Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of structure 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- A NEWBIES GUIDE
We value that many 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 procedure. We likewise comprehend it can be a difficult process for those that have actually not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which intends to supply 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 treatment to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to carry out certain particular works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or minimise disputes by ensuring homeowner alert their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act supplies a system for solving conflicts and enabling works to proceed. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually different structures coming from different owners however could include garden walls constructed astride a boundary– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size structures often only the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of because the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjoining lands, however does not include a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached entirely by separate staircases or separate entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can just be done after informing the adjacent owners and either receiving written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- inserting a moist proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if needed, cutting off any things avoiding this from happening.
- reconstructing a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjoining building.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating structures within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notices are also needed if it is proposed to construct a brand-new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall property surveyor will typically be able to confirm which work is notifiable and guidance the notification period and kind of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to particular particular types of work and is permissive in nature. It needs to not be viewed as a technique of challenging or avoiding works and it is not meant to be applied to minor tasks that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is generally agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notice.
The functions of the Act are constantly prompted by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the problem of legitimate notifications, no additional action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Written notification should be served on adjacent owners at least two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners should be served a notice and there are likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent property is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Works to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or flooring, will likewise need a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Valid notices should consist of the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work including strategies, sections and details of construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is vital to include the right information on a notice as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Reactions To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjacent owner has three possible courses of action:.
- To consent to the works proceeding as described. If there is a disagreement at that phase, a consenting Adjoining Owner retains all rights under the Act including the right to select a surveyor later on in the process.
- To dissent and designate a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or appoint their own separate surveyor.
- Release a counter notification to set out certain conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice need to set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be included for his advantage.
If the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed conflict is said to have occurred and the individual bring out the work needs to appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjoining owners offer written consent to the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no disagreement to fix and no additional requirement for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work earnings as detailed within the notification and no damage is caused, then no more involvement is essential.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may continue. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the plans, notifications and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the impact of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will usually record the condition of the pertinent part of adjacent home before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is thought about great practice and is appropriately offered by most good surveyors). The award may likewise grant access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can examine operate in development.
Normally, the building owner who began the work pays for all expenditures of work and the affordable costs incurred by all celebrations as a result, this will consist of the surveyors charges for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many individuals wishing to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which aims to offer an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a treatment to follow when developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out certain particular works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time securing the interests of anybody else who might be affected by that work. Composed notification should be served on adjacent owners at least two months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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