Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of building property surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the Home 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- A NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that lots of people wishing to carry out deal with their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. We also understand it can be a daunting procedure for those that have actually not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “newbies guide” which aims to supply a summary 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 developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to carry out particular particular works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is created to avoid or minimise conflicts by making certain homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for dealing with disputes and allowing works to continue. It also requires that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and method which those works are performed.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally separate structures belonging to various owners but might consist of garden walls constructed astride a border– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size buildings often only the part that is utilized by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the arrangements of the Act are not limited 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 becoming part of a building) which bases on lands of various owners and is used or built to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall built on the land of one owner the artificially formed assistance of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and likewise a floor partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached solely by different entrances or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are specific products of work that you can only be done after informing the adjacent owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- placing a damp proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if essential, cutting off any items avoiding 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 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating foundations within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
Notifications are likewise needed if it is proposed to build a new wall on the line of junction (boundary line). A party wall property surveyor will normally have the ability to confirm which work is notifiable and advice the notification period and kind of notice needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to particular specific kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be viewed as a method of challenging or avoiding works and it is not intended to be applied to minor jobs that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is typically concurred that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notice.
The workings of the Act are always initiated by the of providing notices. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of legitimate notices, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notice must be served on adjoining owners at least two months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners should be served a notice and there are likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining home and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjacent property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notification to adjoining owners living above or listed below.
Valid notices should consist of the following details as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work including plans, sections and details of building techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is vital to consist of the correct information on a notice as, if they are considered invalid, then any subsequent actions are also invalid.
Reactions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notification, an adjoining owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going ahead as explained. A consenting Adjoining Owner keeps all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a surveyor later on in the process if there is a disagreement at that phase.
- To dissent and select a surveyor. The Act allows the Owners to concur in the visit of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or designate their own different surveyor.
- Issue a counter notice to set out specific conditions needed for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification must set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner wish to be consisted of for his advantage.
For the most part, if the adjoining does not respond within 2 week then a considered disagreement is stated to have actually happened and the individual carrying out the work needs to 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 disagreement to solve and no more requirement for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work earnings as detailed within no damage and the notification is caused, then no more involvement is required.
The surveyors then work together to agree the terms under which work might continue. The property surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after considering 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 adjacent residential or commercial property prior to work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered great practice and is properly supplied by the majority of great property surveyors). The award might also approve access to both homes so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can examine operate in progress.
Typically, the structure owner who started the work spends for all costs of work and the affordable expenses sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that numerous people wishing 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 procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, offers his “newbies guide” which aims to provide 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 treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the very same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. Written notification must be served on adjoining 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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