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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
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does affect the construction of border walls even if not part of structures and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work carried out. Having Preparation Approval does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into effect if someone is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just suggest the wall between two semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes but is not part of any building.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act affects structure operate in basic, take a look at this page.
Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly contract rather than turn to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is better to informally discuss the intended work, consider the neighbours comments, and modify your plans (if proper) prior to serving the notice.
What garden work needs a notification and consent.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an impact upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be informed. Suggestions must be looked for from a local Building Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
If the planned deal with a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be issued to all affected neighbouring parties. The notification must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home carrying out the work.
- The address of the property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will normally be simply a single sentence laying out the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a brand-new boundary wall up to or astride the limit line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to carry out the work should serve a written notice a minimum of one months prior to the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must react in composing providing authorization or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of getting the notification, the result is to put the notice into disagreement. No formal agreement is required for a wall up to the boundary line, the neighbour simply needs not to object in writing.
- No work may commence on a wall astride the boundary line up until all neighbouring celebrations have agreed in writing to the notification (or a modified notification).
See listed below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
If the planned work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice requires to be served a minimum of one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to give written agreement within 14 days or a dispute is deemed to have taken place.
See below regarding what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
What happens if a conflict occurs.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to determine a fair and neutral Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- Each party selects their own Surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The person who is carrying out the work will normally need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Property surveyor. It must be noted that any Surveyor must act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a reasonable and objective Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (somebody appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the individual Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be reasonable and impartial to all parties.
- Once an Award has actually been made, all parties have 2 week to appeal to a County Court against the Award.
When you have arrangement.
All work needs to comply with the notification as soon as you have arrangement. All the agreements ought to be retained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home might want to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We have actually only offered a quick outline of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work however take a look at the Communities and Local Government website for a more thorough explanatory brochure including example letters for notices and actions.
- Going over intended deal with neighbours is complimentary and can prevent misconception which might develop if a notice arrives suddenly.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace may have the ability to give complimentary suggestions concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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