- Preparing and serving valid Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Building Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
- Undertaking and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and settlement of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are professionals and work in accordance with the regulations set down by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to abide by this legislation might result in works being illegal.
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 a making it possible for Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to carry out particular works that might otherwise make up trespass or annoyance.
Nevertheless, it likewise seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially adverse effects that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act attends to a mandatory dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily selected surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the execution of any proposition so informed.
Particularly, such notification must be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (referred to as ‘the structure owner’) intends to carry out any building and construction work explained in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Section 1 applies where it is proposed to put up a new wall at a boundary that is not already built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, that include party floors, walls and partitions (that different buildings or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a boundary wall between lands in separate ownership which is constructed astride a limit) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Observes should offer in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is necessary to note that the credibility of any notice not offering all the appropriate info or served in the inaccurate way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no basic type of Notice although many individuals use those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory pamphlet issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, supplied all the info required by the appropriate section of the Act exists, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending upon the circumstances of any given job there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom notice needs to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to go over the intended deal with adjacent owners before serving them with official written notice – a proposition well explained might alleviate concerns adequate to prevent a dispute developing and prevent the requirement to appoint property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice might be prevented:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet says that some works on a party wall might be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be typically regarded as not essential and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical circuitry or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cabinets, and so on.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act provided that written authorization is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The three types of Notification are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served a minimum of 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other 2 notifications must be served a minimum of one month prior to work beginning.
The mandatory info which Observes should contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the structure owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A declaration regarding whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or protect the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying plans and sections revealing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to put up a structure or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following info as a matter of course no matter the type of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the structure and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected if various).
- A declaration regarding the beginning of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- An advisory note describing what happens if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to respond within 14 days.
Section 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjacent owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the structure owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties need to either settle on the consultation of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (referred to as the Agreed Surveyor), or each select their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the celebrations.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only include consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be offered to a commensurately greater number of elements and certainly designated surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.
The same procedure is used to fix any subsequent disagreements in between neighbouring owners that may emerge in relation to the notified works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not halt the statutory process. A disagreement can arise by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter arising out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are not important, however if he stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have actually occurred in any event.
There is no deemed dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still develop, and surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works informed under that area but only as regards actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s factors for contesting Area 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in most cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a bachelor, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, instantly gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to designate a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 surveyors are designated, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to identify the challenged matters and make the needed award. The 3rd property surveyor is never designated by anyone however the Act provides the individual so selected the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two property surveyors have reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some specific point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the charges of the surveyor designated by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a third surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the whole works however might accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need occurs.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, however it ought to not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the charges for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to ensure that they comply with the works, and who will pay for the works. They will usually be required to pay the charges and the expense of the works if the work is exclusively for the benefit of the structure owner.
Parties have 2 week to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjoining property for the functions of carrying out the works whether the adjoining owner gives permission or not, however they need to be given 2 week notice.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic interactions.
The info that Discovers should supply in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still develop, and property surveyors be selected in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section however only as regards real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the consultation of surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to designate a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single individual, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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