Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of structure surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjacent 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 NOVICES GUIDE
We appreciate that many people wishing to perform works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction process. We likewise comprehend it can be an overwhelming procedure for those that have not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “newbies guide” which intends to offer 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 developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to perform certain particular works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or minimise conflicts by ensuring homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act offers a mechanism for solving conflicts and making it possible for works to continue. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls usually separate structures coming from different owners however could include garden walls built astride a limit– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures typically only the part that is utilized by both homes is a party wall, the rest belongs to the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included due to the fact that the provisions of the Act are not limited to party walls, they likewise consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” means a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or built to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed assistance of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and also a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached solely by separate entryways or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can only be done after informing the adjoining owners and either getting written arrangement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works include (but are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- inserting a wet 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 taking place.
- 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 structures within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to develop a new wall on the line of junction (boundary line), notifications are also required. A party wall property surveyor will usually have the ability to confirm which work is notifiable and suggestions the notification duration and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain particular kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It should not be seen as an approach of challenging or avoiding works and it is not intended to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is usually concurred that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notification.
The workings of the Act are constantly initiated by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the problem of valid notices, no more action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notification must be served on adjoining owners at least two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners should be served a notification and there are most likely to be circumstances where there is more than one adjoining home and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjacent residential or commercial property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notification to adjacent owners living above or listed below.
Legitimate notices must contain the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of strategies, areas and details of building approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is vital to consist of the proper details on a notice as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are likewise void.
Responses To Notices.
On invoice of a notice, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works going on as described. A consenting Adjoining Owner keeps all rights under the Act consisting of the right to designate a property surveyor later at the same time if there is a dispute at that phase.
- To dissent and designate a surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or select their own separate surveyor.
- Release a counter notice to set out certain conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification must set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner want to be consisted of for his advantage.
For the most part, if the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a deemed conflict is stated to have actually happened and the individual performing the work needs to select a property surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply composed consent to the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no disagreement to resolve and no additional requirement for party wall property surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notification is caused, then no more involvement is necessary.
The property surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work might proceed. The property surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notifications and structural details of the works and, after considering the effect of the works, will draw up an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will generally tape-record the condition of the relevant part of adjoining residential or commercial property before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is thought about good practice and is duly provided by many good surveyors). The award may likewise grant access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can examine operate in development.
Generally, the building owner who began the work pays for all costs of work and the affordable expenses sustained by all parties as a result, this will include the surveyors charges for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that numerous people wanting to bring out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late phase in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “newbies guide” which intends to supply an overview understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a treatment to follow when developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who may be affected by that work. Written notice must be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months prior to starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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