Like all our residential or commercial property surveys, Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall Surveys are performed by RICS registered surveyors and supply an independent and impartial service.
A Party Wall in Trowbridge is a dividing partition in between two homes, the owners of which have shared obligation for the wall. Our Party Wall Surveyors in Trowbridge are certified to encourage you on a variety of Party Wall problems you might be experiencing concerning your residential or commercial property.
Our Party Wall Surveyors in Trowbridge cover the entire Trowbridge area and the Home Counties.
What is a party wall in Trowbridge?
A party wall is a wall that sits straight on the boundary of land in between two (and in som
ecases more) various owners. Good examples include the walls that separate semi-detached or terraced houses– or walls that comprise the limit in between 2 gardens (party fence walls).
The Party Wall Act
The Party Wall Act 1996 applies to houses in England and Wales and was created to prevent structure work that could compromise the structural integrity of any shared wall (party wall) or adjoining properties. The Party Wall Act can be used to stop disputes in between neighbours and to help solve them if they should occur.
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 intend on performing any building work near or on a party wall. You must inform your neighbours, offer them with a Party Wall Notice and develop a Party Wall Agreement in composing. Although they will not serve the notice for you if you utilize a contractor or an architect then they should be able to advise you on this.
The following works require you to get a Party Wall Agreement:
- Any work to shared walls (party walls) between terraced and semi-detached houses.
- Work including shared ‘party 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 suggest cutting into a party wall.
- Placing a damp proof course into a party wall.
- Making party walls thicker or greater.
- Constructing a second-storey extension above a shared wall.
- Developing a brand-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 include small works such as drilling into the wall internally to fit kitchen units or shelving. Having the wall plastered or including or replacing electrical wiring or sockets will not need a contract either.
What is a party wall notice?
A Party Wall Notice need to be provided to your neighbours to supply them with notice of the works you plan to perform to the party wall in question, in between two months and a year in advance of the work starting.
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 great idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid delays. You must speak with your neighbours face to face first before serving composed notification in order to reassure them that you are taking the appropriate route and preventative measures. This must help you avoid misconceptions or conflicts, and allow a quick contract to be written up.
You could also offer your neighbour information of the Party Wall Act to help them understand the process– point them in the direction of the Party Wall details section on the Federal government’s website.
In order to formally serve notice, you must write to your affected neighbour( s), including your contact details, comprehensive details 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 products or devices onto website). When it comes to adjacent leasehold properties, you need to serve notice to the structure’s owners as well as to the occupant( s) living there.
A convenient guide, together with Party Wall Notice templates can be discovered on the Government’s website here. It is smart to enclose a reply letter and envelope for the neighbours to sign and return– which, if you have actually spoken with them prior to sending, ought to not come as a surprise.
What takes place once my neighbour gets my Party Wall Notice?
They have several choices:
- Provide approval in writing.
- Decline consent– 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 spend for if they will be gaining from the work, such as repairs to the shared wall).
You should wait for a response– your neighbour ought to let you know, in composing, within 2 week if they consent. The best case scenario is that they agree 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 don’t respond within the above timescales then the dispute 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 responsibility’ but you also risk having to pay for damage that wasn’t your fault. Your neighbour might claim their residential or commercial property has actually been damaged by your work and without any details or proof of the previous state of the property (which a party wall notice would have offered you) there is very little you can do.
The courts tend to take a poor view of failure to serve a party wall notice and you might be bought to pay for repair work which, in reality, might not be your responsibility. In addition, your neighbours might take civil action versus you and have an injunction issued to prevent any further work up until a party wall agreement is organized. This will delay the job and could increase expenses.
My neighbour declined to provide grant my party wall agreement – what happens next?
If, after serving notice, your neighbour either declines consent or fails to react, you are thought about to be ‘in dispute.’
You have a few alternatives here. Firstly, 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 might write to you with a counter notification. These notices generally ask for changes to the work defined, or additional works, or often conditions such as limited working hours. If you can both settle on these changed terms, you should put them in writing and continue. Your neighbour might need to fulfill a share of the costs of any extra work that they ask for and that will benefit them.
Then you will require to appoint a party wall surveyor, if a contract is out of the concern. You could appoint a surveyor to work for both of you, or each designate your own. The property surveyor will organize 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 notification’ to describe why you are releasing an appeal.
Do I need a party wall surveyor?
In many cases people discover they do not require the services of a party wall surveyor. If your neighbour reacts to your notification permitting in composing that works can commence, there is generally no requirement to select a surveyor.
In any case, you are still responsible for guaranteeing any damage triggered during the works is repaired. Check the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share images of the wall in order to prevent later on disagreements– for example existing fractures. Some individuals decide to ask a surveyor to perform a condition study at this stage in order to minimise the danger of disputes.
If your neighbour does not allow, you will need a Party Wall Award and, therefore, a party wall surveyor. Typically you and your neighbour will use just one property surveyor (a great concept as it indicates only one set of costs).
Charges differ, but on average, a Party Wall Award expenses around ₤ 1,000 in overall.
A party wall agreement is required if you plan on carrying out any structure work near or on a party wall. You must tell your neighbours, supply 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. 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 when the notice has been served, it is a great idea to do this as soon as possible in order to avoid hold-ups. Inspect the wall with your neighbour prior to work starts and take and share pictures of the wall in order to avoid later disputes– 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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