Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Property Surveyor throughout London and the House Counties.
Party Wall (WikiPedia)
THE PARTY WALL ACT 1996- A NOVICES GUIDE
We value that lots of people wanting to carry out deal with their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction procedure. We also comprehend it can be a daunting process for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior surveyors, uses his “newbies guide” which intends to provide a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a procedure to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to perform particular particular works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anybody else who might be affected by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or reduce disagreements by ensuring property owners notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for solving conflicts and allowing works to proceed. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and way in which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually different buildings coming from different owners however might consist of garden walls built astride a boundary– referred to as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 various size structures typically only the part that is used by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the individual or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not being part of a building) which bases on lands of various owners and is used or constructed to be utilized for separating such adjoining lands, however does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached solely by different staircases or separate entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain products of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either receiving written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist proof course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any objects avoiding this from happening.
- restoring a party and destroying wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjacent structure.
- excavating foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
Notices are also needed if it is proposed to build a new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall property surveyor will generally have the ability to verify which work is notifiable and suggestions the notice duration and type of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain specific kinds of work and is permissive in nature. It ought to not be viewed as a method of challenging or avoiding works and it is not meant to be applied to small jobs that do not affect the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is usually agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not require a notice.
The functions of the Act are constantly prompted by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the problem of legitimate notices, no additional action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Written notice should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners should be served a notification and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjoining property is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notice to adjoining owners living above or below.
Valid notifications need to consist of the following details as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work including plans, areas and information of building and construction approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is vital to include the correct information on a notification as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Reactions To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going ahead as explained. If there is a dispute at that stage, a consenting Adjacent Owner retains all rights under the Act including the right to select a surveyor later in the process.
- To dissent and select a property surveyor. The Act allows the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or select their own different property surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out particular conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice should set out what additional or customized work the Adjoining Owner wish to be included for his advantage.
If the adjacent does not react within 14 days then a considered conflict is said to have happened and the individual bring out the work must appoint a surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjacent owners supply composed grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no dispute to fix and no further requirement for party wall surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within the notification and no damage is caused, then no more involvement is necessary.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work might proceed. The property surveyor( s) will review the strategies, notifications and structural details of the works and, after considering the effect of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will usually tape the condition of the relevant part of adjoining home before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered great practice and is properly offered by a lot of excellent property surveyors). The award may likewise give access to both homes so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect operate in development.
Normally, the structure owner who began the work spends for all expenses of work and the reasonable expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will consist of the surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that lots of people wanting to bring out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which intends to supply an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to bring out certain specific works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the very same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. Composed notification must be served on adjacent owners at least two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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