Faulkners Surveyors is a respectable and expert firm of party wall surveyors in Ashford, specialising in all party wall matters in Ashford and the Home Counties. The company was founded in 2010 with the coming together of three independent skilled Surveyors who specialise in this niché location of surveying.
What is a party wall in Ashford?
A party wall is a wall that sits directly on the border of land in between 2 (and often more) various owners. Fine examples include the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced homes– or walls that comprise the border between two gardens (party fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to houses in England and Wales and was developed to prevent building work that could jeopardize the structural integrity of any shared wall (party wall) or adjacent residential or commercial properties. If they must arise, the Party Wall Act can be used to stop disagreements between neighbours and to help fix them.
The Party Wall Act 1996 does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland where common law is utilized to settle party wall problems.
Do I need a party wall agreement?
If you plan on carrying out any structure work near or on a party wall, a party wall agreement is required. You must tell your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in writing. If you use a builder or a designer then they need to have the ability to recommend you on this, although they will not serve the notification for you.
The following works need you to get a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) between terraced and semi-detached houses.
- Work involving shared ‘celebration structures’, such as floors in between flats.
- Work to garden boundary walls.
- Excavation works– or underpinning– to, or nearby (within 3-6m), the party wall.
- Loft conversions that suggest cutting into a party wall.
- Placing a wet evidence course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Building a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Building a new wall up to or off the party wall.
Which tasks do not need a party wall agreement?
Not all work to party walls requires a party wall agreement. These consist of small works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen systems or shelving. Having the wall plastered or adding or replacing electrical wiring or sockets will not need an arrangement either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice must be offered to your neighbours to offer them with notice of the works you mean to perform to the party wall in question, in between 2 months and a year in advance of the work starting.
Preparation permission is not required to serve a party wall notice and, due to the fact that you will have up to a year to start work once the notification has been served, it is a great concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You need to speak with your neighbours in person initially prior to serving composed notice in order to reassure them that you are taking the correct route and precautions. This ought to help you prevent misunderstandings or disagreements, and enable a speedy contract to be written up.
You might likewise offer your neighbour information of the Party Wall Act to help them understand the procedure– point them in the direction of the Party Wall details section on the Federal government’s site.
In order to officially serve notice, you ought to write to your affected neighbour( s), including your contact details, extensive details of the work that you have actually planned, the date that work will start, as well as any access requirements over their home (maybe to get products or devices onto website). When it comes to adjacent leasehold homes, you should serve notice to the structure’s owners in addition to to the tenant( s) living there.
A helpful guide, along with Party Wall Notice templates can be found on the Federal government’s website here. It is a good idea to confine a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to return and sign– which, if you have actually spoken with them prior to sending, should not come as a surprise.
What happens when my neighbour gets my Party Wall Notice?
They have numerous options:
- Provide permission in writing.
- Decline approval– beginning the ‘dispute resolution procedure’.
- Issue a counter notice, requesting that additional works be carried out at the same time (something they will be needed to spend for if they will be taking advantage of the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You should wait for an action– your neighbour should let you know, in composing, within 2 week if they consent. The best case scenario is that they agree to all the works, in composing, implying you will not need a party wall agreement, which saves on charges.
A counter notification needs to be released within a month of your notice. Then the disagreement resolution procedure starts, if your neighbours do not react within the above timescales.
What happens if I don’t serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst stopping working to get a Party Wall Agreement is not really a legal offense, not only will you be breaching a ‘statutory duty’ however you likewise run the risk of needing to spend for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour could claim their residential or commercial property has been damaged by your work and with no information or evidence of the previous state of the home (which a party wall notice would have offered you) there is not much you can do.
The courts tend to take a bad view of failure to serve a party wall notice and you may be purchased to pay for repair work which, in reality, might not be your duty. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action against you and have an injunction issued to prevent any further work until a party wall agreement is set up. This will postpone the project and could increase costs.
My neighbour declined to offer grant my party wall agreement – what happens next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines permission or fails to respond, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a couple of choices here. You might call your neighbour, listen to their concerns and attempt to come to a contract you are both happy with. This is the perfect.
They might write to you with a counter notice. These notifications usually request changes to the work defined, or extra works, or in some cases conditions such as limited working hours. You should put them in composing and continue if you can both agree on these changed terms. Your neighbour might need to meet a share of the costs of any extra work that they request which will benefit them.
Then you will require to appoint a party wall surveyor, if an agreement is out of the concern. You might designate a property surveyor to work for both of you, or each select your own. The property surveyor will arrange a Party Wall Award, setting out information of the work.
The Party Wall Award is a legal file setting out what, how and when work can be carried out and who will spend for it (including property surveyor’s charges). If you are not happy with the award, you can appeal against it at a county court, submitting an ‘appellant’s notice’ to discuss why you are launching an appeal.
Do I require a party wall surveyor?
In many cases individuals discover they do not require the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour reacts to your notice allowing in composing that works can start, there is normally no requirement to appoint a property surveyor.
Either way, you are still responsible for making sure any damage caused throughout the works is fixed. Examine the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share pictures of the wall in order to prevent later disputes– for instance existing cracks. Some individuals decide to ask a property surveyor to carry out a condition survey at this phase in order to minimise the risk of disagreements.
If your neighbour does not give permission, you will require a Party Wall Award and, for that reason, a party wall surveyor. Generally you and your neighbour will use just one surveyor (an excellent idea as it implies only one set of costs).
Costs vary, but on average, a Party Wall Award expenses around ₤ 1,000 in overall.
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on bring out any structure work near or on a party wall. You need to inform your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in writing. Not all work to party walls needs a party wall agreement. Preparation approval is not required to serve a party wall notice and, since you will have up to a year to start work once the notification has actually been served, it is an excellent idea to do this as soon as possible in order to prevent delays. Inspect the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share pictures of the wall in order to avoid later disagreements– for example existing fractures.
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Learn More about Party Wall
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.
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