Faulkners Surveyors is an independent company of structure surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall etc. Act 1996 acting for Building Owners, Adjacent Owners and as the Agreed Surveyor throughout London and the Home 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 NOVICES GUIDE
We value that lots of people wanting to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a fairly late phase in the pre-construction procedure. We also comprehend it can be a difficult procedure for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, uses his “beginners guide” which intends to provide an outline understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Act?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 offers a treatment to follow when building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations near to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at boundaries. The Act permits owners to perform certain specific works, including work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who might be impacted by that work. The Act is developed to avoid or minimise disagreements by making sure property owners alert their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act offers a system for resolving disagreements and allowing works to proceed. It likewise needs that, where the adjacent owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will identify the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls typically separate structures coming from various owners but might include garden walls developed astride a boundary– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two various size structures typically only the part that is utilized by both properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or persons on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included due to the fact that the provisions of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” suggests a wall (not being part of a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is utilized or constructed to be used for separating such adjoining lands, but does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the synthetically formed support of which jobs into the land of another owner;
” party structure” indicates a party wall and also a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of structures approached entirely by different entrances or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are specific products of work that you can only be done after notifying the adjoining 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 wet proof course, even if only to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if required, cutting off any things avoiding this from happening.
- destroying and rebuilding 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 structures within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notifications are likewise required if it is proposed to build a brand-new wall on the line of junction (border line). A party wall property surveyor will normally have the ability to verify which work is notifiable and suggestions the notice period and kind of notification needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain specific kinds of work and is liberal in nature. It should not be viewed as a technique of objecting to or preventing works and it is not intended to be applied to small tasks that do not affect the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is usually agreed that works such as fixing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notice.
The operations of the Act are always instigated by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the issue of valid notifications, no additional action can be taken under the arrangement of the Act.
Composed notice needs to be served on adjacent owners a minimum of 2 months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners should be served a notice and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining property and more than one owner of each home (ie: if the adjoining property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats impacted by the works). Functions to a party wall, or those affecting a ceiling or floor, will also need a notification to adjoining owners living above or listed below.
Valid notifications must contain the following info as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and particulars of the proposed work including plans, areas and information of building methods.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is necessary to include the proper information on a notification as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also invalid.
Actions To Notices.
On receipt of a notice, an adjoining owner has three possible strategies:.
- To grant the works going ahead as described. If there is a dispute at that phase, a consenting Adjacent Owner keeps all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a property surveyor later on in the procedure.
- To dissent and select a surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or designate their own different surveyor.
- Issue a counter notification to set out specific conditions needed for the benefit of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what additional or modified work the Adjoining Owner would like to be consisted of for his benefit.
If the adjacent does not respond within 14 days then a deemed disagreement is stated to have actually occurred and the individual carrying out the work needs to appoint a surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply composed consent to the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to solve and no more need for party wall property surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work earnings as detailed within no damage and the notification is caused, then no more participation is required.
The surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work might proceed. The property surveyor( s) will examine the strategies, notices and structural information of the works and, after thinking about the effect of the works, will draw up an agreement which sets out the terms under which work can be brought out (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will normally tape-record the condition of the pertinent part of adjacent property before work starts (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about excellent practice and is duly supplied by many good surveyors). The award may likewise give access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be securely carried out and the surveyor/s can check work in development.
Usually, the building owner who started the work pays for all expenditures of work and the sensible expenses sustained by all parties as a result, this will consist of the surveyors fees for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that lots of individuals wishing to bring out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which aims to supply 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 offers a treatment to follow when building work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act permits owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time securing the interests of anyone else who may be impacted by that work. Composed notice needs to be served on adjoining owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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