We pride ourselves on our versatility and individual involvement towards our clients requirements. Faulkners Surveyors are an expanding team of property surveyors with a wealth of competence, experience and ability. If you are looking for a professional yet flexible approach to all your home matters then call Faulkners Surveyors for an useful chat.
Our surveyors are regulated by the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors and carry expert indemnity insurance to cover their work.
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 appreciate that many individuals 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 likewise comprehend it can be a daunting procedure for those that have not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, one of our senior surveyors, provides his “novices 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 constructing work involves a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and brand-new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to perform certain particular works, consisting of work to the full thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time safeguarding the interests of anybody else who might be affected by that work. The Act is designed to avoid or reduce conflicts by making sure homeowner inform their neighbours in advance of certain proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for fixing conflicts and enabling works to continue. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘agree’ in writing to the works, a surveyor or surveyors will figure out the time and way in which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally separate buildings coming from different owners however might consist of garden walls built astride a limit– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size buildings frequently just the part that is used by both properties is a party wall, the rest belongs to the individual or individuals 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 limited to party walls, they also consist of party structures and party fence walls.
Area 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” indicates a wall (not becoming part of a structure) which stands on lands of various owners and is utilized or constructed to be used for separating such adjacent lands, but does not include a wall built on the land of one owner the synthetically formed assistance of which tasks into the land of another owner;
” party structure” suggests a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached solely by different staircases or separate entryways;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular items of work that you can only be done after informing the adjoining owners and either receiving written arrangement of the neighbour or with a Party Wall Award prepared by a surveyor/s.
Notifiable works consist of (however are not restricted to):.
- cutting into a wall to take the bearing of a beam, for instance 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 required, cutting off any items avoiding this from happening.
- rebuilding a party and demolishing wall.
- underpinning a party wall or part of a party wall.
- weathering the junction of adjoining walls or buildings by cutting a flashing into an adjoining structure.
- excavating structures within three metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating structures within six metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its structures.
If it is proposed to build a new wall on the line of junction (border line), notices are likewise needed. A party wall property surveyor will usually have the ability to verify which work is notifiable and advice the notice duration and type of notice required.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates just to certain specific types of work and is permissive in nature. It ought to not be seen as a method of objecting to or avoiding works and it is not intended to be applied to small tasks that do not impact the structural integrity or loading of a party wall.
It is typically agreed that works such as repairing plug sockets, screwing in shelving or replastering walls are minor works and do not need a notice.
The operations of the Act are always prompted by the of providing notices. This is the first stage of the process and, without the problem of legitimate notices, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Written notice should be served on adjoining owners a minimum of two months before beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners should be served a notification and there are most likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each residential or commercial property (ie: if the adjoining property is divided into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notifications will be required to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Works to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or flooring, will also need a notice to adjacent owners living above or below.
Legitimate notices need to contain the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the structure owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work including strategies, areas and information of building approaches.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
It is important to include the correct details on a notice as, if they are considered void, then any subsequent actions are also invalid.
Reactions To Notifications.
On receipt of a notification, an adjacent owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going ahead as explained. A consenting Adjacent Owner keeps all rights under the Act consisting of the right to select a surveyor later at the same time if there is a dispute at that stage.
- To dissent and appoint a property surveyor. The Act enables the Owners to concur in the appointment of a single ‘Agreed’ surveyor or appoint their own separate property surveyor.
- Provide a counter notice to set out specific conditions needed for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notice ought to set out what additional or customized work the Adjoining Owner would like to be consisted of for his advantage.
In many cases, if the adjacent does not react within 2 week then a deemed conflict is said to have occurred and the individual carrying out the work needs to select a surveyor to act upon the adjoining owners behalf.
If adjoining owners supply written grant the works as set out within the notices, then there is no dispute to resolve and no additional need for party wall surveyors or, indeed, the Party Wall Act. Presuming work proceeds as detailed within the notification and no damage is caused, then no additional participation is essential.
The property surveyors then work together to concur the terms under which work may continue. The property surveyor( s) will review the plans, notices and structural details of the works and, after considering 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 tape the condition of the appropriate part of adjacent home before work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act however is thought about excellent practice and is duly supplied by most good property surveyors). The award might also give access to both residential or commercial properties so that the works can be safely performed and the surveyor/s can check work in progress.
Typically, the structure owner who began the work spends for all costs of work and the affordable costs sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will include the property surveyors costs for both Building Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We appreciate that lots of people wanting to carry out works on their home have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a reasonably late stage in the pre-construction procedure. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, uses his “beginners guide” which aims to supply a summary understanding of party walls and the requirements of the Party Wall Act …
What is the Party Wall Celebration?
The Party Wall etc Act 1996 supplies a treatment to follow when developing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out certain specific works, including work to the complete density of a party wall, whilst at the exact same time securing the interests of anybody else who may be affected by that work. Composed notice needs to be served on adjacent owners at least two months prior to beginning any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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