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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.
How The Party Wall and so on.
Act 1996 Works In simple terms, the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 can be split into 2 stages; firstly the Notifying Stage and second of all, if required, the Disputed Phase. The first stage is where the Structure Owners have a legal commitment to serve a formal Notification detailing the proposed works upon the Adjacent Owners. If the Adjoining Owners are satisfied that the Structure Owners’ proposed works will be of no hassle or, pose no risk of damage to their home, the Adjoining Owners only need to verify, in composing, that they grant the works and the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 might end there. The second phase would just be set off if the Adjoining Owners had any concerns connecting to the Structure Owners’ propositions or chose to disregard the Notification served by the Building Owners.
A disagreement would then be considered to have arisen and, the framework offered by the Party Wall etc. Act 1996 enables a resolution so that the Structure Owners could carry out works whilst providing security to both celebrations. At the point of a “dispute” having emerged, both the Building Owners and the Adjoining Owners have to designate a Party Wall Surveyor to proceed with solving the dispute. This could be via different property surveyor consultations or, by agreeing to a single property surveyor, called the Agreed Surveyor.
Prior to any disagreement emerging, Structure Owners and Adjacent Owners do not always require the services of a Party Wall Surveyor. The Party Wall Company are often commissioned to provide recommendations on the Act and to serve the relevant Party Wall Notices, ensuring they are lawfully legitimate.
What is a Party Wall Notification?
Building Owners preparing to perform any of the works specified within the Party Wall and so on. Act 1996 have a legal commitment to serve written Notification on any Adjoining Owner who may be impacted by the Building Owners proposed works. There is no official design template for a Notification. Enough information of the proposed works, legal names of all Owners, and when the proposed works will start are all important to make sure the validity of the Notification.
Mr Herman wanted to repair the Party Fence Wall that divided the 2 gardens and served a Notification on Mr and Mrs Lehmann. As Mr Herman just served the Notification in his name, Mr and Mrs Lehmann declined to accept the Notification as being legitimate and argued that as both Mr and Mrs Herman would be regarded as Structure Owners under the Act, Mrs Herman need to also be consisted of on the Notification.
What is a Party Wall Award?
A Party Wall Award is a lawfully binding document between Structure Owners and Adjoining Owners, which has been agreed by the designated property surveyor( s), authorising the execution of building work in accordance with the Act. A Schedule of Condition study of the Adjoining Owners residential or commercial property, although not a particular requirement of the Party Wall etc. Act 1996, is popular and forms a referral file within the Award.
I Already Have Planning Authorization And/ Or Building Control Approval. Do I Still Need To Follow The Party Wall Act?
If your prepared works would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act then yes, you would have to follow the procedures set out within the Act. No Local Authority consent or approval would get rid of the legal commitment to serve a Party Wall Notification upon your neighbour( s).
Does The Party Wall Act Cover Garden Fences?
The Act does cover “Party Fence Walls” which are deemed to be a wall of solid structure that sits astride a boundary and not belonging to a structure. Any works to such walls that would be deemed notifiable under the Party Wall Act would likewise use to Party Fence Walls. Wood fencing, precast concrete posts with infill panel fencing, etc would not be deemed to be a Party Fence Wall, whether astride a boundary or not.
If the Adjacent Owners are pleased that the Structure Owners’ proposed works will be of no inconvenience or, posture no risk of damage to their property, the Adjoining Owners just need to validate, in composing, that they consent to the works and the Party Wall etc. At the point of a “conflict” having arisen, both the Structure Owners and the Adjoining Owners have to appoint a Party Wall Property surveyor to proceed with solving the disagreement. The Party Wall Company are typically commissioned to provide advice on the Act and to serve the appropriate Party Wall Notices, guaranteeing they are lawfully valid. A Party Wall Award is a lawfully binding document in between Building Owners and Adjacent Owners, which has been agreed by the appointed property surveyor( s), authorising the execution of building work in accordance with the Act. Any works to such walls that would be considered notifiable under the Party Wall Act would also apply to Party Fence Walls.
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