Faulkners Surveyors is a expert and trusted firm of party wall surveyors in Billingham, specialising in all party wall matters in Billingham and the Home Counties. The business was founded in 2010 with the coming together of 3 independent knowledgeable Surveyors who specialise in this niché location of surveying.
What is a party wall in Billingham?
A party wall is a wall that sits straight on the border of land between two (and sometimes more) various owners. Fine examples include the walls that separate terraced or semi-detached houses– or walls that comprise the boundary between 2 gardens (celebration fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to houses in England and Wales and was developed to prevent structure work that could compromise the structural stability of any shared wall (party wall) or adjacent homes. If they ought to 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 issues.
Do I need a party wall agreement?
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on carrying out any building work near or on a party wall. You must tell your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in composing. If you use a home builder or an architect then they need to be able to encourage you on this, although they will not serve the notice for you.
The following works require you to get a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) in between terraced and semi-detached homes.
- Work involving 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 suggest cutting into a party wall.
- Inserting a damp evidence course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Developing a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Constructing a new wall approximately or off the party wall.
Which jobs 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 changing electrical wiring or sockets will not need an agreement either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice need to be provided to your neighbours to supply them with notice of the works you plan to carry out to the party wall in question, between 2 months and a year in advance of the work starting.
Preparation permission is not needed 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 a great idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You should talk to your neighbours in person initially prior to serving written notification in order to reassure them that you are taking the proper path and safety measures. This must help you prevent misunderstandings or disagreements, and make it possible for a swift arrangement to be written up.
You could likewise provide your neighbour details of the Party Wall Act to help them comprehend the procedure– 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 impacted neighbour( s), including your contact information, detailed information of the work that you have actually planned, the date that work will start, along with any gain access to requirements over their residential or commercial property (possibly to get products or equipment onto site). When it comes to adjacent leasehold properties, you should serve notice to the building’s owners along with to the occupant( s) living there.
A convenient guide, together with Party Wall Notice templates can be found 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 actually spoken with them prior to sending, ought to not come as a surprise.
What occurs as soon as my neighbour receives my Party Wall Notice?
They have numerous choices:
- Offer authorization in writing.
- Decline permission– beginning the ‘dispute resolution process’.
- Issue a counter notice, asking for that extra works be carried out at the same time (something they will be required to spend for if they will be taking advantage of the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You must wait on a response– your neighbour needs to let you understand, in writing, within 2 week if they consent. The very best case situation is that they consent to all the works, in composing, implying you will not require a party wall agreement, which saves on fees.
A counter notification needs to be released within a month of your notice. If your neighbours do not respond within the above timescales then the disagreement resolution process begins.
What occurs if I do not serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst failing to get a Party Wall Agreement is not really a legal offense, not just will you be breaching a ‘statutory task’ but you likewise run the risk of needing to spend for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour might claim their property has been harmed by your work and with no information or proof of the previous state of the residential or commercial property (which a party wall notice would have provided 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 ordered to spend for repairs which, in reality, may not be your obligation. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action versus you and have an injunction issued to prevent any further work up until a party wall agreement is set up. This will postpone the project and might increase costs.
My neighbour declined to give grant my party wall agreement – what happens next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either refuses consent or stops working to respond, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a few alternatives here. You could call your neighbour, listen to their issues and try to come to an agreement you are both delighted with. This is the suitable.
These notices normally ask for modifications to the work defined, or extra works, or sometimes conditions such as limited working hours. Your neighbour may require to fulfill a share of the expenses of any additional work that they ask for and that will benefit them.
If a contract runs out the concern then you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor. You might designate a property surveyor to work for both of you, or each appoint your own. The property surveyor will arrange 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 carried out and who will spend for it (consisting of property surveyor’s costs). If you are not happy with the award, you can appeal against it at a county court, submitting an ‘appellant’s notification’ to explain why you are releasing an appeal.
Do I need a party wall surveyor?
In a lot of cases individuals discover they do not require the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour reacts to your notification allowing in composing that works can start, there is normally no need to designate a property surveyor.
In either case, you are still responsible for making sure any damage caused during the works is fixed. Examine the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share pictures of the wall in order to avoid later on conflicts– for example existing cracks. Some individuals decide to ask a surveyor to perform a condition survey at this phase in order to minimise the danger of conflicts.
If your neighbour does not permit, you will require a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Normally you and your neighbour will utilize just one surveyor (a good concept as it implies only one set of charges).
Charges differ, however typically, a Party Wall Award costs around ₤ 1,000 in total.
A party wall agreement is required if you prepare on carrying out any building work near or on a party wall. You must inform your neighbours, supply 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. Preparation approval is not required 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 good idea to do this as quickly as possible in order to prevent hold-ups. Examine the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share images of the wall in order to avoid later disagreements– for example existing cracks.
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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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