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Our surveyors are regulated by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors and bring professional 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 many people wishing to perform deal with their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction procedure. We also comprehend it can be a daunting procedure for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “newbies guide” which aims to offer 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 offers a procedure to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to perform certain particular works, consisting of 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 created to avoid or minimise conflicts by making certain homeowner notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act supplies a system for dealing with conflicts and allowing works to proceed. It likewise requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls generally separate structures coming from different owners however could include garden walls constructed astride a border– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size buildings often just the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included because the arrangements of the Act are not limited to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act defines 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 consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed assistance of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached entirely by separate staircases or separate entrances;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain products of work that you can just 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 restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist evidence course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any items preventing this from taking place.
- 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 building.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within 6 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 new wall on the line of junction (border line). A party wall surveyor will usually be able to validate which work is notifiable and suggestions the notice duration and type of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be viewed as a technique of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not meant to be applied to minor jobs that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is normally concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not need a notification.
The functions of the Act are always instigated by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of valid notices, no further action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Written notification needs to be served on adjoining owners at least two months before 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 circumstances where there is more than one adjacent property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjoining residential or commercial property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also require a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Valid notifications must include the following details as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work including plans, sections and information of construction approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is important to include the correct information on a notice as, if they are deemed invalid, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Reactions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notification, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works proceeding as described. A consenting Adjacent Owner retains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a property surveyor later on in the process if there is a dispute at that stage.
- To dissent and designate a surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or appoint their own separate property surveyor.
- Provide a counter notice to set out particular conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice should set out what additional or customized work the Adjoining Owner wish to be consisted of for his advantage.
If the adjacent does not react within 14 days then a considered dispute is stated to have actually taken place and the person bring out the work must appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer composed grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no conflict to deal with and no additional requirement for party wall property surveyors or, undoubtedly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notification is triggered, then no additional participation is needed.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work might continue. The property surveyor( s) will review 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 tape-record the condition of the pertinent part of adjacent residential or commercial property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about good practice and is appropriately provided by the majority of great surveyors). The award might likewise approve access to both properties so that the works can be safely performed and the surveyor/s can inspect operate in progress.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all expenditures of work and the reasonable costs incurred by all parties as a result, this will include the surveyors charges for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that lots of people wanting to carry out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “novices guide” which intends to offer a summary 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 building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. Composed notification needs to 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).
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