We pride ourselves on our flexibility and personal involvement towards our clients requirements. Faulkners Surveyors are a broadening team of property surveyors with a wealth of skill, experience and know-how. If you are searching for an expert yet versatile technique to all your residential or commercial property matters then call Faulkners Surveyors for an useful chat.
Our surveyors are regulated by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors and carry expert indemnity insurance coverage to cover their work.
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 value that lots of people wanting to carry out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction process. We likewise understand it can be a daunting procedure for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior property surveyors, provides his “newbies guide” which intends to supply an outline 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 to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to carry out certain particular 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 developed to prevent or minimise conflicts by making certain property owners notify their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act offers a mechanism for resolving disagreements and enabling works to proceed. It likewise requires that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually separate buildings coming from different owners however might include garden walls developed astride a limit– called party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size structures often just the part that is used by both homes 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 included because the provisions of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not belonging to a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is utilized or built to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, but does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and also a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached solely by different staircases or separate entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain items of work that you can just be done after informing the adjoining owners and either getting written agreement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (but are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- inserting a wet proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if needed, cutting off any items preventing this from happening.
- reconstructing a party and destroying wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjacent walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjoining structure.
- excavating foundations within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
Notices are likewise needed if it is proposed to develop a new wall on the line of junction (border line). A party wall surveyor will usually have the ability to confirm which work is notifiable and guidance the notification duration and kind of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to particular particular types of work and is permissive in nature. It needs to not be seen as a technique of challenging or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to small jobs that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is usually agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not require a notification.
The operations of the Act are always prompted by the of releasing notices. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the problem of valid notices, no further action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Written notice must be served on adjacent owners at least two months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners must be served a notification and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent home and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjacent home is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Works to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or floor, will likewise need a notice to adjoining owners living above or listed below.
Legitimate notices 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 strategies, sections and details of building and construction methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is necessary to include the correct information on a notification as, if they are deemed invalid, then any subsequent actions are also invalid.
Reactions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works going on as described. A consenting Adjoining Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to designate a surveyor later in the process if there is a disagreement at that stage.
- To dissent and appoint a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or select their own different surveyor.
- Provide a counter notification to set out specific conditions needed for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice should set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner wish to be consisted of for his benefit.
If the adjoining does not react within 14 days then a considered disagreement is stated to have taken place and the individual bring out the work should select a surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer written consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no conflict to resolve and no additional requirement for party wall surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within the notice and no damage is caused, then no additional participation is necessary.
The surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may continue. The property surveyor( s) will examine the strategies, notices and structural information of the works and, after thinking about 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 typically record the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property prior to work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about excellent practice and is appropriately provided by many good property surveyors). The award may also approve access to both homes so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect operate in development.
Typically, the structure owner who began the work pays for all expenditures of work and the reasonable expenses incurred by all parties as a result, this will include the property surveyors costs for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that numerous individuals wanting to carry out works on their property 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, uses his “beginners guide” which intends to supply a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a procedure to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out certain particular works, consisting of work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the very same time securing the interests of anyone else who may be impacted by that work. Composed notice needs to be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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