Faulkners Surveyors is a expert and reliable company of party wall surveyors in Belfast, specialising in all party wall matters in Belfast and the Home Counties. The company was founded in 2010 with the coming together of 3 independent experienced Surveyors who specialise in this niché location of surveying.
Party wall agreements in Belfast discussed
Party wall arrangements are an aspect of extending and renovating you might require to know about. Baffled by the legalities? Expert home renovator Michael Holmes discusses what is involved and the rules of the Party Wall Act
Party wall arrangements are something you require to know about it you’re planning an extension or remodelling next to an adjacent residential or commercial property in England or Wales. The Party Wall Act 1996 is developed to help you undertake work– offering access to neighbouring homes– while securing the interests of your neighbours.
Learn whatever you need to know, from what the Party Wall Act is to adhering to the act, releasing a written notification and how to discover a surveyor, with our convenient guide to party wall agreements.
Discover more about extending a house and refurbishing a home on our devoted pages.
WHAT IS A PARTY WALL AGREEMENT?
A party wall agreement, covered by the Party Wall Act covers shared walls between semi-detached and terraced houses, or structures such as the floorings in between maisonnettes or flats, plus garden border walls. In addition to alterations affecting the structures straight, the impact of any excavations within 3 to 6 metres of the limit can be covered by the Act if the foundations are considered to be most likely to have an effect (based upon depth).
To put it simply, if you’ll be doing structural deal with a wall you share with your neighbours, you require a party wall agreement.
WHAT DOES A PARTY WALL AGREEMENT CONSIST OF?
A party wall agreement typically includes:
- The party wall award: standards governing how the works ought to advance;
- A schedule of condition of the nearby property, potentially with images;
- Illustrations and details of the proposed works;
- Information of the specialist’s public liability insurance;
- Neighbour’s surveyor’s charge;
- Indemnities by the building owner in favour of the neighbour;
- Both addresses;
- Surveyors’ information and gain access to plans for them;
- Working hours;
- Time limit for work starting (typically one year).
WHAT IS A PARTY WALL?
- A party wall is a wall astride the border of land belonging to two (or more) various owners.
- A party fence wall such as a garden wall that bases on the border line in between your home and a neighbour’s (not necessarily adjacent a structure).
- A party structure is a wall or flooring separating structures or parts of a building– for instance, in between flats or maisonettes.
WHAT SORT OF WORK IS COVERED BY THE PARTY WALL ACT?
The most commonly utilized rights granted are:
- To cut into a wall in order to take the bearing of a beam (loft conversion), or to insert a damp evidence course or flashings;
- To raise the height of the wall and/or increase the thickness of the party wall;
- To reconstruct the party and demolish wall;
- To underpin the entire density of the party wall;
- Extremely minor work such as drilling to hang racks, or chasing after out to include new sockets or switches, do not need notification.
IF I PROCEED WITH NO PARTY WALL AGREEMENT, what OCCURS
While failing to observe the act is not an offence, your neighbours can take civil action versus you and have an injunction provided to stop more work up until a party wall agreement is set up. This will delay your project and is most likely to increase your expenses– your builder might demand compensation for the time they can not work, or might start another task and not return for several months.
Your neighbours might seek payment if they can prove they have suffered a loss as a result of the work, and it could even require elimination of the work. If you have a party wall agreement with your neighbours but fail to observe the terms concurred, the same uses.
HOW DO I ADHERE TO THE PARTY WALL ACT?
If building work affects a celebration structure, you should serve notice a minimum of 2 months prior to work starts. In the case of excavations, you should provide at least one month’s notification. Work can start when a contract has actually been entered into.
You need to write to all adjacent homeowners, mentioning your name and address, a complete description of the work, consisting of the property address and begin date, plus a statement that it is a Party Wall Notice under the provisions of the Act.
HOW DO I PROVIDE A WRITTEN PARTY WALL NOTICE?
Before serving notice, chat to your neighbours about your plans and ensure they understand what it is you are preparing to do.
You serve notice on your neighbour by writing to them and including your contact information and complete details of the works to be carried out, access requirements and the proposed date of start. In a city environment, your project might impact numerous adjacent neighbours, and you will have to serve notice on each of them. , if a property is leasehold you will need to serve notification on both the tenant occupant the buildingStructure owner.
Provide your neighbour with information of the Party Wall Act so that they understand what they are consenting to– downloading the Planning Website’s description of the Party Wall Act is the very best way around this.
Your neighbour has 2 week to react and provide their approval, or request a party wall settlement. If they consent to the operate in writing, you will not require a party wall agreement and this can minimize the fees, which are usually ₤ 700 to ₤ 900 per neighbour. It therefore pays to call your neighbours initially to discuss your proposals and to try to get rid of any problems in advance, or at the very least ensure they get the notice and respond within 2 week, due to the fact that if they fail to, they are deemed to be in dispute and you will require to instruct a property surveyor anyway, whether they grant the works or not.
WHAT TAKES PLACE WHEN THE ADJOINING PROPERTY OWNER APPROVALS?
It’s constantly a good concept to go over propositions in advance of serving notice. They might simply consent to the work (but you’ll require this in composing) and you’ll sustain no costs if you get your neighbour on board.
You will still need to abide by the terms of the Act, for instance preventing unneeded inconvenience, supplying momentary security for adjacent buildings and properties where essential and compensating your neighbour for any loss or damage if it is brought on by the work.
IF THE ADJOINING OWNER DECLINES TO GRANT THE WORK, WHAT TAKES PLACE?
If they refuse or stop working to respond, you are deemed to be in dispute; if this occurs, you can contact the owner and attempt to negotiate a contract.
They might write to you and release a counter-notice, asking for particular changes to the work, or set conditions such as working hours. If you can reach agreement, put the terms in writing and exchange letters, work can begin.
You’ll require to designate a surveyor to set up a Party Wall Award that will set out the details of the work if you fail to reach an arrangement. Hopefully, your neighbour will agree to use the exact same property surveyor as you– an ‘agreed surveyor’ so it will only sustain a single set of charges. Your neighbour has the right to select their own property surveyor at your cost.
If each side’s surveyor still can not agree, you need to pay for a third property surveyor to adjudicate.
WHAT DOES A PARTY WALL AGREEMENT COST?
It can cost from ₤ 700 to ₤ 900 per surveyor if you need an Award. If you have a number of adjacent homeowners, each insisting on utilizing their own surveyor, the fees can be quite significant, so reasoned settlement is constantly suggested.
CAN AN ADJOINING OWNER STOP THE WORK?
If you stop working to release a Party Wall Notice before the relevant work begins, or fail to secure a Party Wall Award, your neighbour can serve an injunction to stop or avoid the work that will affect their property, till the Award remains in place.
If you comply with the Act, however, they can’t prevent the work from going on, or reject you access to their property to undertake the work.
WHAT IF MY NEIGHBOUR GRUMBLES ABOUT THE SOUND?
Part 3 of the Environmental Management Act 1990 places a duty on a regional authority to investigate complaints of statutory annoyance from people living within its area. This consists of complaints about sound and dust from building work where it unreasonably hinders the usage or pleasure of their facilities or is prejudicial to their health.
The local authority will constantly motivate adjacent landowners to resolve matters amicably– for example by scheduling shipments or works for just specific hours of the day and restricting work carried out on Sundays and Bank Holidays. If the local authority choose to take enforcement action, you are recommended to adhere to this, as breach can cause prosecution.
WHAT ABOUT PARTY WALL AGREEMENTS IN SCOTLAND OR NORTHERN IRELAND?
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 just applies to England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland count on common law rather than legislation to settle party wall disputes. If required, neighbouring owners can work out to permit work to continue– and gain access to can be forced through the courts.
WHAT ABOUT MY NEIGHBOUR’S RIGHT TO LIGHT?
If you are extending a home near to a neighbour and this will considerably reduce the light that reaches their plot and goes through their windows, you might be infringing their right to light. This might give them the right to seek an injunction to have your proposed advancement decreased in size or to look for a payment to make up for the decrease of light.
The court might award payment rather of an injunction if the loss of light is small and can be effectively compensated financially. However, if you have built without consideration for your neighbour’s right to light and are discovered to have actually infringed their right, the court has the power to have the building eliminated or modified at your expenditure.
In England and Wales, a right to light is usually gotten by prescription– in other words, as soon as light has been taken pleasure in for an uninterrupted duration of twenty years through the windows of the structure. As soon as obtained, the right to light extends just to a particular quantity of light such as appropriates for the continuous use and satisfaction of the building, and is not a right to all the light that was as soon as enjoyed.
This implies the right to light can be lowered by development– there is no assumption that any reduction in light to your neighbour’s property gives grounds for them to prevent your development. Expert computer software application programmes are utilized to calculate mathematically whether an advancement causes an infringement, and the outcomes are used to identify whether any compensation might be payable and, if so, how much.
Your neighbour’s right to light is not reduced or lowered by the fact that the local authority have given you planning approval for your project, or because your desired project constitutes permitted development therefore does not need planning approval.
Party wall contracts are an aspect of extending and renovating you may need to understand about. Expert home renovator Michael Holmes discusses what is included and the guidelines of the Party Wall Act
Your neighbour has 14 days to respond and offer their approval, or request a party wall settlement. If they agree to the works in writing, you will not need a party wall agreement and this can conserve on the fees, which are usually ₤ 700 to ₤ 900 per neighbour. If you stop working to reach an arrangement, you’ll require to appoint a property surveyor to organize a Party Wall Award that will set out the details of the work.
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Learn More about Party Wall
A party wall (sometimes parti-wall or parting wall surface, likewise understood as usual wall or as a demising wall surface) is a dividing partition in between 2 adjacent buildings that is shared by the passengers of each home or organization. Generally, the contractor lays the wall along a home line splitting two terraced houses, so that one fifty percent of the wall’s thickness pushes each side. This kind of wall is usually structural. Party wall surfaces can additionally be formed by two abutting walls constructed at various times. The term can be also made use of to describe a department between different units within a multi-unit apartment building. Very typically the wall in this situation is non-structural but designed to satisfy recognized requirements for noise and/or fire defense, i.e. a firewall software.
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