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Do I require a party wall agreement in Bedford?
When do you require a party wall notice or party wall agreement (technically called a party wall award)? Our guide gives you all the responses you need to acquire the proper consents to perform your building works. And, if you require one, how to find a party wall surveyor.
When do I require a party wall agreement?
- A party wall is the shared wall, normally between a balcony or semi-detached house, and divides the houses of 2 different owners
- It likewise consists of garden walls constructed over a boundary and excavations close to a neighbour’s residential or commercial property (within 3 or six meters, depending on the depth of the new foundations).
- In the home, Party Wall Agreements are most typically required for building works that include loft conversions, the insertion of wet evidence courses and the digging of brand-new structures (as would be required in constructing an extension).
Getting consent for party wall building works.
- Before party wall building works can start, the house owner (Structure Owner) needs a composed Party Wall Agreement from all affected neighbours (Adjoining Owners).
- Or a surveyor has to be designated to prepare a Party Wall Award (the agreed file outlining how the works need to advance). Immediately find qualified local Party Wall Surveyors with our totally free Party Wall Surveyor service.
- To begin this process, the house owner has to serve a Party Wall Notice on their neighbours, in composing, about the prepared party wall works.
Serving a party wall notice.
Serving notice can be provided for complimentary, utilizing suitable standard types or by a party wall surveyor for a flat cost. A letter of recognition for the neighbour to finish and return is generally included.
A homeowner has to give 2 months composed notification on structure works which affect a party wall or border, or one month’s notice for excavations.
Planning approval is not required to serve a Party Wall notice, and as soon as notification has been served, the house owner has up to a year to begin work.
As soon as notification is served, a neighbour has fourteen days to react, after which, there are 3 possible results:.
i) The neighbour gives assent in writing providing the property owner will put right any problems.
- In such straightforward cases, there is no requirement to select a party wall surveyor or have a Party Wall Award.
- The homeowner should take outdated photos of the party wall and ideally have concurred composed notes of any fractures, with copies for both.
- Or a surveyor could be appointed to prepare a schedule and evaluate of condition to minimise the threat of conflicts later. This need to be done soon before the work starts.
ii) If the neighbour dissents (or if they do not NOT reply within 14 days, in which case, they are assumed to have dissented), a Party Wall Award is required.
- In this case, both property owner and neighbour can select ONE Concurred Property surveyor, typically within 10 days, who can act impartially for both.
- The agreed property surveyor ought to be independent and NOT the exact same surveyor the property owner might be using for their own works. Otherwise their neighbour is not likely to see the property surveyor as neutral.
- The Agreed Property surveyor produces an “Award” which details the works proposed and a schedule of condition, including images, of the neighbour’s home.
- Surveyors’ rates vary between ₤ 150.00 and ₤ 200.00 per hour and a party wall award and property surveyor expenses roughly ₤ 1000.00.
- Some architects are also able to serve as surveyors.
iii) Each owner designates their own surveyor. Nevertheless, this is pricey for the house owner who is accountable for the expenses of their neighbour’s surveyor along with their own.
It is essential that all these options available to the neighbour, are discussed plainly in the notification.
Keeping great relationships with your neighbours.
- Prior to publishing a Party Wall notice through your neighbour’s letterbox, which can appear challenging, have a friendly chat.
- A shared cup of tea cultivates good will and allays fears. It is a chance to show sketches and explain the prepared works. It is worthwhile including that an official notice will be sent out later.
- It is reasonable for your neighbour to request for the contact details of your surveyor and/or building company for further information and peace of mind.
i) not providing sufficient notice.
ii) not notifying all the affected neighbours. This includes the freeholder and anybody with a leasehold longer than a year. If you reside in a terraced home, neighbours on both sides may be affected depending on the works. A property owner living beside flats, may require to serve notice on a variety of various individuals. Examine residential or commercial property ownership via the Land Computer registry.
iii) not explaining the proposed work specifically enough or not consisting of enough information. Notices about excavations, for instance, need to include full structural details.
iv) not utilizing the standard, or incorrect type of notification. The form of notice for excavating foundations is different from a party wall.
One building task might require more than one type of notification served on each affected neighbour.
2 months and one day later on: building works can begin, presuming the party wall award has been agreed.
One year and one day later: building works must have started.
Find a party wall surveyor.
When do you need a party wall notice or party wall agreement (technically called a party wall award)? And, if you need one, how to find a party wall surveyor.
It is worthwhile adding that a formal notice will be sent out later.
If you live in a terraced home, neighbours on both sides might be affected depending on the works. A property owner living next to flats, may require to serve notice on a number of different people.
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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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