We pride ourselves on our versatility and personal participation towards our clients requirements. Faulkners Surveyors are a broadening team of property surveyors with a wealth of expertise, ability and experience. If you are looking for a professional yet versatile method to all your property matters then call Faulkners Surveyors for a helpful chat.
Our property surveyors are controlled by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors and bring expert indemnity insurance to cover their work.
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 BEGINNERS GUIDE
We appreciate that lots of people wishing to perform works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction procedure. We also understand it can be a challenging process for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior surveyors, uses his “beginners guide” which intends to supply 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 supplies a procedure to follow when building work involves 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 specific works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or reduce disagreements by making certain homeowner alert their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for resolving disagreements and allowing works to proceed. It also needs that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls typically separate buildings coming from different owners however could include garden walls developed astride a boundary– referred to as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size buildings often just the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included due to the fact that the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not belonging to a structure) which stands on lands of various owners and is utilized or constructed to be used for separating such adjacent lands, however does not include a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached exclusively by different staircases or different entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain items of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either getting written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- inserting a moist evidence course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if essential, cutting off any items avoiding this from occurring.
- demolishing and restoring a party 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 adjacent building.
- excavating structures within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notices are also required if it is proposed to develop a brand-new wall on the line of junction (border line). A party wall property surveyor will normally have the ability to verify which work is notifiable and suggestions the notification duration and kind of notice needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It needs to not be seen as a technique of challenging or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to minor tasks that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is usually agreed that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not need a notification.
The workings of the Act are constantly prompted by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the concern of legitimate notices, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notice must be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners must be served a notice and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent property and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjoining residential or commercial property is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be needed 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 require a notification to adjoining owners living above or below.
Valid notices need to consist of the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work consisting of strategies, areas and details of building and construction methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is vital to consist of the correct information on a notice as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise void.
Responses To Notifications.
On invoice of a notice, an adjacent owner has 3 possible courses of action:.
- To consent to the works going on as explained. A consenting Adjoining Owner keeps all rights under the Act consisting of the right to appoint a surveyor later while doing so if there is a conflict at that phase.
- To dissent and designate a surveyor. The Act allows the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or select their own different property surveyor.
- Provide a counter notice to set out specific conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice need to set out what additional or customized work the Adjoining Owner want to be consisted of for his benefit.
If the adjacent does not respond within 14 days then a deemed disagreement is said to have actually happened and the person carrying out the work should appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners supply composed consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no disagreement to deal with and no more need for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work earnings as detailed within the notification and no damage is triggered, then no more involvement is essential.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work might proceed. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the effect of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically tape the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about excellent practice and is appropriately offered by many good surveyors). The award might also approve access to both properties so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can examine work in development.
Normally, the building owner who started the work pays for all expenditures of work and the affordable expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that lots of people wishing to carry out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which intends to offer an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to bring out particular specific works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who may be impacted by that work. Written notification 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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