Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the House Counties.
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
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, nevertheless it does impact the construction of limit walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to border fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Approval for any work carried out. Having Planning Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if somebody is planning to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just indicate the wall in between 2 semi-detached homes, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the properties but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects building work in general, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly arrangement instead of turn to any law. Even where the work requires a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, think about the neighbours remarks, and modify your plans (if suitable) before serving the notice.
What garden work requires a notification and approval.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have a result upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be alerted. If in doubt, guidance ought to be looked for from a local Structure Control Office or professional surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or destroy border wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
A notice needs to be issued to all affected neighbouring celebrations if the prepared work on a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notice needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home carrying out the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will usually be just a single sentence detailing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a new boundary wall approximately or astride the limit line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to perform the work should serve a written notification at least one months before the desired start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party should respond in writing providing consent or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of receiving the notification, the effect is to put the notification into conflict. No formal contract is needed for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour just requires not to object in composing.
- No work may start on a wall astride the border line up until all neighbouring parties have actually concurred in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See listed below regarding what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served a minimum of one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations should give written arrangement within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have actually occurred.
See below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
What happens if a dispute occurs.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring celebrations, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are selected to determine a objective and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all parties).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the individual parties.
The person who is carrying out the work will usually have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor needlessly – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. However it must be kept in mind that any Property surveyor needs to act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a reasonable and unbiased Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be neutral and reasonable to all celebrations.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
All work needs to comply with the notification when you have arrangement. All the arrangements must be retained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the property may wish to develop that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually just provided a quick summary of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but take a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more extensive explanatory booklet including example letters for notifications and responses.
- If a notification shows up all of a sudden, going over designated work with neighbours is complimentary and can avoid misconception which might occur.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace might be able to give totally free suggestions concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
Around the Web