Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of building 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 House 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 BEGINNERS GUIDE
We appreciate that many individuals wanting to perform works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction procedure. We also understand it can be a daunting process for those that have actually not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which aims to offer 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 provides a treatment to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act permits owners to perform certain specific works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is created to prevent or reduce disputes by making certain homeowner notify their neighbours in advance of particular proposed works.
The Act offers a mechanism for fixing conflicts and allowing works to continue. It also needs that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or property surveyors will figure out 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 but might include garden walls built astride a limit– referred to as party fence walls. Where a wall separates 2 different size structures typically just the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the individual or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so consisted of since the arrangements of the Act are not restricted 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 belonging to a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is utilized or built to be utilized for separating such adjacent lands, but does not consist of a wall built on the land of one owner the synthetically formed assistance of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and also a flooring partition or other structure separating buildings or parts of buildings approached entirely by different staircases or different entrances;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can just be done after alerting the adjacent owners and either getting written arrangement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (but are not limited to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for example for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist evidence course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if necessary, cutting off any things avoiding this from taking place.
- demolishing and reconstructing a party 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 adjoining structure.
- excavating foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its structures.
- excavating foundations within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
If it is proposed to build a new wall on the line of junction (limit line), notifications are also required. A party wall property surveyor will generally have the ability to validate which work is notifiable and advice the notice period and type of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to particular specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It needs to not be seen as a method of challenging or preventing works and it is not meant to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural stability or loading of a party wall.
It is normally agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notice.
The functions of the Act are always prompted by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of valid notices, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notification must be served on adjoining owners at least two months prior to starting 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 likely to be instances where there is more than one adjacent property and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjoining home is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Works to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or floor, will also need a notice to adjacent owners living above or listed below.
Legitimate notifications need to consist of the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work consisting of plans, areas and details of building approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is important to include the appropriate details on a notification as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are likewise invalid.
Actions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notification, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going ahead as described. A consenting Adjoining Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a property surveyor later in the process if there is a dispute at that stage.
- To dissent and select a property surveyor. The Act allows the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or appoint their own different property surveyor.
- Provide a counter notification to set out particular conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification must set out what additional or customized work the Adjoining Owner would like to be included for his advantage.
Most of the times, if the adjoining does not respond within 14 days then a considered conflict is said to have happened and the individual carrying out the work should select a property surveyor to act upon the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners supply written consent to the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no conflict to deal with and no further need for party wall property surveyors or, undoubtedly, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work profits as detailed within no damage and the notification is triggered, then no additional participation is needed.
The surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work may proceed. The property surveyor( s) will examine the strategies, notices and structural details of the works and, after thinking about the effect of the works, will draw up a contract 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 pertinent part of adjacent residential or commercial property prior to work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is considered good practice and is duly provided by many great property surveyors). The award may likewise give access to both properties so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can inspect operate in development.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all expenses of work and the reasonable costs incurred by all parties as a result, this will consist of the property surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that many individuals wanting to bring out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “beginners guide” which aims to provide 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 procedure to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to bring out certain particular works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. Written notice must 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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