Discovers need to contain are as follows:

The majority of the pro-forma notices in use include the following info as a matter of course despite the kind of notice:

Area 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not permission in writing to works alerted by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either agree on the visit of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property 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 may only include consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex plans, thought will have to be provided to a commensurately greater number of aspects and indeed selected 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 very same treatment is used to fix any subsequent conflicts in between neighbouring owners that might emerge in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.

Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A disagreement can arise by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in regard of some matter developing out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are trivial, however if he stays quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 14 days after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act deems a dissent to have actually developed in any event.

There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Section 1 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still arise, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but only as concerns actual dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for challenging Section 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the visit of property surveyors and in most cases not even then.

Where dissent has occurred, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally required to select a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, automatically gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.

Where two property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to identify the contested matters and make the essential award. The 3rd surveyor is never ever selected by anyone however the Act gives the person so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.

Third surveyors are most frequently hired where the two surveyors have actually reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the property surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a third 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 requirement emerges.

There is no definition of who can be a property surveyor, however it ought to not be the same person that will supervise the works.

The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to guarantee that they comply with the works, and who will spend for the works. They will typically be needed to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is entirely for the advantage of the building owner.

If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.

The Act permits access to the adjacent property for the functions of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, however they must be offered 2 week notice.

NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 indicates that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.

The information that Discovers should supply in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections 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 develop, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works alerted under that section however only as relates to actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.

Where dissent has actually arisen, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single individual, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served.

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