- Preparing and serving legitimate Party Wall Notices
- Acting as the Structure Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Adjoining Owners Party Wall Surveyor
- Acting as the Agreed Party Wall Property Surveyor
- Carrying out and preparing Schedules of Condition
- Preparation and negotiation of Party Wall Awards
All our Party Wall Surveyors are professionals and operate in accordance with the policies set down by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
The Party Wall Act etc. 1996 is law, failure to comply with this legislation might lead to works being unlawful.
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 impacts the garden
At first sight, it is easy to believe that the 1996 Party Wall Act does not affect garden building and construction, however it does impact the building of boundary walls even if not part of structures 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 obligations whichever the side of the ‘wall’ you are on i.e. whether you are planning/doing deal with a relevant 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 Approval for any work undertaken. Having Preparation Consent does not negate the requirements under the Party Wall Act.
The Party Wall Act enters impact if someone is preparing to do work on a relevant structure, for the functions of the Act ‘party wall’ does not just imply the wall in between 2 semi-detached residential or commercial properties, as far as garden enthusiasts are worried it covers:
- A garden wall, where the wall is astride the border line (or butts up against it) and is used to separate the homes but is not part of any structure.
- Excavation near to a neighbouring property.
For details of how the Party Wall Act impacts building work in basic, take a look at this page.
Similar to all work affecting neighbours, it is constantly much better to reach a friendly agreement instead of resort to any law. Even where the work needs a notice to be served, it is better to informally go over the designated work, consider the neighbours comments, and change your strategies (if proper) prior to serving the notification.
What garden work needs a notification and authorization.
The basic principle of the Party Wall Act is that all work which may have an effect upon the structural strength or support function of the party wall or may trigger damage to the neighbouring side of the wall must be alerted. If in doubt, suggestions should be sought from a regional Structure Control Workplace or professional surveyor/architect.
Operate in the garden covered by the Party Wall Act include:
- To rebuild/build a party and/or demolish boundary wall.
- To increase the height or thickness of a party border wall.
- Excavations within 3 metres of a neighbouring building where the excavation will go below the bottom of the structures of the neighbouring building.
- Excavations within 6 metres of a neighbouring building 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 work on a border wall falls under the Party Wall Act, a notice needs to be released to all affected neighbouring celebrations. The notice should include (see sample letters in Part 5 of the Party Wall leaflet):.
- The owners of the property carrying out the work.
- The address of the residential or commercial property.
- A full description of the proposed work (this will normally be just a single sentence outlining the work).
- The proposed start date for the work.
- A clear statement that the notification 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 planned work is a new border wall as much as or astride the limit line the process of serving a notification under the Party Wall Act is as follows:.
- The individual planning to carry out the work should serve a written notification at least one months prior to the intended start of the work to every neighbouring party providing details of the work to be carried out.
- Each neighbouring party ought to react in composing giving permission or signing up dissent – if a neighbouring party not does anything within 14 days of getting the notice, the impact is to put the notification into conflict. However no official contract is needed for a wall approximately the border line, the neighbour simply requires not to object in writing.
- No work might start on a wall astride the boundary line until all neighbouring celebrations have agreed in writing to the notice (or a modified notification).
See below concerning what occurs 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 needs to be served at least one month before the prepared start day of the work. Neighbouring parties must offer written contract within 14 days or a conflict is considered to have actually occurred.
See below regarding what occurs in case of a dispute/objection.
What takes place if a dispute occurs.
If arrangement can not be reached in between neighbouring celebrations, the procedure is as follows:.
- A Property surveyor or Surveyors is/are appointed to figure out a unbiased and reasonable Award, either:.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- Each party designates their own Property surveyor to represent the private celebrations.
The person who is performing the work will normally have to pay all the expenses of the Surveyors, the only exception being if the neighbour calls out a Property surveyor unnecessarily – in the viewpoint of the Surveyor. Nevertheless it needs to be noted that any Property surveyor should act within their statutory duties and propose a reasonable and neutral Award.
- A single ‘Agreed Surveyor’ (someone appropriate to all parties).
- The Agreed Surveyor, or the private Surveyors jointly, will produce an Award which must be unbiased and fair to all parties.
- As soon as an Award has been made, all celebrations have 2 week to interest a County Court versus the Award.
As soon as you have arrangement.
Once you have arrangement, all work must adhere to the notification. All the contracts should be kept to make sure that a record of the granted permission is kept; a subsequent purchaser of the residential or commercial property might wish to establish that the work was carried out in accordance with the Party Wall Act requirements.
- We’ve only given a brief summary of the Party Wall Act here as it impacts garden work however take a look at the Communities and City government site for a more detailed explanatory pamphlet including example letters for notices and actions.
- Going over intended deal with neighbours is free and can prevent misconception which might arise if a notice arrives unexpectedly.
- Your regional Building Control Workplace might be able to provide totally free guidance concerning the Party Wall Act and how it applies to particular circumstances.
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