We are fully qualified professional Party Wall Surveyors with years of experience producing Arrange of Condition reports and lawfully serving Party Wall Agreements and Notices.
With offices in Central, South and North London it makes us perfectly positioned to serve Greater London and the surrounding counties.
Whether you’re a Building Owner planning a new job or a neighbour who has been served a Party Wall Notice our understanding and experience ensures we are always best prepared to assist with your Party Wall requirements.
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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 NEWBIES GUIDE
We appreciate that many people wishing to carry out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction procedure. We also comprehend it can be a daunting procedure for those that have actually not experienced it previously. Here in Faulkners Surveyors, among our senior property surveyors, offers his “novices guide” which aims to supply 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 provides a procedure to follow when constructing work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring buildings, and new walls at limits. The Act permits owners to carry out particular specific works, including work to the full density of a party wall, whilst at the same time protecting the interests of anyone else who might be affected by that work. The Act is developed to prevent or reduce disputes by making certain property owners inform their neighbours in advance of specific proposed works.
The Act supplies a mechanism for solving disputes and enabling works to proceed. It likewise needs that, where the adjoining owner does not ‘concur’ in writing to the works, a property surveyor or surveyors will identify the time and method which those works are carried out.
What is a party wall?
Party walls normally separate structures coming from various owners but could consist of garden walls developed astride a boundary– known as party fence walls. Where a wall separates two different size structures often just the part that is used by both residential or commercial properties is a party wall, the rest comes from the person or individuals on whose land it stands.
The “etc” within The Party Wall etc Act 1996 is so included since the provisions of the Act are not restricted to party walls, they also include party structures and party fence walls.
Section 20 of the Act specifies each:
” party fence wall” implies a wall (not being part of a structure) which stands on lands of different owners and is used or constructed to be used for separating such adjoining lands, however does not include a wall constructed on the land of one owner the artificially formed support of which projects into the land of another owner;
” party structure” implies a party wall and likewise a flooring partition or other structure separating structures or parts of buildings approached entirely by different entryways or different staircases;
What is covered by the Act?
There are particular products of work that you can only be done after informing the adjacent owners and either getting 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 example for a loft conversion.
- placing a moist evidence course, even if just to your own side of a party wall.
- raising a party wall and, if required, cutting off any items avoiding this from occurring.
- destroying and rebuilding a party 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 foundations within 3 metres of a neighbour’s structure and lower than its foundations.
- excavating foundations within 6 metres of a neighbour’s structure and listed below a line drawn down at 45 ° from the bottom of its foundations.
Notifications are also required if it is proposed to build a brand-new wall on the line of junction (limit line). A party wall surveyor will generally be able to confirm which work is notifiable and guidance the notification period and kind of notice needed.
What is not covered by the Act?
The Act relates only to certain specific types of work and is liberal in nature. It needs to not be seen as a technique of challenging or avoiding works and it is not planned to be applied to minor tasks that do not affect 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 notification.
The workings of the Act are always instigated by the of releasing notifications. This is the first stage of the procedure and, without the concern of legitimate notifications, no more action can be taken under the provision of the Act.
Composed notice must be served on adjacent owners at least 2 months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations). All adjoining owners should be served a notice and there are likely to be instances where there is more than one adjoining residential or commercial property and more than one owner of each property (ie: if the adjacent residential or commercial property is split into flats and owned on a leasehold basis, notices will be needed to both leaseholder and freeholder of all flats affected by the works). Works to a party wall, or those impacting a ceiling or floor, will also need a notice to adjacent owners living above or listed below.
Valid notifications must contain the following information as a minimum:.
- The name and address of the building owner;.
- The nature and details of the proposed work including plans, areas and information of building and construction techniques.
- The date on which the proposed work will begin.
It is vital to include the proper information on a notification as, if they are deemed void, then any subsequent actions are also void.
Reactions To Notifications.
On invoice of a notice, an adjacent owner has 3 possible strategies:.
- To consent to the works going ahead as described. A consenting Adjacent Owner maintains all rights under the Act including the right to appoint a property surveyor later on at the same time if there is a conflict at that stage.
- To dissent and select a surveyor. The Act permits the Owners to concur in the consultation of a single ‘Agreed’ property surveyor or select their own different surveyor.
- Release a counter notice to set out specific conditions required for the advantage of the Adjoining Owner. The Counter Notification need to set out what extra or customized work the Adjoining Owner would like to be included for his advantage.
Most of the times, if the adjoining does not react within 14 days then a deemed dispute is said to have actually taken place and the individual performing the work should appoint a surveyor to act on the adjacent owners behalf.
If adjacent owners provide written grant the works as set out within the notifications, then there is no dispute to fix and no further need for party wall property surveyors or, certainly, the Party Wall Act. Assuming work proceeds as detailed within no damage and the notice is caused, then no further involvement is necessary.
If adjoining owners dissent to the works (or if no action is received and a deemed dissent has arisen) then a disagreement has actually taken place which need to be dealt with under the requirements of Area 10 of The Act. It deserves repeating that the Act is one of enablement, it is not there to prevent works from occurring and it uses a route to end conflicts at every stage. Where written contract is not provided, the option the Act offers is for both celebrations to designate an ‘concurred property surveyor’ who will act impartially or for each owner to select a property surveyor who in turn select a 3rd property surveyor. The surveyors then collaborate to agree the terms under which work may continue. The surveyor( s) will examine the plans, notifications and structural details of the works and, after considering the effect of the works, will prepare a contract which sets out the terms under which work can be performed (the Award).
The Party Wall Award.
The award will generally record the condition of the relevant part of adjoining property prior to work begins (this is not a requirement under the Act but is thought about excellent practice and is duly offered by the majority of great surveyors). The award might likewise give access to both properties so that the works can be securely performed and the surveyor/s can check operate in progress.
Normally, the structure owner who started the work spends for all expenses of work and the sensible costs sustained by all celebrations as a result, this will consist of the property surveyors fees for both Structure Owner and Adjoining Owner.
We value that lots of people wanting to bring out works on their residential or commercial property have the requirements of The Party Wall Act thrust upon at a relatively late phase in the pre-construction process. Here, Michael White C.Build.E MCABE MFPWS, one of our senior property surveyors, provides his “beginners guide” which intends to provide an overview 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 building work includes a party wall or party fence wall, some excavations close to neighbouring structures, and brand-new walls at borders. The Act allows owners to carry out particular specific works, including work to the complete thickness of a party wall, whilst at the same time securing the interests of anybody else who may be impacted by that work. Written notice needs to be served on adjacent owners at least two months before starting any party wall works (one month for works to the line of junction or excavations).
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