Like all our property surveys, Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall Surveys are conducted by RICS registered surveyors and supply a neutral and independent service.
A Party Wall in Pontefract is a dividing partition between 2 properties, the owners of which have actually shared duty for the wall. Our Party Wall Surveyors in Pontefract are qualified to recommend you on a variety of Party Wall problems you might be experiencing concerning your property.
Our Party Wall Surveyors in Pontefract cover the whole Pontefract area and the Home Counties.
What is a party wall in Pontefract?
A party wall is a wall that sits directly on the limit of land between 2 (and often more) various owners. Good examples consist of the walls that separate terraced or semi-detached homes– or walls that make up the border between 2 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 structure work that could jeopardize the structural stability of any shared wall (party wall) or adjacent properties. If they ought to emerge, the Party Wall Act can be utilized to stop disagreements between neighbours and to assist fix 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 building work near or on a party wall, a party wall agreement is needed. You need to tell your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and create a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Although they will not serve the notification for you if you utilize a builder or an architect then they ought to be able to advise you on this.
The following works require you to obtain a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) in between terraced and semi-detached homes.
- Work including shared ‘party structures’, such as floors in between flats.
- Work to garden boundary walls.
- Excavation works– or underpinning– to, or close by (within 3-6m), the party wall.
- Loft conversions that mean cutting into a party wall.
- Inserting a moist proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or higher.
- Constructing a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Developing a new wall approximately or off the party wall.
Which tasks do not need a party wall agreement?
Not all work to party walls needs a party wall agreement. These consist of small works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen area systems or shelving. Having the wall plastered or adding or changing electrical circuitry or sockets will not need a contract either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice must be provided to your neighbours to offer them with notification of the works you mean 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 when the notification has been served, it is an excellent idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid delays. You must speak with your neighbours personally first before serving composed notice in order to reassure them that you are taking the proper path and preventative measures. This need to help you prevent misconceptions or disputes, and allow 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 section on the Federal government’s site.
In order to formally serve notice, you need to write to your affected neighbour( s), including your contact info, detailed information of the work that you have actually prepared, the date that work will begin, in addition to any access requirements over their property (maybe to get products or devices onto site). In the case of adjacent leasehold properties, you should serve notice to the structure’s owners along with to the renter( s) living there.
A helpful guide, along with Party Wall Notice templates can be found 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 actually spoken to them prior to sending out, must not come as a surprise.
What happens as soon as my neighbour receives my Party Wall Notice?
They have numerous options:
- Offer authorization in composing.
- Refuse consent– starting the ‘disagreement resolution procedure’.
- Provide a counter notice, asking for that extra works be performed at the same time (something they will be needed to pay for if they will be gaining from the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You must wait on a response– your neighbour ought to let you know, in composing, within 14 days if they consent. The best case situation is that they consent to all the works, in composing, meaning you will not require a party wall agreement, which saves on costs.
A counter notification must be released within a month of your notice. If your neighbours do not respond within the above timescales then the disagreement resolution procedure starts.
What happens if I do not serve a Party Wall Notice?
Whilst stopping working to get a Party Wall Agreement is not in fact a legal offence, not just will you be breaching a ‘statutory responsibility’ but you also run the risk of needing to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour might declare their home 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 given 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 duty. In addition, your neighbours could take civil action versus you and have an injunction issued to prevent any more work up until a party wall agreement is arranged. This will postpone 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 options here. First of all, you could call your neighbour, listen to their concerns and attempt to come to an agreement you are both happy with. This is the ideal.
They might write to you with a counter notice. These notifications typically ask for modifications to the work specified, or additional works, or in some cases conditions such as limited working hours. You need to put them in writing and continue if you can both concur on these modified terms. Your neighbour may need to satisfy a share of the costs of any additional work that they ask for which will benefit them.
If an arrangement is out of the question then you will require to select a party wall surveyor. You might appoint a surveyor to work for both of you, or each designate your own. The property surveyor will arrange a Party Wall Award, setting out information of the work.
The Party Wall Award is a legal file setting out what, how and when work can be performed and who will pay for it (consisting of surveyor’s costs). If you are not pleased with the award, you can appeal versus it at a county court, submitting 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 generally no need to select a surveyor if your neighbour responds to your notice offering consent in writing that works can begin.
In either case, you are still responsible for ensuring any damage caused 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 on conflicts– for instance existing cracks. Some people choose to ask a property surveyor to carry out a condition study at this stage in order to reduce the danger of disagreements.
If your neighbour does not give permission, you will require a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Generally you and your neighbour will use just one surveyor (a great idea as it implies only one set of fees).
Charges differ, but on average, a Party Wall Award costs around ₤ 1,000 in overall.
A party wall agreement is needed if you plan on carrying out any structure work near or on a party wall. You need to inform 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 requires a party wall agreement. Planning approval is not needed to serve a party wall notice and, due to the fact that you will have up to a year to begin work as soon as the notification has been served, it is a great concept 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 pictures of the wall in order to avoid later on disagreements– 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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