The Faulkners Surveyors is a professional Chartered Building Surveying Practice that runs throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors carries out all aspects of the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 and provides the following services:
Impartial guidance on all Party Wall Matters
Preparation and service of valid Party Wall Notices
Acting as Party Wall Surveyor for either Adjacent Owners or Building Owners
Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
Carrying Out Schedules of Condition surveys
Preparation and settlement of Party Wall Awards (Contracts).
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 impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to think that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden construction, however it does impact the construction of boundary 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 provides you rights and obligations 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 boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not affect any requirement for Preparation Permission for any work carried out. Having Preparation Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if somebody is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just indicate the wall between 2 semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes however is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act affects structure work in general, have a look at this page.
As with all work affecting neighbours, it is always much better to reach a friendly arrangement rather than resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally talk about the intended work, think about the neighbours remarks, and modify your strategies (if proper) before serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and authorization.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be alerted. If in doubt, recommendations ought to be sought from a regional Building Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party boundary wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
If the planned deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification should be issued to all affected neighbouring parties. The notice must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the property undertaking the work.
- The address of the property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will normally be simply a single sentence describing the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing revealing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a brand-new boundary wall approximately or astride the border line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual meaning to perform the work needs to serve a composed notice at least one months prior to the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in writing providing approval or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of receiving the notice, the result is to put the notice into dispute. However no formal contract is required for a wall as much as the border line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in writing.
- No work may commence on a wall astride the border line till all neighbouring celebrations have actually agreed in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See listed below concerning what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification needs to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations need to offer written arrangement within 14 days or a disagreement is deemed to have actually happened.
See listed below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If a dispute arises, what happens.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the process is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to figure out a unbiased and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the individual celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will typically have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Surveyor. However it should be noted that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory obligations and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (somebody acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the specific Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be reasonable and neutral to all parties.
- As soon as an Award has been made, all parties have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
When you have agreement.
Once you have agreement, all work needs to comply with the notification. All the contracts should be maintained to ensure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property might wish to develop that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We have actually only given a quick overview of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however have a look at the Communities and City government site for a more comprehensive explanatory booklet consisting of example letters for actions and notices.
- Discussing intended work with neighbours is totally free and can prevent misconception which might arise if a notice arrives all of a sudden.
- Your regional Building Control Office may be able to give totally free recommendations regarding the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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