We pride ourselves on our flexibility and individual involvement towards our customers requirements. Faulkners Surveyors are a broadening group of surveyors with a wealth of experience, ability and competence. If you are looking for a professional yet versatile method to all your property matters then call Faulkners Surveyors for an useful chat.
Our property surveyors are controlled by the Professors of Party Wall Surveyors and bring professional indemnity insurance to cover their work.
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 value that many people wanting to carry out works on their property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction procedure. We likewise comprehend it can be a challenging procedure for those that have actually not experienced it in the past. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which intends to offer 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 treatment to follow when constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near neighbouring structures, and new walls at limits. The Act allows owners to perform particular specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to prevent or minimise disagreements by making certain property owners notify their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act provides a system for dealing with disputes and allowing works to proceed. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will determine the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls generally separate structures coming from different owners however could consist of garden walls constructed astride a border– referred to as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 various size buildings often only the part that is used by both properties 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 because the provisions of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they likewise include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act defines each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not belonging to a building) which stands on lands of various owners and is utilized or built to be used for separating such adjoining lands, however does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which tasks 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 separate staircases or different entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can only be done after alerting the adjoining owners and either receiving written contract of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any things preventing this from occurring.
- restoring a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or structures by cutting a flashing into an adjacent building.
- excavating structures within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within six 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 build a brand-new wall on the line of junction (boundary line), notifications are also needed. A party wall property surveyor will normally be able to confirm which work is notifiable and guidance the notice duration and kind of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain particular types of work and is liberal in nature. It must not be seen as an approach of challenging or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to small jobs that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is usually agreed that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are small works and do not need a notice.
The functions of the Act are always instigated by the of issuing notifications. This is the first stage of the process and, without the issue of valid notices, no further action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification must be served on adjoining owners a minimum of 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjacent owners must be served a notification and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices 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 require a notice to adjacent owners living above or listed below.
Valid notifications should contain the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work consisting of plans, areas and details of building methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is vital to include the correct information on a notice as, if they are deemed invalid, then any subsequent actions are likewise void.
Responses To Notifications.
On receipt of a notification, an adjacent owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To grant the works proceeding as explained. A consenting Adjacent Owner retains all rights under the Act including the right to select a surveyor later at the same time if there is a dispute at that phase.
- To dissent and designate a property surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or designate their own separate property surveyor.
- Release a counter notification to set out particular conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice must set out what extra or modified work the Adjoining Owner wish to be included for his benefit.
In many cases, if the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a considered dispute is stated to have happened and the person carrying out the work should appoint a surveyor to act on the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjacent owners offer written consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to deal with and no more need for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notification is triggered, then no more participation is essential.
The property surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work may continue. The property surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notices and structural information of the works and, after thinking about the impact of the works, will draw up an arrangement which sets out the terms under which work can be carried out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will normally record the condition of the appropriate part of adjacent property prior to work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered excellent practice and is duly provided by many excellent surveyors). The award may also approve access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can inspect work in development.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all costs of work and the reasonable costs incurred by all parties as a result, this will consist of the surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that numerous individuals wanting to bring out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late stage in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which intends to supply an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 provides a treatment to follow when developing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to carry out particular particular works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be impacted by that work. Written notice should be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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