The Faulkners Surveyors is an expert Chartered Structure Surveying Practice that runs throughout UK. The Faulkners Surveyors undertakes all aspects of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and offers the following services:
Unbiased suggestions on all Party Wall Matters
Preparation and service of legitimate Party Wall Notices
Acting as Party Wall Property Surveyor for either Adjoining Owners or Structure Owners
Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Surveyor
Carrying Out Schedules of Condition surveys
Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards (Arrangements).
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
as it effects the garden
At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not impact garden building and construction, however it does impact the building and construction of boundary walls even if not part of buildings and can also applies to deep excavations.
The Party Wall Act 1996 entered force in 1997, so it is now law and provides you rights and duties whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with an appropriate structure or if your neighbour is.
The Party Wall Act does not apply to boundary fences.
The Party Wall Act does not impact any requirement for Planning Authorization for any work carried out. Similarly, having Planning Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters effect if someone is preparing to do work on an appropriate structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall in between two semi-detached properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the limit line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the residential or commercial properties but is not part of any building.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring home.
For information of how the Party Wall Act impacts structure operate in basic, take a look at this page.
Just like all work impacting neighbours, it is constantly better to reach a friendly agreement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notification to be served, it is much better to informally go over the designated work, consider the neighbours comments, and amend your plans (if proper) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notice and authorization.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which might 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 need to be alerted. Guidance should be looked for from a local Structure Control Office or professional surveyor/architect if in doubt.
Work in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To demolish and/or rebuild/build a party border wall.
- To increase the height or density of a party boundary wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring structure where the excavation will go below the bottom of the foundations of the neighbouring structure.
- 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 structures of the neighbouring building.
A notification must be issued to all affected neighbouring parties if the prepared work on a limit wall falls under the Party Wall Act. The notification needs to consist of (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall brochure):.
- The owners of the residential or commercial property undertaking the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A complete description of the proposed work (this will generally be just 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 notification is being served.
- If the work involves excavations, a drawing showing the depth, position etc
If the prepared work is a brand-new border wall up to or astride the boundary line the procedure of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The person planning to perform the work must serve a composed notice at least one months before the designated start of the work to every neighbouring party offering details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party should respond in writing providing permission or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of getting the notification, the impact is to put the notice into disagreement. No formal agreement is needed for a wall up to the border line, the neighbour just needs not to object in writing.
- No work may begin on a wall astride the boundary line until all neighbouring parties have actually agreed in writing to the notification (or a modified notice).
See below regarding what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If the prepared work is an excavation within the distance/depth covered by the Party Wall Act, the notice needs to be served at least one month before the planned start day of the work. Neighbouring parties need to provide written contract within 14 days or a dispute is considered to have actually taken place.
See below concerning what happens in case of a dispute/objection.
If a disagreement emerges, what happens.
If contract can not be reached between neighbouring parties, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to identify a objective and fair Award, either:.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- Each party appoints their own Property surveyor to represent the individual celebrations.
The individual who is performing the work will normally have to pay all the costs of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the opinion of the Surveyor. Nevertheless it needs to be noted that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory duties and propose a fair and objective Award.
- A single ‘Concurred Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the specific Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which should be objective and fair to all parties.
- When an Award has actually been made, all celebrations have 2 week to interest a County Court versus the Award.
As soon as you have agreement.
When you have arrangement, all work must abide by the notification. All the contracts must be retained to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent buyer of the home might want to develop that the work was performed in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve just given a quick outline of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work but take a look at the Neighborhoods and City government site for a more detailed explanatory booklet including example letters for notifications and actions.
- If a notice arrives suddenly, discussing intended work with neighbours is free and can prevent misconception which might occur.
- Your local Structure Control Office might be able to provide totally free recommendations concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to specific situations.
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