Faulkners Surveyors Professional Qualified Resident Party Wall in Edinburgh Surveyors covering Edinburgh and the Home Counties. Unlike many others, we are full-time Resident Party Wall Surveyors undertaking numerous Party Wall tasks every month without fault.
What is a party wall in Edinburgh?
A party wall is a wall that sits directly on the limit of land in between 2 (and in som
ecases more) different owners. Fine examples consist of the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced homes– or walls that comprise the boundary between two gardens (party 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 properties. The Party Wall Act can be utilized to stop disagreements in between neighbours and to help solve them if they must occur.
The Party Wall Act 1996 does not apply to Scotland and Northern Ireland where common law is utilized to settle party wall concerns.
Do I require 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 need to inform your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in writing. If you utilize a home builder or a designer then they should have the ability to encourage you on this, although they will not serve the notification for you.
The following works need you to acquire a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) between terraced and semi-detached houses.
- Work including shared ‘party structures’, such as floorings between flats.
- Work to garden border 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 proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or greater.
- Building a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Constructing a new wall approximately 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 require a contract either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice need to be offered to your neighbours to provide them with notification of the works you intend to carry out to the party wall in question, between 2 months and a year in advance of the work beginning.
Planning permission 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 been served, it is an excellent idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You ought to speak to your neighbours personally first prior to serving composed notification in order to assure them that you are taking the proper route and safety measures. This should help you avoid misunderstandings or disagreements, and allow a quick arrangement to be written.
You could also provide your neighbour details of the Party Wall Act to help them comprehend the process– point them in the direction of the Party Wall details area on the Federal government’s website.
In order to officially serve notice, you should write to your impacted neighbour( s), including your contact details, thorough details of the work that you have actually planned, the date that work will begin, as well as any gain access to requirements over their residential or commercial property (perhaps to get products or equipment onto website). In the case of adjacent leasehold properties, you must serve notice to the building’s owners in addition to to the renter( s) living there.
An useful guide, in addition to Party Wall Notice templates can be discovered on the Federal government’s site here. It is smart to enclose a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to sign and return– which, if you have talked to them before sending, should not come as a surprise.
What occurs when my neighbour gets my Party Wall Notice?
They have several alternatives:
- Offer consent in writing.
- Decline consent– starting the ‘dispute resolution process’.
- Issue a counter notification, requesting that extra works be performed 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 must wait for a response– your neighbour should let you understand, in writing, within 14 days if they consent. The best case situation is that they accept all the works, in writing, implying you will not require a party wall agreement, which saves on charges.
A counter notification must be released within a month of your notification. Then the disagreement resolution process starts, if your neighbours don’t respond within the above timescales.
What happens if I don’t serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst stopping working to get a Party Wall Agreement is not really a legal offence, not only will you be breaching a ‘statutory duty’ however you also risk 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 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 pay for repairs which, in reality, might not be your responsibility. In addition, your neighbours could take civil action versus you and have actually an injunction issued to prevent any additional work until a party wall agreement is arranged. This will postpone the task and might increase costs.
My neighbour declined to provide grant my party wall agreement – what occurs next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines approval 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 concerns and try to come to a contract you are both delighted with. This is the ideal.
These notifications typically request changes to the work specified, or extra works, or sometimes conditions such as limited working hours. Your neighbour might require to satisfy a share of the expenses of any additional work that they ask for and that will benefit them.
Then you will require to designate a party wall surveyor, if an arrangement is out of the question. You might designate a surveyor to work for both of you, or each appoint your own. The surveyor will set up 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 pay for it (consisting of surveyor’s fees). If you are not happy with the award, you can appeal against it at a county court, filing an ‘appellant’s notice’ to discuss why you are releasing an appeal.
Do I need a party wall surveyor?
Oftentimes individuals 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 start, there is typically no requirement to select a property surveyor.
Either way, you are still responsible for guaranteeing any damage caused throughout the works is repaired. Inspect the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share pictures 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 study at this phase in order to reduce the danger of conflicts.
If your neighbour does not permit, you will require a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Generally you and your neighbour will utilize just one property surveyor (a great concept as it indicates only one set of fees).
Costs vary, but usually, 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 need to tell your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Not all work to party walls requires a party wall agreement. Preparation permission is not needed to serve a party wall notice and, since you will have up to a year to begin work once the notice has been served, it is a good idea to do this as soon as possible in order to prevent delays. Examine the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share images of the wall in order to prevent later on disagreements– for example existing cracks.
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