Faulkners Surveyors As qualified and experienced Party Wall Surveyors we specialise in all Party Wall matters.
We cover every element needed to recommend upon and resolve Party Wall issues, such as:

  • Preparing and serving legitimate Party Wall Notices
  • Acting as the Structure Owners Party Wall Property Surveyor
  • Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Surveyor
  • Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
  • Undertaking and preparing Schedules of Condition
  • Preparation and settlement of Party Wall Awards

All our Party Wall Surveyors are professionals and work in accordance with the policies set down by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.

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

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 and so on. Act 1996 is an allowing Act, insofar as it grants the owner of a residential or commercial property the legal right to undertake specific works that may otherwise make up trespass or nuisance.

However, it also seeks to secure the interests of adjacent owners from any potentially adverse impacts that such works may have by enforcing a requirement that all adjoining owners be given prior notification of them.

In addition, the Act offers a necessary disagreement resolution treatment moderated by a statutorily selected property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have concerns about the execution of any proposition so informed.

Specifically, such notification needs to be served where the owner of a residential or commercial property (called ‘the structure owner’) plans to carry out any building and construction 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 information that Discovers need to supply in respect of works covered the above sections is different in each case. The requirements of Section 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those areas however the requirements of a Notification relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. It is necessary to keep in mind that the validity of any notification not offering all the appropriate information or served in the inaccurate manner, could be open to challenge in Court.

There is no standard form of Notification although many people use those released by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Offered all the details needed by the appropriate section of the Act is present, an easy letter would be equally legitimate.

Depending upon the scenarios of any given job there might be more than one adjacent owner on whom see requirements to be served in regard of the same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjacent Owner may be besides an instant neighbour. It is always more effective to discuss the designated deal with adjacent owners prior to serving them with formal composed notice – a proposition well described may minimize concerns enough to prevent a dispute occurring and prevent the necessity to designate property surveyors.

There are two exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be prevented:

  1. De minimis works: The federal government’s explanatory brochure says that some works on a party wall might be so small that service of notice under the Act would be typically considered 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 inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, kitchen area cabinets, and so forth.
  2. Works under Section 2 of the Act offered that composed permission is acquired from all Adjacent Owners and Occupiers before work commences.

The three kinds of Notice are understood, respectively as:

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

The compulsory info which Sees need to include are as follows:

The majority of the pro-forma notifications in use include the following information as a matter of course regardless of the type of notification:

Area 10 of the Act states that where an adjacent owner does not consent in writing to works informed by the building owner under Areas 3 and 6, both celebrations should either settle on the consultation of a single property surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Property Surveyor), or each select their own property surveyor, to determine by award matters in dispute in between the parties.

Where a job is straightforward, this may just involve consideration of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, believed will have to be given to a commensurately greater number of factors and certainly designated 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 very same treatment is used to fix any subsequent disputes in between neighbouring owners that might emerge in relation to the informed works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.

Inactiveness on the part of the adjacent owner does not stop the statutory process. A dispute can arise by an adjoining owner actively dissenting, that is, interacting to the structure owner an objection in respect of some matter emerging out of or incidental to the works – the ways of making that objection are not important, but if he remains quiet, neither consenting nor dissenting for a period of 2 week after having been served with a Notification under either Area 3 or Section 6, the Act considers a dissent to have developed in any event.

There is no deemed dissent provision in Area 1 of the Act. A valid disagreement can still arise, and property surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works informed under that section however just as concerns actual dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s factors for disputing Section 2 and Area 6 works are hardly ever specified prior to the consultation of surveyors and in a lot of cases not even then.

Where dissent has actually emerged, whether real or considered, both owners are lawfully obliged to appoint an agreed surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for to make such a visit by the other party, must do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, instantly gives the owner making the request the statutory authority to designate a surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This procedure is set out in area 10( 4) of the Act.

Where 2 property surveyors are designated, they are required to agree upon the selection, in composing, of a 3rd surveyor who might be called upon by either of the surveyors or either of the parties to identify the challenged matters and make the required award. The 3rd property surveyor is never appointed by anybody however the Act offers the individual so selected the same statutory powers as the two surveyors.

3rd property surveyors are most commonly hired where the two property surveyors have actually reached a deadlock in their considerations over some specific point and frequently this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the property surveyor appointed by the adjoining owner. Hardly ever will a 3rd surveyor be asked to draw up an award in regard of the entire works however may accompany one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the need emerges.

There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it must not be the same person that will supervise the works.

The award will set out the works that can be performed, who will pay the fees for the preparation of the award and inspection of the works to make sure that they adhere to the works, and who will spend for the works. If the work is entirely for the benefit of the structure owner, then they will usually be required to pay the costs and the cost of the works.

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

The Act permits access to the adjoining residential or commercial property for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner allows or not, nevertheless they need to be given 14 days notice.

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

The information that Notices need to supply in respect 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 sections but the requirements of a Notification relating to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. A legitimate disagreement can still arise, and property 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 challenging Section 2 and Area 6 works are rarely defined prior to the visit of surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.

Where dissent has developed, whether actual or considered, both owners are legally obliged to designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not collectively agree on a single person, a surveyor each and if asked for 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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