Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of structure surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the Home 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 NOVICES GUIDE
We value that many individuals wanting to carry out deal with their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a challenging process for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “novices 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 provides a treatment to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to perform certain specific works, consisting of 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 designed to prevent or minimise disputes by making sure property owners alert their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act offers a system for resolving disputes and allowing works to continue. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and method which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally different buildings coming from various owners but might include garden walls constructed astride a boundary– referred to as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size buildings typically just the part that is utilized by both homes 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 since the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not being part of a building) which stands on lands of various owners and is utilized or built to be used for separating such adjoining lands, but does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached entirely by separate staircases or different entrances;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular products 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 include (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a wet evidence course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if essential, cutting off any items avoiding this from occurring.
- rebuilding a party and destroying wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjacent structure.
- 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.
If it is proposed to construct a brand-new wall on the line of junction (border line), notifications are likewise needed. A party wall property surveyor will typically have the ability to validate which work is notifiable and guidance the notification duration and type of notification required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular particular types of work and is permissive in nature. It needs to not be viewed as an approach of objecting to or preventing works and it is not planned to be applied to minor jobs that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notification.
The functions of the Act are always prompted by the of providing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of legitimate notifications, no more action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Written notice 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 adjoining owners must be served a notice and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjoining property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be needed 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 likewise need a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Valid notifications must consist of the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of plans, areas and details of construction methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is important to include the correct details on a notice as, if they are deemed invalid, then any subsequent actions are also invalid.
Reactions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notification, an adjoining owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To grant the works proceeding as described. A consenting Adjacent Owner maintains all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a surveyor later on at the same time if there is a conflict at that stage.
- To dissent and designate a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or appoint their own separate property surveyor.
- Provide a counter notice to set out specific conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner want to be included for his benefit.
Most of the times, if the adjoining does not respond within 2 week then a considered disagreement is said to have occurred and the person performing the work must designate a property surveyor to act upon the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners provide written consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no conflict to fix and no further need for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work profits as detailed within the notice and no damage is triggered, then no additional participation is required.
If adjacent owners dissent to the works (or if no action is received and a deemed dissent has emerged) then a conflict has actually taken place which need to be solved under the requirements of Area 10 of The Act. It is worth restating that the Act is one of enablement, it is not there to prevent works from happening and it offers a path to end disputes at every stage. Where composed arrangement is not given, the solution the Act offers is for both celebrations to appoint an ‘concurred surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to appoint a property surveyor who in turn appoint a 3rd property surveyor. The surveyors then interact to concur the terms under which work might proceed. The property surveyor( s) will review the strategies, notices and structural details of the works and, after considering the effect of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically tape the condition of the pertinent part of adjoining property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered good practice and is properly supplied by most good property surveyors). The award might also approve access to both properties so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can inspect work in progress.
Normally, the building owner who started the work spends for all expenses of work and the affordable costs incurred by all parties as a result, this will consist of the property surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that many individuals wanting to carry out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, offers his “beginners guide” which intends to provide 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 supplies 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 boundaries. The Act allows owners to bring out certain particular works, consisting of work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time securing the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. Written notice needs to be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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