Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of structure property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Property Surveyor throughout London and the House Counties.
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 effects the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, however it does affect the building of border walls even if not part of structures and can likewise applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers 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 Approval for any work carried out. Also, having Planning Permission does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act comes into result if somebody is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the purposes of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply indicate the wall in between two semi-detached properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the boundary line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure operate in basic, have a look at this page.
As with all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly much better to reach a friendly arrangement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is much better to informally go over the designated work, think about the neighbours remarks, and modify your strategies (if proper) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and approval.
The general principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might have a result upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall need to be alerted. Guidance ought to be sought from a local Structure Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish boundary wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
If the prepared work on a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice should be released to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notice must include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the home undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will generally be simply a single sentence outlining the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear declaration that the notification is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notification is being served.
- If the work includes excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position and so on
If the planned work is a new border wall as much as or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person meaning to carry out the work must serve a composed notification at least one months before the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must react in writing providing consent or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 2 week of receiving the notification, the impact is to put the notification into conflict. No formal contract is required for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour just requires not to object in composing.
- No work might commence on a wall astride the boundary line till all neighbouring celebrations have concurred in writing to the notification (or a modified notification).
See listed below regarding what takes place in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification requires to be served at least one month prior to the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring celebrations should give written agreement within 14 days or a disagreement is considered to have taken place.
See below concerning what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
What occurs if a disagreement occurs.
If agreement can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to determine a reasonable and impartial Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- Each party appoints their own Surveyor to represent the specific celebrations.
The individual who is carrying out the work will normally have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. It needs to be kept in mind that any Surveyor must act within their statutory responsibilities and propose a reasonable and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Property surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which must be reasonable and impartial to all parties.
- Once an Award has been made, all parties have 14 days to attract a County Court versus the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
All work should comply with the notification when you have agreement. All the contracts must be retained to guarantee that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property may want to establish that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only offered a brief overview of the Party Wall Act here as it affects garden work but have a look at the Communities and Local Government site for a more detailed explanatory pamphlet including example letters for reactions and notices.
- Talking about intended deal with neighbours is free and can avoid misconception which may emerge if a notice shows up all of a sudden.
- Your regional Building Control Workplace might have the ability to offer totally free suggestions concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular situations.
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