Faulkners Surveyors As qualified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every element necessary to encourage upon and deal with Party Wall issues, such as:

  • Preparing and serving valid Party Wall Notices
  • Acting as the Building Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
  • Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Property 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 experts and operate in accordance with the guidelines set down by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

The Party Wall Act and so on 1996 is law, failure to abide by this legislation may lead to works being unlawful.

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.

wall party

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 carry out specific works that may otherwise constitute trespass or problem.

It also looks for to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any possibly negative impacts that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be offered prior notice of them.

In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory disagreement resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily designated property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the implementation of any proposition so alerted.

Specifically, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (referred to as ‘the building owner’) intends to carry out any building work explained in Sections 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:

The info that Discovers need to provide in regard of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections however the requirements of a Notification associating with Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is very important to note that the validity of any notification not supplying all the pertinent information or served in the inaccurate way, could be open up to challenge in Court.

There is no standard form of Notification although many people utilize those published by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory brochure issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government. However, supplied all the details required by the relevant area of the Act exists, an easy letter would be similarly valid.

Depending upon the circumstances of any given task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom notice needs to be served in regard of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner might be other than an immediate neighbour. It is always preferable to talk about the designated works with adjacent owners before serving them with formal written notification – a proposition well discussed might ease issues sufficient to prevent a disagreement arising and prevent the necessity to appoint surveyors.

There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:

  1. De minimis works: The government’s explanatory booklet says that some works on a party wall may be so minor that service of notification under the Act would be usually regarded as not essential and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or support 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 on.
  2. Works under Section 2 of the Act provided that written approval is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers before work commences.

The 3 types of Notice are understood, respectively as:

A party structure notice should be served a minimum of 2 months prior to the date on which it is proposed to start that work. The other 2 notices should be served a minimum of one month prior to work commencing.

The obligatory information which Sees must include are as follows:

The majority of the pro-forma notices in use include the following details as a matter of course despite the kind of notice:

Section 10 of the Act states that where an adjoining owner does not authorization in writing to works notified by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations need to either agree on the appointment of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Surveyor), or each designate their own property surveyor, to identify by award matters in dispute in between the parties.

Where a task is straightforward, this might just involve consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be performed. In more complex schemes, thought will need to be given to a commensurately greater number of factors and undoubtedly selected surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter gotten in touch with any work to which the act relates.

The same procedure is utilized to resolve any subsequent conflicts between neighbouring owners that might develop in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.

Inactiveness on the part of the adjoining owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A disagreement can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, communicating to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter arising out of or incidental to the works – the methods of making that objection are trivial, however if he remains silent, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 14 days after having actually been served with a Notice under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act deems a dissent to have emerged in any event.

There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid dispute can still arise, and surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in respect of works alerted under that section but only as concerns actual dissent on specific grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for contesting Area 2 and Section 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the appointment of surveyors and in many cases not even then.

Where dissent has actually arisen, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally required to appoint a concurred property surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a single person, a property 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. Failure to comply, instantly offers the owner making the request the statutory authority to designate a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.

Where two surveyors are appointed, they are required to agree upon the choice, in writing, of a 3rd property surveyor who might be hired by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to identify the challenged matters and make the necessary award. The 3rd surveyor is never selected by anybody but the Act gives the person so selected the very same statutory powers as the two surveyors.

3rd property surveyors are most typically hired where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some particular point and frequently this can be in regard on the reasonableness of the fees of the surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Hardly ever will a third property 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 need emerges.

There is no meaning of who can be a property surveyor, but it must not be the same person that will monitor 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 inspection of the works to make sure that they abide by the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is entirely for the advantage of the structure owner, then they will normally be needed to pay the charges and the expense of the works.

Parties have 14 days to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.

The Act enables access to the adjacent home for the functions of performing the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, nevertheless they need to be given 2 week notification.

NB: The introduction of The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notices and other files can be served by electronic communications.

The details that Sees need to supply in regard 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 areas however the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still develop, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in regard of works informed under that area but just as relates to real dissent on specific grounds. An adjacent owner’s factors for disputing Section 2 and Section 6 works are rarely defined prior to the appointment of surveyors and in many cases not even then.

Where dissent has actually developed, whether real or deemed, both owners are legally obliged to select an agreed surveyor or, if they can not jointly concur on a single individual, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such an appointment by the other party, should do so within 10 days of the request being served.

Related Articles

Around the Web