We are Party Wall Surveyors specialising in party wall problems in UK. We have over twenty five years experience of working in UK, acting for professionals, organizations, in addition to for people.
Each quick is special, and our devoted team of party wall surveyors is experienced in dealing with all manner of problems connecting to party walls. We are proud to offer a bespoke service to match the varying requirements of our clients.
This site is designed to provide fundamental information as well as providing you the chance to call us straight with your requirements and issues, thus enabling our specialist Party Wall Surveyors to encourage you appropriately.
The present legislation dealing with party walls and associated matters is the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, which governs the rights and responsibilities of those proposing work to party walls/structures, and/or underpinning thereof, nearby excavations and/or structures (consisting of stacked foundations).
Our group of Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall Surveyors provides an unique niche service, which allows you to have the best quality service at competitively priced fees.
To find out more contact among our Faulkners Surveyors Party Wall property surveyors on 03300100262.
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 approves the owner of a property the legal right to carry out specific works that may otherwise make up trespass or problem.
Nevertheless, it also seeks to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly negative impacts that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjoining owners be offered prior notification of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a mandatory disagreement resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily selected surveyor or property surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the execution of any proposal so alerted.
Particularly, such notification should be served where the owner of a property (called ‘the structure owner’) intends to carry out any construction work explained in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Note that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is restricted to the following:
- Section 1 uses where it is proposed to set up a brand-new wall at a limit that is not already built on.
- Section 2 issues existing party structures, that include party floors, walls and partitions (that different structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (basically a limit wall between lands in separate ownership which is built astride a limit) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent home.
- Area 6 can apply to excavations approximately 6 m far from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The information that Sees should supply in regard of works covered the above sections is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas but the requirements of a Notice associating with Section 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is very important to note that the validity of any notification not providing all the pertinent info or served in the incorrect way, could be available to challenge in Court.
There is no basic kind of Notice although many people utilize those published by the RICS or variations added to the explanatory booklet provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government. Nevertheless, offered all the details required by the relevant section of the Act is present, a simple letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending on the circumstances of any provided task there may be more than one adjacent owner on whom see needs to be served in regard of the same work and, in the case of deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner might be besides an immediate neighbour. It is constantly more effective to discuss the designated deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with official written notice – a proposition well explained may minimize issues adequate to prevent a disagreement emerging and avoid the necessity to designate property surveyors.
There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet states that some works on a party wall may be so small that service of notice under the Act would be typically regarded as not required and give as examples works not likely to affect 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 circuitry or placing power sockets, and screws to support shelves, cooking area cupboards, and so on.
- Works under Section 2 of the Act supplied that written approval is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.
The three kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notification
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Section 6: Notification of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notification must be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notifications need to be served at least one month prior to work beginning.
The compulsory info which Sees must consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notice:
- An indication of the building owner’s desire to construct a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s proposals.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise enhance or protect the structures of the building or structure of the adjoining owner.
- Accompanying areas and plans revealing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a building or structure, its website.
Most of the pro-forma notifications in use consist of the following information as a matter of course despite the type of notification:
- The date of the notice.
- If different), the name and addresses of both the structure and adjoining owners (and the addresses of the properties being worked on/affected.
- A declaration as to the commencement of works relative to the appropriate notification duration.
- If the recipient actively dissents from the works or fails to react within 14 days, an advisory note explaining what happens.
Area 10 of the Act stipulates that where an adjoining owner does not consent in writing to works informed by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both parties should either agree on the visit of a single surveyor to act for both of them (known as the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each appoint their own surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute in between the parties.
Where a job is straightforward, this might only involve consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be provided to a commensurately greater number of aspects and certainly designated 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 exact same treatment is utilized to resolve any subsequent conflicts in between neighbouring owners that may occur in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjoining owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjoining owner does not stop the statutory procedure. A conflict can emerge by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the building owner an objection in regard of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the means of making that objection are not important, however if he stays silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a duration of 14 days after having been served with a Notice under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have arisen in any event.
There is no deemed dissent provision in Section 1 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still arise, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works alerted under that section however only as relates to actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for contesting Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of property surveyors and oftentimes not even then.
Where dissent has occurred, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully required to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not collectively settle on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, automatically provides the owner making the demand the statutory authority to appoint 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 required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a third surveyor who may be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to figure out the disputed matters and make the required award. The third property surveyor is never appointed by anybody but the Act provides the person so selected the same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
Third property surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the fees of the property surveyor designated by the adjoining owner. Seldom will a 3rd surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the entire works but might join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the requirement emerges.
There is no meaning of who can be a surveyor, however it ought to not be the same individual that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to guarantee that they abide by the works, and who will pay for the works. If the work is solely for the advantage of the structure owner, then they will generally be needed to pay the charges and the cost of the works.
Celebrations have 2 week to appeal to the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act permits access to the adjacent property for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjoining owner allows or not, however they must be provided 2 week notice.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notifications and other files can be served by electronic communications.
The information that Sees should provide in regard of works covered the above areas is various in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Area 6 Notices are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still develop, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works informed under that area however just as regards real dissent on specific premises. An adjacent owner’s reasons for contesting Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in many cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually occurred, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to appoint an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single person, a surveyor each and if requested to make such a visit by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the demand being served.
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