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Party Wall (WikiPedia)
A party wall (occasionally parti-wall or parting wall surface, additionally called typical wall or as a demising wall surface) is a separating dividers between 2 adjacent structures that is shared by the occupants of each house or business. Usually, the home builder lays the wall surface along a property line dividing two terraced residences, to ensure that one fifty percent of the wall’s density rests on each side. This kind of wall surface is generally architectural. Party wall surfaces can also be formed by two abutting walls constructed at various times. The term can be also used to define a division in between separate systems within a multi-unit apartment or condo complex. Very commonly the wall surface in this situation is non-structural however made to meet well established standards for noise and/or fire security, i.e. a firewall software.
The Party Wall Act 1996
as it impacts the garden
At first sight, it is simple to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden construction, nevertheless it does impact the building of border walls even if not part of structures and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 came into force in 1997, so it is now law and offers you rights and responsibilities whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing work on a relevant structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to limit fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Preparation Consent for any work undertaken. Similarly, having Preparation Authorization does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters into impact if somebody is planning to do deal with a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not simply imply the wall between 2 semi-detached properties, as far as gardeners are concerned it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is utilized to separate the homes but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation close to a neighbouring residential or commercial property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure operate in general, take a look at this page.
Just like all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly agreement rather than resort to any law. Even where the work requires a notice to be served, it is better to informally go over the intended work, consider the neighbours remarks, and modify your plans (if proper) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and permission.
The general concept of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an effect upon the structural strength or assistance function of the party wall or might cause damage to the neighbouring side of the wall should be alerted. If in doubt, recommendations needs to be looked for from a regional Structure Control Workplace or expert surveyor/architect.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act consist of:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party limit wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party limit wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go listed below a line drawn 45 ° downwards from the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
If the planned deal with a boundary wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notification must be provided to all impacted neighbouring parties. The notice needs to include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the property undertaking the work.
- The address of the home.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will normally be simply a single sentence outlining the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notice is being served under The Party Wall etc Act 1996.
- The date the notice is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a brand-new limit wall as much as or astride the limit line the process of serving a notice under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual intending to perform the work needs to serve a written notification a minimum of one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party providing information of the work to be performed.
- Each neighbouring party must respond in composing offering authorization or registering dissent – if a neighbouring party does nothing within 2 week of receiving the notice, the result is to put the notification into disagreement. No formal contract is required for a wall up to the limit line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work might begin on a wall astride the limit line up until all neighbouring parties have actually concurred in writing to the notification (or a revised notification).
See below concerning what happens in the event of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notification requires to be served a minimum of one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties must offer written arrangement within 2 week or a dispute is considered to have occurred.
See below concerning what takes place in case of a dispute/objection.
What happens if a disagreement emerges.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are designated to identify a impartial and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all parties).
- Each party designates their own Surveyor to represent the private parties.
The person who is carrying out the work will generally need to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Surveyor needlessly – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. It must be kept in mind that any Surveyor must act within their statutory duties and propose a fair and impartial Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Property surveyor’ (someone acceptable to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors collectively, will produce an Award which needs to be impartial and fair to all parties.
- When an Award has actually been made, all parties have 2 week to interest a County Court against the Award.
Once you have contract.
All work should comply with the notice as soon as you have contract. All the agreements should be maintained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the property might wish to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
Keep in mind:
- We’ve only offered a short outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but have a look at the Neighborhoods and Local Government site for a more detailed explanatory pamphlet consisting of example letters for reactions and notifications.
- Talking about desired work with neighbours is complimentary and can prevent misconception which may occur if a notification arrives unexpectedly.
- Your regional Structure Control Workplace might be able to provide complimentary advice relating to the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific circumstances.
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