- Preparing and serving valid Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Building Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Undertaking and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are specialists and work in accordance with the policies set down by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to comply with this legislation may lead to works being illegal.
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
The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it gives the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to undertake specific works that may otherwise constitute trespass or problem.
It likewise looks for to protect the interests of adjoining owners from any potentially unfavorable results that such works may have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be provided prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act offers an obligatory conflict resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily selected surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so notified.
Specifically, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a home (called ‘the structure owner’) plans to carry out any building and construction work explained in Areas 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is just those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to set up a new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Area 2 issues existing party structures, that include party floors, partitions and walls (that separate structures or parts of structures), party fence walls (basically a limit wall between lands in different ownership which is built astride a boundary) and, in some instances, a neighbour’s independent property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, based on depth requirements which the Act sets out.
The details that Discovers must provide in regard of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Area 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to note that the validity of any notice not offering all the pertinent details or served in the incorrect manner, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no standard kind of Notice although lots of people utilize those released by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory brochure released by the Department for Communities and City Government. Provided all the information needed by the relevant area of the Act is present, an easy letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending upon the circumstances of any provided job there may be more than one adjoining owner on whom see requirements to be served in regard of the very same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be other than an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to talk about the intended works with adjacent owners before serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well described may alleviate concerns sufficient to prevent a disagreement developing and avoid the requirement to appoint property surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice may be prevented:
- De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory pamphlet states that some deal with a party wall may be so small that service of notice under the Act would be normally regarded as not essential and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or assistance functions of a party structure or trigger damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act offered that written approval is acquired from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Area 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification need to be served at least 2 months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notices need to be served at least one month prior to work beginning.
The obligatory details which Notices need to include are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- An indicator of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notice:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the building owner’s propositions.
- A statement regarding whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise enhance or secure the foundations of the structure or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying strategies and sections revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to erect a structure or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use consist of the following details as a matter of course no matter the type of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the residential or commercial properties being worked on/affected.
- A statement regarding the commencement of works relative to the appropriate notification duration.
- An advisory note describing what takes place if the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to respond within 14 days.
Area 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjoining owner does not consent in writing to works alerted by the structure owner under Sections 3 and 6, both parties must either agree on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Surveyor), or each appoint their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this may only include factor to consider of the time and way in which those works are to be performed. In more complex plans, believed will need to be given to a commensurately greater number of aspects and indeed selected property surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in regard of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The same treatment is used to deal with any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that may develop in relation to the informed works, including any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not halt the statutory process. A dispute can develop by an adjacent owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the building owner an objection in respect of some matter arising out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, but if he remains quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have actually arisen in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still arise, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works informed under that section but just as relates to real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s factors for disputing Area 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the visit of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has emerged, whether actual or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the demand being served. Failure to comply, instantly gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to select a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where 2 property surveyors are selected, they are obliged to agree upon the selection, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who may be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the celebrations to determine the contested matters and make the needed award. The third surveyor is never ever appointed by anyone but the Act offers the person so chose the same statutory powers as the two surveyors.
Third property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some specific point and often this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the fees of the surveyor selected by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a third property surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the entire works but might join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, however it must not be the same individual that will monitor the works.
The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and evaluation of the works to guarantee that they comply with the works, and who will spend for the works. They will normally be required to pay the fees and the cost of the works if the work is solely for the advantage of the building owner.
If they disagree with the award, parties have 14 days to appeal to the county court.
The Act allows access to the adjoining home for the purposes of performing the works whether the adjoining owner allows or not, nevertheless they need to be given 14 days notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 suggests that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The info that Discovers must provide in respect of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A valid conflict can still arise, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works notified under that section but just as relates to real dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and in lots of cases not even then.
Where dissent has developed, whether actual or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to select a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single individual, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a consultation by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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