As popular Party Wall in Barnsley experts, Faulkners Surveyors have been relied on for over ten years to provide projects and secure people’s homes in Barnsley and the Home Counties.

What is a party wall in Barnsley?

distance party wall

A party wall is a wall that sits directly on the boundary of land between 2 (and sometimes more) different owners. Good examples include the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced houses– or walls that comprise the border between two gardens (party fence walls).

The Party Wall Act

The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to homes in England and Wales and was devised to prevent building work that could compromise the structural stability of any shared wall (party wall) or adjoining homes. If they should emerge, the Party Wall Act can be used to stop disputes between neighbours and to help solve them.

The Party Wall Act 1996 does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland where common law is utilized to settle party wall concerns.

Do I need a party wall agreement?

A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on performing any structure work near or on a party wall. You should inform your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and develop a Party Wall Agreement in composing. If you use a builder or a designer then they must be able to advise you on this, although they will not serve the notice for you.

The following works need you to acquire a Party Wall Agreement:

Which tasks do not need a party wall agreement?

Not all work to party walls requires a party wall agreement. These consist of minor works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit cooking area systems or shelving. Having the wall plastered or adding or changing electrical wiring or sockets will not require an arrangement either.

What is a party wall notice?

A Party Wall Notice must be provided to your neighbours to offer them with notice of the works you plan to perform to the party wall in question, in between 2 months and a year in advance of the work starting.

Planning authorization is not needed to serve a party wall notice and, because you will have up to a year to begin work as soon as the notice has been served, it is an excellent idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid delays. You must speak to your neighbours personally first prior to serving written notice in order to reassure them that you are taking the correct route and safety measures. This must assist you avoid conflicts or misunderstandings, and make it possible for a quick arrangement to be written.

You could also offer your neighbour information of the Party Wall Act to help them comprehend the process– point them in the direction of the Party Wall details section on the Federal government’s site.

In order to officially serve notice, you need to write to your impacted neighbour( s), including your contact details, thorough information of the work that you have actually prepared, the date that work will start, in addition to any gain access to requirements over their home (possibly to get materials or equipment onto site). In the case of adjoining leasehold residential or commercial properties, you must serve notice to the building’s owners as well as to the tenant( s) living there.

A handy guide, together with Party Wall Notice templates can be discovered on the Federal government’s site here. It is wise to confine a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to return and sign– which, if you have talked to them before sending, must not come as a surprise.

What takes place as soon as my neighbour gets my Party Wall Notice?

They have a number of alternatives:

  1. Give consent in composing.
  2. Decline consent– beginning the ‘conflict resolution process’.
  3. Release a counter notification, requesting that extra works be performed at the same time (something they will be needed to pay for if they will be gaining from the work, such as repair work to the shared wall).

You must wait on a reaction– your neighbour ought to let you understand, in writing, within 14 days if they consent. The very best case situation is that they agree to all the works, in composing, suggesting you will not require a party wall agreement, which minimizes costs.

A counter notification should be released within a month of your notification. If your neighbours don’t respond within the above timescales then the disagreement resolution process begins.

What happens if I do not serve a Party Wall Notice?

Whilst failing to get a Party Wall Agreement is not in fact a legal offence, not just will you be breaching a ‘statutory duty’ however you also run the risk of needing to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour could declare their home has been harmed by your work and without any details or evidence of the previous state of the residential or commercial property (which a party wall notice would have given you) there is very little you can do.

The courts tend to take a bad view of failure to serve a party wall notice and you may be bought to spend for repairs which, in reality, might not be your obligation. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action versus you and have actually an injunction provided to prevent any additional work up until a party wall agreement is set up. This will postpone the job and could increase expenses.

My neighbour refused to provide consent to my party wall agreement – what occurs next?

party wall agreement

If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines permission or stops working to react, you are considered to be ‘in dispute.’

You have a few alternatives here. You could contact your neighbour, listen to their concerns and attempt to come to an arrangement you are both happy with. This is the suitable.

They may write to you with a counter notice. These notices typically request modifications to the work defined, or additional works, or in some cases conditions such as limited working hours. You must put them in writing and continue if you can both concur on these changed terms. Your neighbour may require to satisfy a share of the expenses of any additional work that they ask for which will benefit them.

If an arrangement is out of the question then you will require to designate a party wall surveyor. You might select a property surveyor to work for both of you, or each designate your own. The surveyor will organize a Party Wall Award, setting out details of the work.

The Party Wall Award is a legal file setting out what, how and when work can be performed and who will pay for it (including property surveyor’s charges). If you are not happy with the award, you can appeal versus it at a county court, filing an ‘appellant’s notice’ to discuss why you are releasing an appeal.

Do I require a party wall surveyor?

In most cases individuals discover they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour responds to your notification allowing in composing that works can begin, there is usually no need to designate a property surveyor.

In either case, you are still responsible for making sure any damage caused throughout the works is fixed. Check the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share photos of the wall in order to prevent later disagreements– 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 danger of conflicts.

If your neighbour does not give permission, you will require a Party Wall Award and, for that reason, a party wall surveyor. Normally you and your neighbour will utilize simply one property surveyor (a great concept as it suggests only one set of charges).

Charges differ, but on average, a Party Wall Award costs around ₤ 1,000 in overall.

A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on carrying out any structure work near or on a party wall. You need to inform your neighbours, provide them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Not all work to celebration walls requires a party wall agreement. Planning consent is not required to serve a party wall notice and, since you will have up to a year to start work as soon as the notice has been served, it is an excellent concept to do this as soon as possible in order to prevent delays. Examine the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share photos of the wall in order to prevent later on disputes– 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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