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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.

Party Wall act

How The Party Wall etc.

In simple terms, the Party Wall etc. If the Adjoining Owners are pleased that the Building Owners’ proposed works will be of no trouble or, position no hazard of damage to their home, the Adjoining Owners only require to verify, in composing, that they consent to the works and the Party Wall etc. The 2nd stage would only be triggered if the Adjoining Owners had any concerns relating to the Building Owners’ propositions or chose to neglect the Notice served by the Structure Owners.
A disagreement would then be deemed to have developed and, the structure supplied by the Party Wall and so on. At the point of a “dispute” having actually developed, both the Building Owners and the Adjoining Owners have to select a Party Wall Surveyor to proceed with resolving the disagreement.
Party Wall Surveyors are task bound to administer the Act impartially as they are, in essence, agents of the Court. Prior to any disagreement occurring, Structure Owners and Adjoining Owners do not always require the services of a Party Wall Surveyor. The Party Wall Business are often commissioned to supply guidance on the Act and to serve the appropriate Party Wall Notices, guaranteeing they are legally valid. As soon as appointed, the Surveyors will consider the proposed works and agree a Party Wall Award which would detail the structure works and how they must be undertaken. The rights granted within the Party Wall Award undergo the Structure Owners making great any damage or, the payment of damages in lieu of making great.

What is a Party Wall Notification?

Building Owners planning to carry out any of the works specified within the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 have a legal obligation to serve written Notification on any Adjacent Owner who might be affected by the Building Owners proposed works. There is no official template for a Notification. However, sufficient information of the proposed works, legal names of all Owners, and when the proposed works will begin are all vital to ensure the credibility of the Notice.
The case of Lehmann vs Herman (1993) shows the importance of serving a legitimate Notice. Mr and Mrs Lehmann and Mr and Mrs Herman owned adjoining properties. Mr Herman wanted to repair the Party Fence Wall that divided the two gardens and served a Notice on Mr and Mrs Lehmann. As Mr Herman just served the Notification in his name, Mr and Mrs Lehmann refused to accept the Notification as being valid and argued that as both Mr and Mrs Herman would be regarded as Building Owners under the Act, Mrs Herman ought to likewise be included on the Notice. The conflict ended up in court and the judge agreed with the Lehmanns that the Notification was invalid.

What is a Party Wall Award?

A Party Wall Award is a lawfully binding file in between Structure Owners and Adjoining Owners, which has actually been concurred by the appointed property surveyor( s), authorising the execution of structure work in accordance with the Act. A Set up of Condition survey of the Adjoining Owners property, although not a particular requirement of the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996, is popular and forms a reference document within the Award.

I Currently Have Planning Approval And/ Or Building Control Approval. Do I Still Required To Follow The Party Wall Act?

If your planned works would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act then yes, you would have to follow the treatments set out within the Act. No Regional Authority consent or approval would remove the legal responsibility to serve a Party Wall Notice upon your neighbour( s).

Does The Party Wall Act Cover Garden Fences?

The Act does cover “Party Fence Walls” which are deemed to be a wall of solid structure that sits astride a limit and not belonging to a building. For that reason, any works to such walls that would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also apply to Party Fence Walls. Timber fencing, precast concrete posts with infill panel fencing, etc would not be deemed to be a Party Fence Wall, whether astride a border or not.

If the Adjoining Owners are pleased that the Building Owners’ proposed works will be of no inconvenience or, pose no risk of damage to their home, the Adjoining Owners only require to confirm, in writing, that they consent to the works and the Party Wall etc. At the point of a “dispute” having developed, both the Building Owners and the Adjoining Owners have to appoint a Party Wall Property surveyor to continue with resolving the dispute. The Party Wall Company are typically commissioned to supply guidance on the Act and to serve the relevant Party Wall Notices, ensuring they are legally valid. A Party Wall Award is a legally binding file in between Structure Owners and Adjacent Owners, which has been agreed by the appointed property surveyor( s), authorising the execution of structure work in accordance with the Act. Any works to such walls that would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also apply to Party Fence Walls.

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