We are fully qualified professional Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Set up of Condition reports and lawfully serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With workplaces in Central, South and North London it makes us completely put to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Building Owner preparing a new project or a neighbour who has actually been served a Party Wall Notice our knowledge and experience guarantees we are always best prepared to help with your Party Wall requirements.
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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.
THE PARTY WALL ACT 1996- A BEGINNERS GUIDE
We appreciate that lots of people wishing to carry out deal with their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. We likewise comprehend it can be a challenging process for those that have actually not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, uses his “beginners 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 includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to perform certain specific works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is created to avoid or minimise conflicts by ensuring property owners notify their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act provides a mechanism for dealing with disputes and enabling works to continue. It likewise requires that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and method which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls generally different buildings coming from various owners but could include garden walls built astride a border– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size buildings frequently just the part that is utilized by both homes is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of because the arrangements of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” suggests a wall (not being part of a building) which stands on lands of various owners and is utilized or built to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, however does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached entirely by different staircases or different entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular products of work that you can only be done after notifying the adjoining owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (but are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist evidence course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if required, cutting off any things avoiding this from taking place.
- reconstructing 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 foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to build a new wall on the line of junction (border line), notices are also required. A party wall property surveyor will normally be able to confirm which work is notifiable and guidance the notice duration and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain particular kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It should not be viewed as a method of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not meant to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is generally concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notification.
The operations of the Act are constantly instigated by the of releasing notices. This is the first stage of the process and, without the problem of legitimate notifications, no more action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notification needs to be served on adjoining owners at least two months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners need to be served a notification and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjoining home is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or floor, will likewise require a notice to adjoining owners living above or listed below.
Valid notifications need to contain the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of plans, sections and information of construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is important to include the right details on a notification as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Reactions To Notifications.
On receipt of a notice, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going on as explained. A consenting Adjoining Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a property surveyor later in the process if there is a conflict at that stage.
- To dissent and select a surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or designate their own separate surveyor.
- Release a counter notice to set out particular conditions required for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner want to be included for his advantage.
If the adjacent does not react within 14 days then a deemed disagreement is said to have actually happened and the person bring out the work needs to appoint a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners offer written consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no disagreement to deal with and no additional need for party wall property surveyors or, undoubtedly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work earnings as detailed within the notification and no damage is caused, then no further involvement is needed.
The surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work might continue. The surveyor( s) will evaluate the strategies, notifications and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the impact of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will typically tape the condition of the pertinent part of adjacent property before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered excellent practice and is appropriately supplied by most great property surveyors). The award might also give access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be safely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect operate in progress.
Generally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all expenditures of work and the affordable costs sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors costs for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that lots of individuals wanting to carry out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which intends to offer an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a procedure to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to bring out certain specific works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the very same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. Composed notice must be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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