Faulkners Surveyors Specialist Qualified Resident Party Wall in Hereford Surveyors covering Hereford and the Home Counties. Unlike lots of others, we are full-time Local Party Wall Surveyors undertaking hundreds of Party Wall jobs every month without fault.
What is a party wall in Hereford?
A party wall is a wall that sits directly on the border of land in between 2 (and sometimes more) various owners. Good examples include the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced homes– or walls that make up 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 devised to prevent building work that could compromise the structural integrity of any shared wall (party wall) or adjacent properties. The Party Wall Act can be used to stop conflicts between neighbours and to assist resolve them if they need to develop.
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 required if you intend on performing any structure work near or on a party wall. You need to inform your neighbours, provide them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in writing. Although they will not serve the notification for you if you use an architect or a builder then they ought to be able to advise you on this.
The following works require you to acquire a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) between semi-detached and terraced homes.
- Work including shared ‘celebration structures’, such as floors in between flats.
- Work to garden limit walls.
- Excavation works– or underpinning– to, or nearby (within 3-6m), the party wall.
- Loft conversions that suggest cutting into a party wall.
- Placing a damp proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Building a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Developing a brand-new wall as much as or off the party wall.
Which jobs do not require 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 cooking area units or shelving. Having the wall plastered or including or replacing electrical wiring or sockets will not need an agreement either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice must be offered to your neighbours to provide them with notification of the works you intend to perform to the party wall in question, between two months and a year in advance of the work beginning.
Preparation 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 been served, it is a good concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You must talk to your neighbours face to face first prior to serving written notice in order to assure them that you are taking the appropriate route and safety measures. This must assist you avoid disagreements or misconceptions, and enable a speedy contract to be written.
You might likewise provide your neighbour information of the Party Wall Act to help them comprehend the process– point them in the direction of the Party Wall information area on the Federal government’s site.
In order to formally serve notice, you need to write to your impacted neighbour( s), including your contact details, extensive information of the work that you have planned, the date that work will start, in addition to any gain access to requirements over their home (maybe to get products or devices onto site). When it comes to adjoining leasehold homes, you should serve notice to the building’s owners as well as to the tenant( s) living there.
A handy guide, together with Party Wall Notice templates can be found on the Government’s website here. It is wise to enclose a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to sign and return– which, if you have spoken with them prior to sending out, need to not come as a surprise.
What takes place once my neighbour gets my Party Wall Notice?
They have a number of options:
- Give approval in composing.
- Decline authorization– beginning the ‘disagreement resolution procedure’.
- Issue a counter notification, requesting that extra works be carried out at the same time (something they will be required to spend for if they will be benefiting from the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You must await a response– your neighbour should let you know, in writing, within 2 week if they consent. The best case situation is that they agree to all the works, in writing, implying you will not require a party wall agreement, which saves on costs.
A counter notification should be released within a month of your notification. Then the dispute resolution procedure begins, if your neighbours do not respond within the above timescales.
What takes place 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 just will you be breaching a ‘statutory responsibility’ but you also run the risk of having to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour could declare 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 offered 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 purchased to spend for repairs which, in reality, may not be your responsibility. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action against you and have an injunction provided to prevent any additional work until a party wall agreement is set up. This will postpone the task and might increase costs.
My neighbour refused to provide consent to my party wall agreement – what occurs next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines approval or stops working to respond, you are considered to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a few alternatives here. First of all, you might call your neighbour, listen to their issues and attempt to come to an agreement you are both pleased with. This is the suitable.
They might write to you with a counter notice. These notices generally ask for modifications to the work defined, or extra works, or in some cases conditions such as restricted working hours. If you can both agree on these amended terms, you need to put them in writing and continue. Your neighbour might need to satisfy a share of the costs of any additional work that they request for which will benefit them.
Then you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor, if a contract is out of the question. You could designate a property surveyor to work for both of you, or each select your own. The property 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 fees). If you are not pleased with the award, you can appeal versus it at a county court, submitting an ‘appellant’s notification’ to explain why you are launching an appeal.
Do I require a party wall surveyor?
In a lot of cases people discover they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. There is usually no need to appoint a property surveyor if your neighbour reacts to your notice offering approval in writing that works can begin.
In any case, you are still responsible for making sure any damage triggered during the works is fixed. Examine the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share photos of the wall in order to avoid later conflicts– for example existing fractures. Some individuals decide to ask a surveyor to carry out a condition survey at this stage in order to reduce the danger of disputes.
If your neighbour does not permit, you will need a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Generally you and your neighbour will use simply one surveyor (a great idea as it implies only one set of costs).
Costs differ, but on average, a Party Wall Award expenses around ₤ 1,000 in overall.
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on carrying out any building work near or on a party wall. You should tell your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in writing. Not all work to party walls needs a party wall agreement. Planning consent is not required to serve a party wall notice and, because you will have up to a year to start work once the notification has actually been served, it is an excellent idea 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 photos of the wall in order to prevent later 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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