Faulkners Surveyors As qualified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every aspect essential to encourage upon and deal with Party Wall issues, such as:
- Preparing and serving valid Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Structure Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
- Undertaking and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are professionals and operate 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 unlawful.
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 etc. Act 1996 is a making it possible for Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a home the legal right to undertake particular works that might otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.
Nevertheless, it likewise seeks to protect the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly negative impacts that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be provided prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act offers a necessary dispute resolution procedure mediated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposition so informed.
Particularly, such notification needs to be served where the owner of a home (known as ‘the building owner’) intends to carry out any building and construction work described in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Area 1 uses where it is proposed to put up a new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, that include party walls, partitions and floorings (that separate structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a border wall in between lands in separate ownership which is constructed astride a limit) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations up to 6 m away from a structure or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The information that Sees must supply in regard of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to note that the validity of any notification not offering all the relevant information or served in the inaccurate way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard form of Notification although lots of people use those published by the RICS or variations appended to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Offered all the info required by the relevant section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be similarly valid.
Depending on the circumstances of any given project there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom observe requirements to be served in respect of the very same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly preferable to discuss the desired deal with adjoining owners before serving them with official composed notification – a proposition well explained may relieve issues enough to prevent a disagreement emerging and prevent the need to select property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the need to serve notice may be avoided:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some works on a party wall might be so minor that service of notice under the Act would be normally considered as not essential and give as examples works not likely to affect the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen cabinets, and so forth.
- Functions under Section 2 of the Act supplied that composed permission is obtained from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notification are known, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notification
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification need to 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 commencing.
The necessary info which Discovers must contain are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notice of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indicator of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise strengthen or secure the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying plans and areas revealing: a) the website and depth of any excavation the building owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its site.
The majority of the pro-forma notices in use consist of the following info as a matter of course regardless of the kind of notification:
- The date of the notification.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the start of works relative to the suitable notice duration.
- An advisory note explaining what occurs if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 2 week.
Section 10 of the Act states that where an adjacent owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either settle on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Surveyor), or each appoint their own property surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute in between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this might only include consideration of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, thought will need to be provided to a commensurately greater number of factors and certainly designated surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The exact same procedure is used to resolve any subsequent disputes between neighbouring owners that might develop in relation to the informed works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory process. A disagreement can occur by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter occurring out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, but if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 2 week after having actually been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have developed in any event.
There is no considered dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A legitimate conflict can still emerge, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works informed under that section but just as relates to actual dissent on particular premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for disputing Area 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a bachelor, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, immediately gives the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be hired by either of the surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the disputed matters and make the essential award. The 3rd surveyor is never designated by anybody however the Act provides the individual so picked the same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third property surveyors are most commonly called upon where the two property surveyors have reached a deadlock in their deliberations over some particular point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the fees of the property 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 might accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, however it should not be the same person that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to make sure that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. They will generally be required to pay the charges 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 adjoining residential or commercial property for the functions of performing the works whether the adjoining owner permits or not, however they should be given 2 week notice.
NB: The intro of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 implies that from 6 April 2016, notices and other files can be served by electronic interactions.
The details that Discovers should supply in respect of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still occur, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works alerted under that section but just as concerns real dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever defined prior to the consultation of surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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