What is a party wall in Herne Bay?
A party wall is a wall that sits straight on the limit of land between 2 (and sometimes more) various owners. Good examples consist of the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced houses– or walls that comprise the limit between two gardens (celebration fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to houses in England and Wales and was designed to prevent building work that might compromise the structural stability of any shared wall (party wall) or adjoining homes. If they should arise, the Party Wall Act can be utilized to stop disputes 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 concerns.
Do I need a party wall agreement?
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on performing any structure work near or on a party wall. You need to tell your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and come up with a Party Wall Agreement in composing. If you utilize a builder or a designer then they should have the ability to advise you on this, although they will not serve the notice for you.
The following works require you to obtain a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) between semi-detached and terraced homes.
- Work including shared ‘party structures’, such as floors between flats.
- Work to garden border walls.
- Excavation works– or underpinning– to, or close by (within 3-6m), the party wall.
- Loft conversions that indicate cutting into a party wall.
- Inserting a moist evidence course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Developing a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Building a new wall approximately or off the party wall.
Which jobs do not require a party wall agreement?
Not all work to party walls requires a party wall agreement. These include minor works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen systems or shelving. Having the wall plastered or adding or replacing electrical wiring or sockets will not require an arrangement either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice must be given to your neighbours to provide them with notification of the works you intend to carry out to the party wall in question, in between two months and a year in advance of the work starting.
Preparation permission is not required to serve a party wall notice and, since you will have up to a year to start work as soon as the notification has actually been served, it is an excellent concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You must speak with your neighbours face to face first before serving composed notice in order to assure them that you are taking the appropriate route and preventative measures. This must assist you avoid misconceptions or disputes, and enable a swift arrangement to be written.
You could also provide your neighbour details of the Party Wall Act to help them understand 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 must write to your impacted neighbour( s), including your contact details, detailed information of the work that you have actually planned, the date that work will start, in addition to any access requirements over their property (perhaps to get products or equipment onto website). In the case of adjacent leasehold properties, you should serve notice to the building’s owners along with to the renter( s) living there.
An useful guide, together with Party Wall Notice templates can be found on the Federal government’s website here. It is wise to confine a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to sign and return– which, if you have spoken to them before sending, should not come as a surprise.
What happens as soon as my neighbour gets my Party Wall Notice?
They have a number of choices:
- Offer authorization in writing.
- Refuse consent– beginning the ‘dispute resolution procedure’.
- Release a counter notification, requesting that additional works be performed at the same time (something they will be required to pay for if they will be gaining from the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You must await an action– your neighbour needs to let you know, in composing, within 14 days if they consent. The best case scenario is that they consent to all the works, in composing, meaning you will not require a party wall agreement, which saves money on charges.
A counter notice should be provided within a month of your notification. If your neighbours do not respond within the above timescales then the disagreement resolution procedure begins.
What occurs if I don’t serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst failing to get a Party Wall Agreement is not actually a legal offence, not just will you be breaching a ‘statutory task’ however you also run the risk of needing to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour could claim their home has actually been harmed by your work and without any details or evidence 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 bought to spend for repairs which, in reality, might not be your duty. In addition, your neighbours could take civil action against you and have an injunction issued to prevent any further work till a party wall agreement is organized. This will delay the job and could increase expenses.
My neighbour refused to provide consent to my party wall agreement – what takes place next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either refuses authorization or fails to react, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a couple of alternatives here. To start with, you might contact your neighbour, listen to their concerns and try to come to an agreement you are both delighted with. This is the suitable.
These notifications normally request modifications to the work specified, or extra works, or in some cases conditions such as restricted working hours. Your neighbour might need to fulfill 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 a contract is out of the concern. You might select a surveyor to work for both of you, or each appoint your own. The surveyor will organize a Party Wall Award, setting out information 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 delighted with the award, you can appeal against it at a county court, filing an ‘appellant’s notification’ to describe why you are releasing an appeal.
Do I need a party wall surveyor?
In most cases individuals find they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. There is normally no requirement to designate a property surveyor if your neighbour reacts to your notification giving permission in writing that works can commence.
In any case, you are still responsible for guaranteeing any damage caused during the works is repaired. Examine the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share pictures of the wall in order to prevent later disputes– for instance existing fractures. Some people decide to ask a property surveyor to perform a condition survey at this stage in order to minimise the risk of conflicts.
If your neighbour does not permit, you will need a Party Wall Award and, for that reason, a party wall surveyor. Normally you and your neighbour will use simply one property surveyor (a good concept as it means only one set of fees).
Charges differ, but typically, a Party Wall Award expenses around ₤ 1,000 in total.
A party wall agreement is required if you plan on carrying out any structure work near or on a party wall. You should tell 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 permission is not needed to serve a party wall notice and, because you will have up to a year to begin work once the notification has 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 disputes– 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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