Faulkners Surveyors is an independent firm of structure surveyors that specialise in the
Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 acting for Structure Owners, Adjoining Owners and as the Agreed Property 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.
Party Wall Act
The Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 is an enabling Act, insofar as it approves the owner of a property the legal right to carry out certain works that might otherwise make up trespass or annoyance.
It likewise looks for to safeguard the interests of adjoining owners from any possibly negative effects that such works might have by imposing a requirement that all adjacent owners be given prior notice of them.
In addition, the Act provides for a compulsory dispute resolution procedure moderated by a statutorily appointed property surveyor or surveyors if neighbouring owners have issues about the execution of any proposal so alerted.
Particularly, such notice needs to be served where the owner of a home (known as ‘the structure owner’) plans to carry out any construction work described in Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act. Keep in mind that it is only those works that are covered by the Act and the scope is limited to the following:
- Area 1 applies where it is proposed to erect a new wall at a boundary that is not currently built on.
- Area 2 concerns existing party structures, which include party floors, partitions and walls (that separate structures or parts of buildings), party fence walls (essentially a limit wall in between lands in different ownership which is developed astride a border) and, in some circumstances, a neighbour’s independent residential or commercial property.
- Section 6 can apply to excavations as much as 6 m away from a building or structure on neighbouring land, subject to depth criteria which the Act sets out.
The info that Notices need to supply in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notices are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice connecting to Section 2 works is set out in Area 3 of the Act. It is essential to keep in mind that the validity of any notification not supplying all the appropriate details or served in the incorrect way, could be open up to challenge in Court.
There is no standard kind of Notice although many people utilize those released by the RICS or versions appended to the explanatory pamphlet provided by the Department for Communities and City Government. Nevertheless, provided all the info needed by the relevant section of the Act exists, a basic letter would be similarly legitimate.
Depending upon the scenarios of any given task there might be more than one adjoining owner on whom see needs to be served in respect of the exact same work and, when it comes to deep excavations, an Adjoining Owner may be other than an immediate neighbour. It is always more effective to discuss the designated deal with adjacent owners before serving them with formal written notice – a proposal well discussed might ease issues enough to prevent a dispute arising and prevent the necessity to appoint surveyors.
There are 2 exceptions where the requirement to serve notice might be avoided:
- De minimis works: The government’s explanatory pamphlet says that some deal with a party wall might be so small that service of notice under the Act would be usually considered as not essential and give as examples works unlikely to impact the structural strength or support functions of a party structure or cause damage to the neighbours side of it, such as re-plastering, shallow chasing for electrical wiring or inserting power sockets, and screws to support shelves, cooking area cupboards, and so forth.
- Works under Area 2 of the Act offered that written permission is gotten from all Adjoining Owners and Occupiers prior to work commences.
The 3 kinds of Notice are known, respectively as:
- Section 1: Line of Junction Notice
- Area 3 (for S2 works): Party Structure Notice
- Area 6: Notice of Adjacent Excavation
A party structure notice should be served a minimum of two months before the date on which it is proposed to begin that work. The other two notices should be served a minimum of one month prior to work starting.
The obligatory info which Observes must consist of are as follows:
- Line of Junction Notification:
- A sign of the structure owner’s desire to build a wall.
- A description of the wall.
- Party Structure Notification:
- The name and address of the building owner.
- The nature and details of the proposed work.
- The date on which the proposed work will start.
- Notification of Adjacent Excavation:
- An indication of the structure owner’s propositions.
- A statement as to whether the structure owner proposes to underpin or otherwise reinforce or protect the structures of the building or structure of the adjacent owner.
- Accompanying plans and sections showing: a) the site and depth of any excavation the structure owner proposes to make; b) if he proposes to set up a building or structure, its site.
Most of the pro-forma notices in use consist of the following details as a matter of course regardless of the kind of notice:
- The date of the notice.
- The name and addresses of both the building and adjacent owners (and the addresses of the homes being worked on/affected if different).
- A statement as to the beginning of works relative to the appropriate notification duration.
- An advisory note discussing what takes place if the recipient actively dissents from the works or stops working to react within 2 week.
Area 10 of the Act specifies that where an adjoining owner does not approval in writing to works informed by the building owner under Sections 3 and 6, both celebrations must either settle on the consultation of a single surveyor to act for both of them (called the Agreed Surveyor), or each appoint their own property surveyor, to figure out by award matters in dispute in between the parties.
Where a task is straightforward, this might only include factor to consider of the time and manner in which those works are to be carried out. In more complex schemes, thought will have to be offered to a commensurately greater number of aspects and undoubtedly selected surveyors have the statutory jurisdiction to make an award in respect of any matter connected with any work to which the act relates.
The same procedure is utilized to solve any subsequent disagreements between neighbouring owners that may develop in relation to the alerted works, consisting of any loss or damage suffered by an adjacent owner as a result of their execution.
Inaction on the part of the adjacent owner does not halt the statutory procedure. A disagreement can develop by an adjacent 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 stays quiet, neither dissenting nor consenting for a duration of 2 week after having been served with a Notification under either Section 3 or Area 6, the Act considers a dissent to have occurred in any event.
There is no considered dissent arrangement in Area 1 of the Act. A valid conflict can still develop, and surveyors be appointed in accordance with Section 10, in respect of works informed under that section but just as concerns real dissent on particular grounds. An adjoining owner’s reasons for disputing Section 2 and Area 6 works are seldom defined prior to the visit 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 designate an agreed property surveyor or, if they can not jointly settle on a single person, a property surveyor each and if requested to make such a consultation by the other party, need to do so within 10 days of the request being served. Failure to comply, instantly provides the owner making the request the statutory authority to designate a property surveyor on behalf of the recalcitrant party. This treatment is set out in section 10( 4) of the Act.
Where two surveyors are selected, they are obliged to agree upon the choice, in composing, of a third surveyor who might be called upon by either of the property surveyors or either of the parties to determine the contested matters and make the essential award. The third surveyor is never ever selected by anyone however the Act offers the individual so selected the exact same statutory powers as the two property surveyors.
3rd surveyors are most frequently called upon where the two surveyors have reached an impasse in their considerations over some specific point and typically this can be in respect on the reasonableness of the costs of the surveyor appointed by the adjacent owner. Rarely will a third property surveyor be asked to prepare an award in respect of the entire works however may join with one or other of the two surveyors to do so if the requirement arises.
There is no definition of who can be a surveyor, but it needs to not be the same person that will supervise the works.
The award will set out the works that can be carried out, who will pay the costs for the preparation of the award and examination of the works to make sure that they comply with the works, and who will pay for the works. They will typically be required to pay the charges and the expense of the works if the work is entirely for the advantage of the structure owner.
Celebrations have 14 days to attract the county court if they disagree with the award.
The Act enables access to the adjacent home for the purposes of carrying out the works whether the adjacent owner gives permission or not, nevertheless they need to be given 14 days notification.
NB: The introduction of The Party Wall etc. Act 1996 (Electronic Communications) Order 2016 means that from 6 April 2016, notices and other documents can be served by electronic communications.
The info that Sees should supply in respect of works covered the above areas is different in each case. The requirements of Area 1 and Section 6 Notifications are set out in those sections but the requirements of a Notice relating to Area 2 works is set out in Section 3 of the Act. A legitimate dispute can still arise, and property surveyors be designated in accordance with Area 10, in regard of works alerted under that area but just as concerns actual dissent on particular premises. An adjoining owner’s reasons for challenging Area 2 and Section 6 works are seldom specified prior to the visit of property surveyors and in numerous cases not even then.
Where dissent has actually developed, whether real or deemed, both owners are lawfully obliged to designate a concurred surveyor or, if they can not jointly agree on a single individual, a property surveyor each and if requested 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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