The Faulkners Surveyors is a professional Chartered Building Surveying Practice that runs throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors undertakes all elements of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and supplies the following services:
Neutral guidance on all Party Wall Matters
Preparation and service of legitimate Party Wall Notices
Acting as Party Wall Property Surveyor for either Adjoining Owners or Building Owners
Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
Carrying Out Schedules of Condition surveys
Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards (Agreements).
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a property the legal right to undertake certain works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it also seeks to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly adverse impacts that such works might have by enforcing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act attends to a mandatory conflict resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the application of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notification needs to be served where the owner of a property (referred to as ‘the structure owner’) plans to carry out any building and construction work explained in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 applies where it is proposed to put up a brand-new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, which include party walls, partitions and floors (that separate buildings or parts of structures), party fence walls (essentially a limit wall between lands in different ownership which is built astride a limit) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The information that Notices must supply in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is very important to keep in mind that the validity of any notification not offering all the pertinent details or served in the inaccurate way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard type of Notice although many people use those published by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory booklet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Provided all the info required by the appropriate section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the situations of any provided task there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom observe requirements to be served in regard of the exact same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be besides an instant neighbour. It is always more suitable to discuss the desired deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official composed notice – a proposition well explained might alleviate concerns enough to prevent a disagreement developing and avoid the need to designate surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the need to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory booklet states that some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be usually regarded as not needed and give as examples works not likely to affect the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support racks, kitchen cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act provided that written permission is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification should be served at least 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other two notifications should be served a minimum of one month prior to work starting.
The necessary details which Discovers must consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indication of the building owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the building owner’s propositions.
- A statement regarding whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise enhance or safeguard the structures of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying sections and strategies revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use consist of the following information as a matter of course regardless of the type of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A declaration as to the commencement of works relative to the appropriate notice period.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to respond within 14 days, an advisory note discussing what occurs.
Section 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not authorization in writing to works alerted by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both celebrations must either settle on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each appoint their own surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.
Where a job is straightforward, this may just include consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, thought will have to be offered to a commensurately greater number of aspects and undoubtedly designated property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The very same treatment is utilized to resolve any subsequent disagreements between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the informed works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A conflict can develop by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, however if he remains quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have actually emerged in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still occur, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works notified under that area however just as regards real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for contesting Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in most cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or considered, both owners are lawfully required to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, instantly offers the owner making the demand the statutory authority to select a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 property surveyors are designated, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a third property surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the challenged matters and make the necessary award. The third property surveyor is never ever designated by anybody but the Act offers the individual so picked the exact same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
3rd property surveyors are most commonly hired where the two property surveyors have reached a deadlock in their considerations over some particular point and often this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Hardly ever will a third property surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the entire works however may join with one or other of the two property surveyors to do so if the need develops.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it must not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to guarantee that they adhere to the works, and who will spend for the works. They will usually be required to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the building owner.
If they disagree with the award, celebrations have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act permits access to the adjacent property for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjoining owner allows or not, nevertheless they must be offered 2 week notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notices and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The details that Discovers need to supply in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still arise, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but only as regards real dissent on particular grounds. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of property surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully required to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively concur on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served.
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