Faulkners Surveyors is a expert and trustworthy firm of party wall surveyors in Bexley, specialising in all party wall matters in Bexley and the Home Counties. The company was founded in 2010 with the coming together of 3 independent skilled Surveyors who specialise in this niché location of surveying.
What is a party wall in Bexley?
A party wall is a wall that sits directly on the limit of land in between 2 (and often more) various owners. Good examples include the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced houses– or walls that make up the border in between 2 gardens (celebration fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to homes in England and Wales and was designed to prevent structure work that could compromise the structural integrity of any shared wall (party wall) or adjacent homes. The Party Wall Act can be used to stop disagreements in between neighbours and to assist fix them if they must develop.
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 prepare on bring out any structure work near or on a party wall, a party wall agreement is needed. You must tell your neighbours, provide them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Although they will not serve the notification for you if you use a designer or a builder then they should be able to encourage you on this.
The following works need you to get a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) in between terraced and semi-detached houses.
- Work including shared ‘celebration structures’, such as floorings in between flats.
- Work to garden boundary walls.
- Excavation works– or underpinning– to, or nearby (within 3-6m), the party wall.
- Loft conversions that indicate cutting into a party wall.
- Placing a damp evidence course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or greater.
- Building a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Developing a new wall approximately or off the party wall.
Which jobs do not need a party wall agreement?
Not all work to party walls needs a party wall agreement. These consist of small works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen 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 need to be provided to your neighbours to offer them with notification of the works you intend to carry out to the party wall in question, in between two months and a year in advance of the work beginning.
Preparation consent is not needed to serve a party wall notice and, due to the fact that you will have up to a year to begin work when the notice has actually been served, it is a great concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You must talk to your neighbours face to face first before serving written notification in order to assure them that you are taking the proper path and precautions. This ought to help you avoid misconceptions or disputes, and allow a speedy agreement to be written up.
You might also provide your neighbour information of the Party Wall Act to help them understand the process– point them in the direction of the Party Wall information area on the Government’s website.
In order to officially serve notice, you must write to your affected neighbour( s), including your contact info, comprehensive details of the work that you have actually planned, the date that work will start, along with any access requirements over their home (perhaps to get materials or equipment onto website). In the case of adjoining leasehold properties, you should serve notice to the structure’s owners as well as to the renter( s) living there.
An useful guide, along with Party Wall Notice templates can be found on the Federal government’s website here. It is wise to confine a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to return and sign– which, if you have actually talked to them prior to sending out, should not come as a surprise.
What happens once my neighbour receives my Party Wall Notice?
They have a number of options:
- Give approval in composing.
- Decline consent– beginning the ‘dispute resolution process’.
- Release a counter notification, asking for 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 repair work to the shared wall).
You should wait on an action– your neighbour must let you understand, in composing, within 2 week if they consent. The very best case scenario is that they agree to all the works, in composing, implying you will not need a party wall agreement, which saves money on fees.
A counter notice should be issued within a month of your notification. If your neighbours don’t respond within the above timescales then the conflict resolution process begins.
What takes place if I don’t serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst failing to get a Party Wall Agreement is not actually a legal offense, not only will you be breaching a ‘statutory responsibility’ however you likewise run the risk of having to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour might claim their home has actually been harmed by your work and without any information or evidence of the previous state of the home (which a party wall notice would have offered 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 might be ordered to spend for repair work which, in reality, might not be your duty. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action against you and have actually an injunction provided to prevent any more work till a party wall agreement is organized. This will delay the job and might increase expenses.
My neighbour refused to give grant my party wall agreement – what happens next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either refuses authorization or stops working to respond, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a couple of alternatives here. You might contact your neighbour, listen to their issues and try to come to an arrangement you are both pleased with. This is the perfect.
They might write to you with a counter notice. These notices normally ask for modifications to the work defined, or additional works, or in some cases conditions such as restricted working hours. You need to put them in writing and continue if you can both concur on these changed terms. Your neighbour might need to satisfy a share of the expenses of any extra work that they ask for and that will benefit them.
If a contract is out of the question then you will require to designate a party wall surveyor. You could select a surveyor to work for both of you, or each designate your own. The surveyor will set up a Party Wall Award, setting out information of the work.
The Party Wall Award is a legal document setting out what, how and when work can be carried out and who will spend for it (consisting of property surveyor’s fees). If you are not delighted with the award, you can appeal versus it at a county court, submitting an ‘appellant’s notification’ to explain why you are introducing an appeal.
Do I need a party wall surveyor?
In a lot of cases individuals find they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour responds to your notification giving permission in composing that works can begin, there is generally no need to designate a surveyor.
In either case, you are still responsible for ensuring any damage caused throughout the works is repaired. 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 cracks. Some people decide to ask a property surveyor to perform a condition survey at this stage in order to reduce the danger of disputes.
If your neighbour does not give permission, you will need a Party Wall Award and, for that reason, a party wall surveyor. Generally you and your neighbour will utilize simply one property surveyor (an excellent idea as it indicates only one set of fees).
Fees vary, but usually, a Party Wall Award expenses around ₤ 1,000 in total.
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on bring out any building work near or on a party wall. You need to tell your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in writing. Not all work to celebration walls requires a party wall agreement. Planning permission is not required to serve a party wall notice and, because you will have up to a year to start work as soon as the notification has been served, it is a great idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. Check the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share images of the wall in order to prevent later disagreements– for example existing cracks.
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Learn More about Party Wall
A party wall (sometimes parti-wall or parting wall surface, also called common wall or as a demising wall surface) is a splitting partition between 2 adjacent buildings that is shared by the owners of each home or company. Usually, the builder lays the wall along a building line dividing two terraced homes, to make sure that one fifty percent of the wall’s thickness exists on each side. This type of wall is generally architectural. Party walls can also be formed by two abutting wall surfaces built at various times. The term can be also made use of to describe a division between separate units within a multi-unit apartment building. Very typically the wall in this case is non-structural but designed to satisfy recognized standards for audio and/or fire defense, i.e. a firewall program.
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