Like all our property surveys, Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall Surveys are carried out by RICS registered surveyors and offer an independent and impartial service.
A Party Wall in Falmouth is a dividing partition in between two properties, the owners of which have shared responsibility for the wall. Our Party Wall Surveyors in Falmouth are certified to recommend you on a series of Party Wall issues you may be experiencing concerning your property.
Our Party Wall Surveyors in Falmouth cover the entire Falmouth area and the Home Counties.
What is a party wall in Falmouth?
A party wall is a wall that sits straight on the border of land in between 2 (and sometimes more) different owners. Fine examples consist of the walls that separate terraced or semi-detached houses– or walls that comprise the boundary in between two gardens (party fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to houses in England and Wales and was designed to prevent structure work that might jeopardize the structural integrity of any shared wall (party wall) or adjoining homes. The Party Wall Act can be used to stop disagreements in between neighbours and to assist resolve them if they should occur.
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 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 required. You should tell your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in composing. If you utilize a designer or a builder then they ought to be able to recommend you on this, although they will not serve the notification for you.
The following works require you to obtain a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) between terraced and semi-detached houses.
- Work involving 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 mean cutting into a party wall.
- Inserting a damp proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Developing a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Constructing a new wall up to 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 include minor works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen units or shelving. Having the wall plastered or adding or replacing electrical circuitry or sockets will not need an arrangement either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice must be offered to your neighbours to offer them with notice of the works you plan to carry out to the party wall in question, in between 2 months and a year in advance of the work starting.
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 start work as soon as the notice has actually been served, it is a good concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You ought to talk to your neighbours personally initially before serving composed notification in order to assure them that you are taking the proper route and safety measures. This need to help you prevent misconceptions or disagreements, and enable a quick agreement to be written.
You might likewise provide your neighbour details of the Party Wall Act to help them understand the process– point them in the direction of the Party Wall information area on the Federal government’s website.
In order to formally serve notice, you ought to write to your affected neighbour( s), including your contact information, detailed information of the work that you have prepared, the date that work will start, as well as any access requirements over their residential or commercial property (perhaps to get materials or devices onto website). In the case of adjacent leasehold properties, you must serve notice to the structure’s owners as well as to the occupant( s) living there.
An useful guide, in addition to Party Wall Notice design templates can be found on the Federal government’s site here. It is smart to confine a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to return and sign– which, if you have talked to them prior to sending out, ought to not come as a surprise.
What happens as soon as my neighbour receives my Party Wall Notice?
They have numerous options:
- Provide authorization in composing.
- Refuse approval– beginning the ‘disagreement resolution process’.
- Issue a counter notice, asking for that extra 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 need to wait on a reaction– your neighbour ought to let you understand, in composing, within 14 days if they consent. The very best case situation is that they consent to all the works, in writing, suggesting you will not need a party wall agreement, which saves on fees.
A counter notice should be provided within a month of your notice. If your neighbours don’t react within the above timescales then the conflict resolution procedure starts.
What occurs if I don’t serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst stopping working to get a Party Wall Agreement is not in fact a legal offense, not only will you be breaching a ‘statutory duty’ however you also run the risk of having to spend for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour might declare their property has been damaged by your work and with no details or proof of the previous state of the residential or commercial property (which a party wall notice would have given 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 bought to pay for repair work which, in reality, may not be your responsibility. In addition, your neighbours could take civil action against you and have an injunction provided to prevent any more work till a party wall agreement is organized. This will delay the job and could increase expenses.
My neighbour declined to offer consent to my party wall agreement – what occurs next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either refuses consent or stops working to react, you are considered to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a couple of choices here. To start with, you could contact your neighbour, listen to their issues and attempt to come to a contract you are both pleased with. This is the ideal.
These notices typically ask for modifications to the work defined, or additional works, or often conditions such as restricted working hours. Your neighbour might require to fulfill a share of the expenses of any additional work that they ask for and that will benefit them.
Then you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor, if an agreement is out of the question. You could designate a property surveyor to work for both of you, or each select your own. The surveyor will arrange 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 carried out and who will spend for it (consisting of property surveyor’s costs). If you are not pleased with the award, you can appeal against it at a county court, filing an ‘appellant’s notice’ to describe why you are releasing an appeal.
Do I need a party wall surveyor?
In many cases individuals find they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour responds to your notification allowing in composing that works can start, there is typically no requirement to designate a property surveyor.
In either case, you are still responsible for ensuring any damage caused during the works is repaired. Check the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share pictures of the wall in order to prevent later disputes– for instance existing fractures. Some individuals decide to ask a surveyor to perform a condition study at this phase in order to minimise the threat of disputes.
If your neighbour does not allow, you will need a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Normally you and your neighbour will use just one property surveyor (an excellent idea as it suggests only one set of fees).
Costs vary, however on average, a Party Wall Award expenses 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 need to tell your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in writing. Not all work to celebration walls needs a party wall agreement. Preparation authorization 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 notice has actually been served, it is a good concept to do this as quickly as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. Check 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 fractures.
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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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