Faulkners Surveyors is a reputable and professional company of party wall surveyors in Bracknell, specialising in all party wall matters in Bracknell and the Home Counties. The business 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 Bracknell?
A party wall is a wall that sits straight on the border of land in between 2 (and sometimes more) various owners. Fine examples include the walls that separate terraced or semi-detached houses– or walls that comprise the border between two gardens (celebration fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to homes in England and Wales and was developed to prevent building work that might compromise the structural integrity of any shared wall (party wall) or adjacent residential or commercial properties. If they need to develop, the Party Wall Act can be utilized to stop disagreements in between neighbours and to assist fix them.
The Party Wall Act 1996 does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland where common law is used to settle party wall problems.
Do I need a party wall agreement?
A party wall agreement is needed if you intend on carrying out any structure work near or on a party wall. You must inform your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Although they will not serve the notice for you if you utilize a home builder or a designer then they need to be able to recommend you on this.
The following works require you to acquire a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) in between semi-detached and terraced homes.
- Work including shared ‘celebration structures’, such as floorings between flats.
- Work to garden border walls.
- Excavation works– or underpinning– to, or close by (within 3-6m), the party wall.
- Loft conversions that imply cutting into a party wall.
- Placing a moist proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or greater.
- Developing a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Developing a brand-new wall up to or off the party wall.
Which tasks 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 cooking area systems or shelving. Having the wall plastered or including or changing electrical circuitry or sockets will not need a contract either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice must be provided to your neighbours to supply them with notice of the works you intend to carry out to the party wall in question, between two months and a year in advance of the work beginning.
Planning authorization is not required to serve a party wall notice and, because you will have up to a year to begin work as soon as the notification has actually been served, it is a great concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You ought to speak with your neighbours personally first before serving composed notification in order to assure them that you are taking the appropriate route and safety measures. This ought to help you prevent misunderstandings or conflicts, and allow a speedy contract to be written.
You might also provide your neighbour details of the Party Wall Act to help them comprehend the procedure– point them in the direction of the Party Wall details section on the Government’s site.
In order to formally serve notice, you ought to write to your affected neighbour( s), including your contact details, extensive details of the work that you have prepared, the date that work will begin, along with any gain access to requirements over their residential or commercial property (perhaps to get materials or equipment onto site). In the case of adjacent leasehold residential or commercial properties, you need to serve notice to the building’s owners along with to the occupant( s) living there.
A handy guide, in addition to Party Wall Notice design templates can be found on the Government’s site here. It is wise to enclose a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to sign and return– which, if you have spoken to them prior to sending out, must not come as a surprise.
What occurs as soon as my neighbour receives my Party Wall Notice?
They have several options:
- Give authorization in writing.
- Decline consent– starting the ‘dispute resolution process’.
- Provide a counter notice, requesting that extra works be performed at the same time (something they will be required to spend for if they will be benefiting from the work, such as repair work to the shared wall).
You must wait on a reaction– your neighbour should let you know, in composing, within 14 days if they consent. The very best case scenario is that they agree to all the works, in composing, meaning you will not need a party wall agreement, which saves on fees.
A counter notice must be released within a month of your notice. Then the conflict resolution procedure begins, if your neighbours do not respond within the above timescales.
What takes place if I do not serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst failing to get a Party Wall Agreement is not actually a legal offence, not only will you be breaching a ‘statutory task’ however you likewise run the risk of needing to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour could claim their residential or commercial property has actually been harmed by your work and without any details or proof of the previous state of the home (which a party wall notice would have provided 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 purchased to pay for repairs which, in reality, may not be your responsibility. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action versus you and have actually an injunction released to prevent any more work up until a party wall agreement is set up. This will postpone the task and could increase costs.
My neighbour refused to provide grant my party wall agreement – what happens next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines approval or fails to respond, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a few alternatives here. First of all, you might call your neighbour, listen to their concerns and try to come to an arrangement you are both pleased with. This is the suitable.
They may write to you with a counter notice. These notifications typically request changes to the work specified, or extra works, or often conditions such as restricted working hours. If you can both settle on these changed terms, you must put them in writing and continue. Your neighbour might need to fulfill a share of the costs of any additional work that they request which will benefit them.
Then you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor, if an agreement is out of the question. You might designate a surveyor to work for both of you, or each appoint your own. The surveyor will organize a Party Wall Award, setting out details of the work.
The Party Wall Award is a legal document setting out what, how and when work can be performed and who will spend for it (consisting of surveyor’s costs). If you are not delighted with the award, you can appeal against it at a county court, filing an ‘appellant’s notice’ to discuss why you are introducing an appeal.
Do I require a party wall surveyor?
Oftentimes people find they do not require the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour responds to your notice allowing in composing that works can begin, there is generally no need to designate a surveyor.
In any case, you are still responsible for guaranteeing any damage triggered during the works is fixed. Examine the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share images of the wall in order to avoid later disputes– for instance existing cracks. Some individuals choose to ask a property surveyor to perform a condition survey at this stage in order to reduce the threat of conflicts.
If your neighbour does not allow, you will need a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Usually you and your neighbour will utilize simply one property surveyor (a good concept as it means only one set of charges).
Fees vary, but typically, a Party Wall Award costs around ₤ 1,000 in total.
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on bring out any structure work near or on a party wall. You must inform your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Not all work to party walls needs a party wall agreement. Planning 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 notification has actually been served, it is a great concept to do this as quickly as possible in order to prevent delays. Inspect 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.
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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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