We are fully certified professional Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Arrange of Condition reports and legally serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With offices in Central, South and North London it makes us perfectly positioned to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Building Owner preparing a brand-new job or a neighbour who has actually been served a Party Wall Notification our understanding 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 value that many individuals wanting to perform works on their home 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 difficult procedure for those that have actually not experienced it before. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, uses 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 supplies a treatment to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring buildings, and new walls at limits. The Act permits 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 anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to prevent or reduce conflicts by making certain homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for solving disputes and enabling works to proceed. It also needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will figure out the time and method which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls typically different structures coming from various owners however could consist of garden walls built astride a limit– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures often only the part that is utilized by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest comes from 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 limited to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not becoming part of a building) which stands on lands of different owners and is utilized or built to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, however does not consist of a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of structures approached solely by different entrances or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are certain items of work that you can only be done after notifying 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 damp evidence 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.
- demolishing and restoring a party 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 adjoining structure.
- excavating structures within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to construct a new wall on the line of junction (limit line), notifications are likewise needed. A party wall surveyor will typically be able to validate which work is notifiable and guidance the notice period and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It ought to not be seen as a technique of challenging or preventing works and it is not planned to be applied to small tasks that do not affect the structural stability 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 functions of the Act are always prompted by the of releasing notices. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the issue of valid notices, no further action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification should be served on adjacent owners a minimum of two months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners must be served a notice and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent home is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be needed 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 notification to adjacent owners living above or below.
Legitimate notices must consist of 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 details of building and construction methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is vital to include the right information on a notification as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Responses To Notices.
On receipt of a notice, an adjoining owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going on as explained. If there is a conflict at that stage, a consenting Adjoining Owner keeps all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a surveyor later on in the procedure.
- 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 separate surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out specific conditions needed for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be consisted of for his advantage.
If the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed dispute is said to have actually occurred and the individual carrying out the work should select a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners provide composed grant the works as set out within the notices, then there is no conflict to solve and no additional requirement for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within the notification and no damage is caused, then no more participation is required.
The property surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work may continue. The property surveyor( s) will evaluate the strategies, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the effect of the works, will draw up a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will usually record the condition of the pertinent part of adjacent property prior to work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act but is considered excellent practice and is duly supplied by most excellent property surveyors). The award might likewise approve access to both homes so that the works can be safely performed and the surveyor/s can check work in progress.
Generally, the structure owner who began the work spends for all costs of work and the affordable costs sustained by all parties as a result, this will include the surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that many individuals wanting to bring out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, uses 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 Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a procedure to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at boundaries. The Act allows owners to carry out particular specific works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anybody else who may be affected by that work. Composed notice needs to be served on adjacent owners at least two months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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