Faulkners Surveyors Specialist Qualified Local Party Wall in Ipswich Surveyors covering Ipswich and the Home Counties. Unlike many others, we are full-time Resident Party Wall Surveyors carrying out hundreds of Party Wall tasks monthly without fault.
What is a party wall in Ipswich?
A party wall is a wall that sits straight on the border of land between two (and often more) different owners. Fine examples include the walls that separate terraced or semi-detached houses– or walls that make up the boundary in between two gardens (celebration fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to homes in England and Wales and was designed to prevent building work that might jeopardize the structural stability of any shared wall (party wall) or adjoining residential or commercial properties. If they ought to develop, the Party Wall Act can be utilized to stop conflicts in between neighbours and to assist solve them.
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 need a party wall agreement?
If you plan on bring out any structure work near or on a party wall, a party wall agreement is needed. You should inform your neighbours, supply them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in composing. If you utilize a contractor or a designer then they need to have the ability to advise you on this, although they will not serve the notice 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 ‘celebration structures’, such as floorings in between flats.
- Work to garden limit 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 wet proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Building a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Building 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 small works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen units or shelving. Having the wall plastered or including or changing electrical wiring or sockets will not require an agreement either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice need to be provided to your neighbours to provide them with notification of the works you intend to perform to the party wall in question, in between 2 months and a year in advance of the work beginning.
Planning consent is not needed 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 a good concept to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. You ought to speak to your neighbours face to face initially before serving written notice in order to reassure them that you are taking the proper path and precautions. This should help you prevent misunderstandings or conflicts, and enable a swift contract to be written.
You might likewise 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 Government’s site.
In order to officially serve notice, you need to write to your impacted neighbour( s), including your contact information, extensive details of the work that you have actually planned, the date that work will start, as well as any gain access to requirements over their residential or commercial property (perhaps to get products or devices onto site). When it comes to adjoining leasehold residential or commercial properties, you must serve notice to the structure’s owners as well as to the renter( s) living there.
A handy guide, in addition to Party Wall Notice design templates can be discovered on the Federal government’s site here. It is a good idea to enclose a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to return and sign– which, if you have spoken to them before sending out, ought to not come as a surprise.
What occurs when my neighbour receives my Party Wall Notice?
They have a number of choices:
- Give approval in composing.
- Refuse authorization– starting the ‘conflict resolution procedure’.
- Provide a counter notification, asking for that extra works be carried out at the same time (something they will be required to pay for if they will be benefiting from the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You must await an action– your neighbour ought to let you know, in writing, within 2 week if they consent. The very best case scenario is that they consent to all the works, in writing, suggesting you will not require a party wall agreement, which saves on charges.
A counter notice needs to be provided within a month of your notification. Then the disagreement resolution process begins, if your neighbours do not react within the above timescales.
What occurs if I do not serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst stopping working to get a Party Wall Agreement is not really a legal offence, not just will you be breaching a ‘statutory responsibility’ however you likewise run the risk of needing to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour could declare their property has been damaged by your work and without any information or evidence of the previous state of the property (which a party wall notice would have offered you) there is not much you can do.
The courts tend to take a poor view of failure to serve a party wall notice and you may be bought to spend for repair work 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 up until a party wall agreement is arranged. This will delay the task and might increase expenses.
My neighbour refused to provide grant my party wall agreement – what takes place next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines consent or fails to respond, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a couple of alternatives here. You might call your neighbour, listen to their concerns and try to come to an agreement you are both pleased with. This is the ideal.
They may write to you with a counter notice. These notices generally request modifications to the work defined, or additional works, or often conditions such as restricted working hours. You should put them in composing and continue if you can both agree on these amended terms. Your neighbour may need to satisfy a share of the expenses of any extra work that they request for and that will benefit them.
If a contract is out of the concern then you will need to appoint a party wall surveyor. You could appoint a surveyor to work for both of you, or each appoint your own. The property surveyor will arrange 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 performed and who will pay for it (including surveyor’s charges). If you are not pleased with the award, you can appeal versus it at a county court, submitting an ‘appellant’s notice’ to describe why you are introducing an appeal.
Do I require a party wall surveyor?
Oftentimes people discover they do not need the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour reacts to your notice allowing in writing that works can commence, there is normally no need to select a surveyor.
Either way, you are still responsible for ensuring any damage caused during the works is fixed. Examine the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share photos of the wall in order to avoid later conflicts– for instance existing fractures. Some individuals choose to ask a surveyor to carry out a condition survey at this stage in order to reduce the threat of conflicts.
If your neighbour does not give permission, you will require a Party Wall Award and, for that reason, a party wall surveyor. Generally you and your neighbour will utilize simply one property surveyor (a great concept as it suggests only one set of fees).
Fees 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 writing. Not all work to celebration walls requires a party wall agreement. Preparation approval 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 an excellent idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. Examine the wall with your neighbour before work starts and take and share photos of the wall in order to avoid later disagreements– for example existing fractures.
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